The Biloxi Lighthouse was erected in 1848 and was one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the South. It is the city’s signature landmark and has become a post-Katrina symbol of the city’s resolve and resilience.
The light was civilian operated from 1848 to 1939, and is notable for its several female lightkeepers, including Maria Younghans, who tended the light for 53 years. In 1939, the U.S. Coast Guard assumed responsibility for the light’s operation.
After being declared surplus property in 1968, the Biloxi Lighthouse was deeded to the City of Biloxi, which eventually opened it to public tours.
The lighthouse has withstood many storms over the years. Katrina’s storm surge enveloped a third of the 64-foot tall lighthouse, and the constant pounding from the water and winds toppled many bricks that lined the interior of the cast iron tower. The storm’s winds also broke many of the windows in the light cupola and destroyed the structure’s electrical system
In March 2010, the city re-opened the lighthouse to public tours after a 14-month, $400,000 restoration that was funded by FEMA and MEMA and completed by Biloxi contractor J.O. Collins.
Images: To see a 12-minute documentary about the Biloxi Lighthouse, click here. To see a gallery of images from through the years, click here. To see a video of a song about the Biloxi Lighthouse, written by local singer-songwriter Steve Cason, click here.
Guided tours: Daily at 9, 9:15 and 9:30 a.m., weather permitting. No reservations required, except for group tours, which can be arranged by calling (228) 374-3105.
Admission: $5, adults, $2 students, with discounts for groups.
Location: The lighthouse is in the middle of U.S. 90 at Porter Avenue, south of the new Biloxi Visitors Center, and just west of I-110 loop and Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.
More info: Email Biloxi’s museums office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (228) 374-3105.