Historic Round Island Lighthouse almost ready to shine again; $50K need to finish restoration



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PASCAGOULA, Mississippi — Hancock Bank is hosting a "Come Light Up The Night" Round Island Lighthouse fundraiser Aug. 7 to complete interior and lighting work at the top of the historic structure.

The event will take place under the historical oaks at Lighthouse Park, on the north side of the Pascagoula bridge.

Preservationists and the city of Pascagoula have spent a decade and $1.4 million to relocate and restore the lighthouse. The Round Island Lighthouse Preservation Society hopes to raise some of the $50,000 still needed to finish the restoration.

Next week's fundraiser is meant to help close that gap through sales of t-shirts, souvenirs and sponsorships ranging from $50 to $10,000.

"The final funds will go to actually light up the top of the lighthouse," said Erin Willcutt, an event organizer.

The city is set to award a bid for the remaining interior work.

The original lighthouse on Round Island was built in 1833 for $5,900. That lighthouse was destroyed, and another was constructed in 1859. For years it stood on the island, first as a signal, then as a landmark.

Hurricane Georges toppled the lighthouse in 1998, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 ended all efforts to rebuild it on the island.

The restoration began in 2010, when the lighthouse was relocated from its original location on Round Island to the southeast foot of the Pascagoula River Bridge on U.S. Highway 90.

Remaining work includes masonry, a radial staircase and handrails, a service platform, a ladder to the gallery, electrical service, stair lighting, ceiling and wall finishing and lighting the lantern.

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