Two former lighthouse keepers toured their old stomping ground Sunday at the St. George Reef Lighthouse.
John “Gibby” Gibbons and Bob Hachmeister toured the lighthouse along with 36 other people. They had booked tours with the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society, which ferries people six miles offshore to the structure via helicopter and gives them an hour to tour the lantern room, tower, keepers’ quarters and other components.
The St. George Reef Lighthouse has warned sailors away from the dreaded Dragon Rocks since its beacon was first lit in 1892. Keepers with the U.S. Lighthouse Service manned the facility until 1939 when it merged with the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard operated the lighthouse until 1975 when it was declared surplus property and put on the auction block.
Today, the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society, a non-profit agency that began refurbishing the lighthouse in 1996, continues to work on the facility and offers tours once a month from November through April.
Future tours this season will be offered in February, March and April, weather permitting. Tours are $300 per person, cash or check only. To book, call Bill O’Donnell at 707-442-7873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the lighthouse, visit stgeorgereeflighthouse.weebly.com.