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Sapelo Island Front Range Lighthouse


The Sapelo Island Range Front Light, also known as the Sapelo Island Range Beacon, is a lighthouse range light on Sapelo Island. It is located near the Sapelo Island Lighthouse.

In 1855, a wooden beacon light was built near the main lighthouse. It was restored in 1997 by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which manages most of Sapelo Island. It is thought to be the oldest surviving iron structure in Georgia.

The beacon that served as the front range light sustained heavy damage or was destroyed during the Civil War, as a new movable beacon was built following Union occupation of the island. After extensive repairs, the Sapelo Island Lighthouse and the new beacon, which was mounted on a fifty-foot frame metal tower just 600 feet from the lighthouse, were relit in 1868.. The beacon’s tower was now placed on a 100-foot tramway so it could be easily moved as the offshore channel changed.

In 1874, the Lighthouse Board, after declaring the tower as “full of dry-rot,” rebuilt the front beacon, and a new iron tower twenty-five-feet tall was placed in operation in 1877. The ornate tower is located 600 feet east of the 1820 brick tower. It was used until 1899, after which it was dismantled, due to a significant reduction in marine traffic. It was reassembled and used by the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II to look for submarines.

The Sapelo Island Front Range Light received a fresh coat of paint when the State of Georgia restored Sapelo Island Lighthouse in 1998. .It currently stands on the island today under the care of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Sapelo Island Front Range Lighthouse

Sapelo Island is managed by the State of Georgia, and admission to the Sapelo Island Front Range Light tower is included only when booking a tour of the island. Contact the Darien-McIntosh County Visitors' Center for more information.

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