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Middle Bay Lighthouse

Alabama Historical Commission

Location: MOBILE HARBOR/MOBILE BAY
Station Established: 1885
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1885
Operational: No
Automated: Yes, in 1935
Deactivated: 1967
Foundation Materials: Screw piling with platform
Construction Materials: Wood
Tower Shape: Hexagonal without lantern
Markings/Pattern: White dwelling with red piles
Height: 41'
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: Fourth Order, 1885
Characteristic: Fixed white varied by a red flash every 30 seconds
Fog Signal: Bell struck by machinery every 5 seconds

Historical Information:

  • The station was activated in 1885.
  • 1916 was a busy year. The keeper's wife gave birth to a baby that summer at the station. According to the Alabama Lighthouse Association web site the keeper brought a milk cow to the station and corralled it on a section of the lower deck because his wife was unable to nurse the newborn baby. All had to be evacuated when the station survived but was damaged by a hurricane that year.
  • The light was automated in 1935.
  • Lighthouse was deactivated in 1967.
  • In 1984 the lighthouse was stabilized by Middle Bay Light Centennial Commission in preparation for the centennial celebration.
  • Mobile Middle Bay Lighthouse was placed on National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Reference #74000429
  • In 1996 the Coast Guard loaned the Fresnel lens from the lighthouse to the Ft. Morgan Museum for public display.
  • In 2002 restoration efforts were begun to repair the light.
  • In 2003, a real-time weather station was added to the lighthouse by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. Still running, the weather station, one of seven in Mobile Bay, samples precipitation, total and quantum solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, water temperature, salinity, water depth, and dissolved oxygen. These data can be seen in real-time at www.mymobilebay.com. From late 2011 - mid 2014 currents and waves were also displayed.

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