The Third Tybee Lighthouse
In 1768, with the sea lapping at the foundation of the lighthouse, the Georgia Assembly authorized a new lighthouse to be built. This time a site well removed from the sea was chosen and the light was completed in early 1773. The 100 foot tall brick and wood structure was lit with spermaceti candles. (Spermaceti is a waxy, white substance from a sperm whale’s skull, shown in picture to your right). The lighthouse was ceded to the Federal Government about 1790, after Georgia ratified the Constitution and became part of the United States. The U.S. Lighthouse Establishment then took over the operation of the lighthouse. A new lens was ordered, in 1857, a Second Order Fresnel lens was placed in the lighthouse. The lens greatly increased the effectiveness of the light through the use of prism.
In 1862, a major portion of the lighthouse was destroyed when Confederate troops from Fort Pulaski set fire to the tower in order to prevent the Federal troops from using it to guide their ships into port. Fort Pulaski stands now, as it was then.