Lighthouse Down

A renovation project on an old Franklin County lighthouse has turned into a rebuilding job. The historic landmark collapsed over the weekend.

The future of the St. George Island Lighthouse is now in the hands of salvage experts. The historical monument, which was on its last leg, has finally fallen.

For members of the St. George Lighthouse Association, it wasn't a question of if the lighthouse would fall but when.

The lighthouse represented a symbol of hope for this community, surviving wars, hurricanes, and beach erosion, even spending its recent years on a tilt because of damage sustained during Hurricane Opal in '95. But the 153-year-old structure is in pieces after last Friday’s fall.

Despite the way it looks, lighthouse association members say it could have been worse. Now the group is setting its sights on a rebuilding job. And they vow that the majestic lighthouse will return.

The historical lighthouse has withstood the test of time. But it was definitely showing age. It was 72-feet tall when it was built in 1852. Before it toppled over last week, it was just 20-feet tall.

How does the lighthouse association plan to pay for the restoration? Before it fell, the association was applying for a state restoration grant. Now that it's fallen, they'll probably have to rewrite the grant application.

What about private donations? The lighthouse association would welcome any private donations. You can go to the Web site

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