Old Harbor Light

This beacon light was erected by the federal government in 1858 as an aid to navigation of the Savannah River. Standing 77 feet above river level and illuminated by gas, it served for several years as a guide to vessels passing over the hulls of ships that the British scuttled in 1779 in an attempt to deny harbor access to the French naval forces, anchored nearby. During the Siege of Savannah that year by both the French and Colonial Forces, the warship Truite, commanded by the Count de Chastenet de Puysegur, shelled this area of Savannah from her anchorage in Back River opposite this point.

After years of salty humidity eroding the cast iron post of this historic relic, the whole structure was found unstable in the 1990's. Restoration of the beacon light along with an additional forty three historical monuments in this popular historic district destination was undertaken at a cost of $3,000,000+ with the Savannah Morning News graciously donating in excess of $62,000 alone towards the beacon light restoration project specifically. The restoration required a crane hoist to fit the six disassembled pieces on a flatbed truck to be carried to the fabrication shop that completed the repairs. On completion of the repairs, the intact light was re-lit on January 11, 2001 in the Emmett Park location, making it once again a symbolic beacon for the seagoing vessels that traverse The Savannah River alongside River Street.