Dressed in a lighthouse keeper’s uniform, Paul Jackson carried on his lighthouse ancestors tradition when he flipped the gold plated light switch to ceremoniously turn on the beacon of Georgia’s world famous Tybee Island Lighthouse during the 150th anniversary of the 154-foot tall tower.
It was Paul Jackson’s grandfather, George B. Jackson, who was the last lighthouse keeper to serve there from 1933 to 1947, and who actually lighted the beacon for the first time with electricity in 1933. After a major restoration was completed in 1998, it was Grace Jackson Weaver, daughter of keeper George B. Jackson, who threw the switch for a 1999 ceremony that relit the beacon in the lantern, making Paul Jackson the third in his family line to relight the famous lighthouse.
The ceremony was emotional for local people, many who had suffered greatly following the recent devastating hurricane; many said that it was a symbol of the island’s resolve. One local resident attending the ceremony whose home was heavily damaged by tropical storm Irma said, “There were people here who lost everything in their house and I think something as beautiful as this ceremony and the lighthouse means so much to everyone at Tybee and it was just a good thing to help us out of our misery.”
Although the current Tybee Island Lighthouse was built in 1867, there were earlier towers that dated back to 1736.
(Photographs by Casey Jones of Casey Jones Photography, courtesy of Tybee Island Historical Society.)
This story appeared in the
Nov/Dec 2017 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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