Merrill Shell Bank Light

The Merrill Shell Bank Light was a screw-pile lighthouse which once stood on its eponymous shoal in the Mississippi Sound, west of Cat Island and south of Pass Christian, Mississippi. It was replaced by a skeleton tower on the same foundation.

Merrill Shell Bank Light
Merrill shell bank light.JPG
undated photograph of Merrill Shell Bank Light (USCG)
LocationMississippi Sound south of Pass Christian
Coordinates30°14′33″N 89°14′56″W / 30.2425°N 89.2489°W / 30.2425; -89.2489Coordinates: 30°14′33″N 89°14′56″W / 30.2425°N 89.2489°W / 30.2425; -89.2489[1]
Constructed1860 (first house)
1883 (second house)[2]
Constructionsquare wooden house[1]
Focal height42 ft (13 m)[1]


The shoal was first marked by a lightship beginning in 1847, but this was replaced by a screw-pile light in 1860. The light was extinguished by the Confederates but was undamaged, and was re-lit in 1863. The house was damaged by fire in 1880, and was utterly destroyed in 1883 by another fire; it was rebuilt the same year.[3] In 1932 it was automated, and in 1945 the house was removed and replaced by a skeleton tower on the same foundation.[4] This tower was damaged by the hurricanes of 2005 and was discontinued in 2007.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d List of Lights and Fog Signals on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. Government Printing Office. March 1, 1907. pp. 242, 243. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  2. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Mississippi". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  3. ^ Holland, Jr., Francis Ross (1988). America's Lighthouses. Dover. p. 145. ISBN 9780486139272. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  4. ^ "Merrill's Shell Bank Light". Lighthouse Explorer Database. Foghorn Publishing. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  5. ^ Local Notice to Mariners: District 8: Gulf. January 17, 2007. United States Coast Guard: p. 25.