Key to the Lighthouse
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Saturday, 05 May 2018
Missouri, United States
In A little grace
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I am a "Racing Key", please keep me moving as far and as fast as possible. I need as many miles as I can travel by January 2019. My predecessors have always fallen short and I wish to do better this race.
After the race, I wish to have my picture taken with Lighthouses all over the world.
This is "Memory" key. My owner grew up near the famous Biloxi Lighthouse located on US90 in Biloxi, MS.
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 Biloxi Lighthouse was one of three Mississippi Sound lighthouses authorized in 1847 by legislation sponsored by Mississippi Representative Jefferson Davis. A one-acre tract for the lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling was purchased from John Fayard for $600, and metal plates, cast by Murray and Hazlehurst Vulcan Works in Baltimore under a contract for $6,347, were bolted together to form the lighthouse, which was strengthened by a brick lining. The tower was completed in the spring of 1848 under the supervision of Henry Scoles, and Marcellus J. Howard was assigned as the first keeper. Part of Keeper Howard’s job was to service the nine lamps and fourteen-inch reflectors, supplied by Winslow Lewis, that comprised the lighting apparatus. In 1856, a fourth-order Fresnel lens replaced the array of lamps and reflectors.
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.
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