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Historic Light Station Information
& Photography

LOUISIANA


BARATARIA BAY LIGHT

Location: BARATARIA BAY, GULF OF MEXICO, NEAR NEW ORLEANS, LA
Station Established: 1857
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1897
Operational? NO
Automated? 1973
Deactivated: 1945
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: WOODEN
Tower Shape: SQUARE PYRAMIDAL SKELETAL TOWER
Markings/Pattern: UNKNOWN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

BARATARIA BAY LIGHT


BAYOU ST. JOHN LIGHT

Location: CANAL DE CARONDOLET, BETWEEN NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN
Station Established: 1811
Year First Lit: 1811
Operational: No
Automated: N/A
Deactivated: 1878
Tower Shape/Markings/Pattern: Octagonal wooden tower on artificial island, destroyed by storm in 1837; 1838 a new 48-foot tower was constructed; in 1855 a screwpile, cottage-type structure was built, damaged during 1860 hurricane; 1869 a tower was built on the screwpile foundation.
Height: 48'
Original Lens: Sixth Order, Fresnel (1869)
Characteristic: 
Fog Signal: 

Historical Information:

Keepers:

  • A.B. Shelby (1856 – unknown)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

BAYOU SAINT JOHN LIGHT


BONFOUCA (BAYOU BONFOUCA) LIGHT

Location: NORTH LAKE PONCHARTRAIN, NEAR SLIDELL, LOUISIANA
Station Established: 1848
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1848
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1862
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE TOWER ON TOP OF DWELLING
Markings/Pattern: UNKNOWN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: N/A

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

BONFOUCA LIGHTHOUSE


CALCASIEU RIVER RANGE LIGHTS

Location: CALCASIEU RIVER , LOUISIANA
Station Established: 1876 
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1876 
Operational: No 
Automated: 
Deactivated: c. 1940
Foundation Materials: Piles 
Construction Materials: 
Tower Shape: Skeletal, pyramidal 
Markings/Pattern: Black
Characteristic: fixed white
Relationship to Other Structure: Separate 
Original Lens: Fourth Order, 1876, by Henry LePaute

Historical Information:

Keepers:

  • Charles F. Crossman (1876 – 1913)
  • Stephen Hill (1913 – unknown)
  • William Hill (c. 1916 - 1929)
  • Philip Hill (Asst. Keeper unknown – 1929)
  • E.A. Malone (1929 – 1940)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

Calcasieu Rear Range Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "CALCASIEU LIGHTHOUSE  EIGHTH NAVAL DISTRICT (NEW ORLEANS) [;] File 2048 of 5/13/27 [;] FILED 7/29/27."


CHANDELEUR ISLAND LIGHT

Location: Outer rim of Chandeleur Sound
Station Established: 1848
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1896
Operational: No
Automated: Yes, 1951?
Deactivated: n/a (destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, 2005)
Foundation Materials: Pile
Construction Materials: Iron
Tower Shape: Skeletal with cylinder
Markings/Pattern: Brown with black lantern
Characteristic:
Relationship to Other Structure: Separate
Original Lens: Third Order Fresnel, 1896
Fog Signal:

Historical Information:

Photographs: 

1856 Chandeleur Island Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Chandeleur."; no date; Photo No. 328; photographer unknown.

Chandeleur Island Light, aerial view of station from the Gulf side: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Official Picture: Chandeleur Island Light."; no date; Photo No. 39; photographer unknown.

Chandeleur Island Light, aerial view of station from landward: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "

Chandeleur Island Light, circa 1960, : (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "CHANDELEUR LIGHT STATION, AUGUST 1960."; Photo No. 8CGD-082060-03; photographer unknown.

Chandeleur Island Light, circa 1971, : (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Chandeleur Light, LA."; photo dated 1 March 1971; Photo No. 030171-11; photographer unknown.


CUBITS GAP

Location: ON THE SOUTHEASTERLY SIDE OF CUBITS GAP, NORTHEASTERLY BANK OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Station Established: 1891
Year First Lit: 1891
Operational: Yes
Automated: 1961
Deactivated: N/A
Tower Shape/Markings/Pattern: Lantern on top of square, white, pyramidal, wooden bell-tower (1891-?); then a white metal skeleton tower
Height: 80'
Original Lens: "lens lantern" (1891-?); 300mm (?-1961); DCB-24 (1961)
Characteristic: Fixed red (1891-1961); Flashing white light every 8 seconds (duration of 0.1 seconds; after 1961).
Fog Signal: Bell struck by machinery every 15 seconds (1891-?); then a DCB-24 beacon; on 5 June 1961 changed to a diaphragm horn, 1 blast every 10 seconds (after 5 June 1961)

Historical Information:

Photographs: 

CUBITS GAP LIGHTHOUSE


EAST RIGOLETS LIGHT

Location: RIGOLETS WATERWAY, MISSISSIPPI SOUND, GULF OF MEXICO
Station Established: 1833
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1833
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1847
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: MASONRY TOWER
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: 10 LAMPS AND REFLECTORS

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

EAST RIGOLETS LIGHTHOUSE


FRANK'S ISLAND LIGHT

Location: FRANKS ISLAND 
Station Established: 1818 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1823 
Operational? NO 
Automated? NO 
Deactivated: 1856 
Foundation Materials: 
Construction Materials: BRICK 
Tower Shape: 
Markings/Pattern: CONICAL 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: 

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

1816 drawing of Franks Island Lighthouse with the inscription "Light House at the Mouth of the Mississippi River, H. S. B. Latrobe, Eng."

