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Grant's Pass, AL  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Grant's Pass Lighthouse

Captain John Grant is rightly known as the “Father of Gulf Coast Transportation,” and several of his transportation projects are tightly coupled with Gulf Coast lighthouses. At the age of twenty-five, Grant perfected a dredge and used it from 1826 to 1829 to deepen the passes into the harbor at Mobile. A year after the dredging, Choctaw Point Lighthouse was built where the Mobile River empties into Mobile Bay to aid vessels that could now reach the port. Grant next turned his talents to the construction of the railroad linking New Orleans with Milneburg on Lake Pontchartrain. Port Pontchartrain was established at the railroad’s terminus in Milneburg, and several lighthouses were subsequently constructed to improve navigation into the port. Grant’s name is mostly closely associated with his dredging in 1839 of a pass linking Mississippi Sound with Mobile Bay. Known as Grant’s Pass, this channel made it possible for ships to avoid entering the Gulf of Mexico when sailing between Mobile and New Orleans. Grant required toll payments for use of his pass and eventually constructed a private lighthouse at Tower Island to assist navigation along his waterway.

1866 – During the operations of the army and navy in the vicinity of Mobile it was found advisable to establish a small light to mark Grant's Pass, an artificial channel constructed by private enterprise, and affording a short cut between Mobile and New Orleans. This light was maintained until August 5, when the temporary structure requiring extensive repairs and reconstruction, and there being no specific authority of law for its maintenance, it was discontinued, the illuminating apparatus and fixtures being removed to New Orleans.

1873 – Grant’s Pass, between Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound, Alabama.— On the 27th of December, in the year 1864, a fifth-order light was established on the south side of the channel. The tower was of the temporary kind, still standing at Sand Island, with an elevation of 25 feet to the focal plane. It soon fell into decay by the action of the sea worms on the wood, and in 1866 was abandoned for want of funds to rebuild or repair it. For several years afterward a light was maintained by a private party, who has recently extinguished it. The Pass is a narrow channel, and affords the only water communication between Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound. The re-establishment of the light would be a great benefit. It should be an ordinary wooden structure, on iron screw-piles, prepared for a depth, of from 2 to 5 feet water. An appropriation of $20,000 is respectfully recommended.


  • Head: Edwin Bailey (1864 – 1865), John Duggan (1865 – 1866), George Parker (1866).
  • Assistant: George W. Burgess (1864 – 1865), George Miller (1865), George Parker (1865 – 1866).

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