Captain John Grant is rightly known as the “Father of Gulf Coast Transportation,” and several of his transportation projects are tightly coupled with Gulf Coast lighthouses. At the age of twenty-five, Grant perfected a dredge and used it from 1826 to 1829 to deepen the passes into the harbor at Mobile. A year after the dredging, the Choctaw Lighthouse was built to aid vessels that could now reach the port. Grant next turned his talents to the construction of the railroad linking New Orleans with Milneburg on Lake Pontchartain. Port Pontchartrain was established at the railroad’s terminus in Milneburg, and several lighthouses were subsequently constructed to improve navigation into the port. Grant’s name is mostly closely associated with his dredging in 1839 of a pass linking Mississippi Sound with Mobile Bay. Known as Grant’s Pass, this channel made it possible for ships to avoid entering the Gulf of Mexico, when sailing between Mobile and New Orleans. Grant required toll payments for use of his pass and eventually constructed a private lighthouse at Tower Island to assist navigation along his waterway.
Photo Text & Copyright www.Lighthousefriends.com