Light the Cockspur Island Lighthouse Again!


Since the mid-1800s, the Cockspur Island Lighthouse has sat atop her very short throne marking the entrance to the South Channel of the Savannah River.

In her prime, the shortest lighthouse in Georgia guided ships into the South Channel until the early 1900s, when the navigation route was altered to accommodate larger ships.

While the lighthouse is no longer in use and has not been lit in over 100 years, it has been annexed with Fort Pulaski, which marks it as a national monument.

In remembrance of her service to the Savannah Port, the organization The Friends of Cockspur Lighthouse works to preserve the lighthouse and raise funds for its continued upkeep of the lighthouse.

In their recent efforts to restore the lighthouse to its former glory, they have partnered with Captain Gary Hill, or “Gator” of Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventures, to host a lighthouse jamboree.

Their goal for this event: was to relight the light.

While this appears to be a simple task, they need to raise upwards of 20,000 dollars to pay for the solar-powered light fixture and the labor–hence the need for some fundraising.

I sat down with Captain Gator, Chief Facilitator and Coordinator between The friends of the Cockspur Lighthouse and Captain Derek’s, to learn a little more about the event and his motivations for helping to relight the light.

“Well, we’re by the lighthouse every day, it’s basically in our backyard. And, I have been involved with several other projects that the lighthouse has done through the years.”

What is the importance of the lighthouse and this event?

“It’s a way of keeping this history in our backyard relevant and maintained for generations.”

The Lighthouse Jamboree will take place on November 5th from noon to sunset at Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventure on Tybee island.

“There is no admission, however, we ask people to support financially through various raffles, a painting course by master painter Michael Neils well known on Tybee Island in the area. We will have food items. We’ll be doing hamburgers and hot dogs. We will be doing an auction for a beautiful painting that Michael is doing as well.”

Captain Derek will also be offering their boats to provide reduced-rate boat tours of the lighthouse.

All proceeds from this event will be given to the light fixture fund and future maintenance for the lighthouse.

If you cannot attend this event, Captain Gator informed me of other ways you can participate in relighting the light.

“If they visit our Facebook site, they will be able to donate online via PayPal, or they can call us, and we can take a donation by credit card.”

Be on the lookout for updates on the outcome of the jamboree and the progress of relighting the light.