1816 drawing of Frank's Island Lighthouse by H. S. B. Latrobe


HEAD OF THE PASSES LIGHT

Location: DEER ISLAND, APPROACH TO MISSISSIPPI RIVER, GULF OF MEXICO
Station Established: 1852
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1852
Operational? NO
Automated? NO
Deactivated: 1873
Foundation Materials: N/A
Construction Materials: N/A
Tower Shape: SEE BELOW
Markings/Pattern: N/A
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE 
Original Lens: SIXTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

HEAD OF THE PASSES LIGHTHOUSE


NEW CANAL LIGHT

Location: Lake Pontchartrain Canal Entrance 
Station Established: 1838 
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1901 
Operational: No (damaged by Hurricane Katrina) 
Automated: Yes 
Deactivated: n/a 
Foundation Materials: Pile with platform 
Construction Materials: Wood 
Tower Shape: Square 
Markings/Pattern: White with red roof
Characteristic: Occulting white light, duration 3 seconds every 5 seconds. 
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral 
Original Lens: Fifth Order
Fog Signal: Mechanical fog bell; one stroke every ten seconds.

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Keeper information researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

New Canal Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "NEW CANAL"; no date (probably mid to late-nineteenth century); Photo No. 325; photographer unknown.

New Canal Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); no caption/date; Photo No. 112; photographer unknown.

New Canal Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); no caption/date; Photo No. 112; photographer unknown.


OYSTER BAY (BAYOU) LIGHT

Location: OYSTER BAYOU, EASTERNMOST ENTRANCE ATCHAFALAYA BAY, GULF OF MEXICO, NEAR BERWICK, LOUISIANA
Station Established: 1904
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1904
Operational? NO
Automated? 1947
Deactivated: 1975
Foundation Materials: IRON PILINGS
Construction Materials: WOOD
Tower Shape: SQUARE TOWER ON ROOF OF KEEPER’S QUARTERS
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/DARK ROOF AND LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

OYSTER BAY LIGHT


PASS A L'OUTRE LIGHT

Location: Head of Passes, Mississippi River Delta 
Station Established: 1855 
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1855 
Operational: No 
Automated: No 
Deactivated: 1930 
Foundation Materials: Stone; timber pile 
Construction Materials: Cast iron with brick lining 
Tower Shape: Conical 
Markings/Pattern: Black / white spirals with dark lantern
Characteristic: Fixed red (1902) 
Relationship to Other Structure: Separate 
Original Lens: Third Order, Fresnel, 1855
Fog Signal: Steam-powered signal, 1872

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Keeper information researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

Pass A L'Outre Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "PASS A L'OUTRE."; no date/photo number; photographer unknown; 19th century photo.

Pass A L'Outre Light, circa 1896: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); No caption; photo dated "circa 1896."; no photo number; photographer unknown.

Pass A L'Outre Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Cam. Sta. - 100 ft. Southerly."; photo dated 27 October 1917; no photo number; photo by "SUPERINTENDENT."

Pass A L'Outre Light Station: (75 dpi); Original caption: "Pass-a-Loutre L.S."; no date; Photo No. 22 #1; photographer unknown.


PASS MANCHAC LIGHT

Location: West shore of Lake Pontchartrain
Station Established: 1837
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1857
Operational: No
Automated: Yes, 1941
Deactivated: 1987
Foundation Materials: Stone
Construction Materials: Brick
Tower Shape: Cylindrical
Markings/Pattern: White
Characteristic: Fixed red (pre-Civil War); Fixed white
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached
Original Lens: 10 lamps with 14-inch reflectors, 1838; Fourth Order, Fresnel, 1859
Fog Signal: Fog bell (1,200 pounds); mechanically struck, 1898

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

Pass Manchac Light, 19th century: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "PASS MANCHAC"; no date; Photo No. 327; photographer unknown.

Pass Manchac Light, 1914: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Pass Manchac L.S. Louisiana."; photo dated 5 August 1914; photographer unknown.  Panoramic view of station.

Pass Manchac Light, 1918: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Pass Manchac  May 21. 1918  Station of Camera South from Light Station Dist. 500 Feet."; Photo No. #45; photographer unknown.

Pass Manchac Light, no date: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Close-up of the tower.


POINT AU FER REEF LIGHT

Location: On the east side of Eugene Island at Point au Fer Shoal Reef -- Atchafalaya Bay
Station Established: 1827
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1916
Operational: NO
Automated: ?
Deactivated: 1975
Foundation Materials: Pile with platform pile
Construction Materials: Wood
Tower Shape: Square with octagonal lantern room
Markings/Pattern: White with black tower
Characteristic: White flashes, 6 second intervals (circa 1965)
Height: 54 feet above water level
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: 4th Order
Fog Signal: Diaphragm-type fog horn

Historical Information:

Photographs: 

Point Au Fer Reef Light, 1945: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Lights: POINT AU FER REEF LIGHT HOUSE [;] Camera Sta. Approx. East of light."; photo dated August, 1945; Photo No. 756; photo by "KOHN".

Point Au Fer Reef Light, 1963: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "PT AU FER REEF LT. STATION."; photo dated June, 1963; Photo No. 8CGD 060463-6; Photo by R. F. Gliniecki.

Point Au Fer Reef Light, 1974: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "ANT Pt. Au Fer."; photo dated 1974; Photo No. CCGD8 100874143"; photographer unknown.


POINTE AUX HERBES LIGHT

Location: SOUTH SHORE OF LAKE PONCHARTRAIN, NEAR POINT AUX HERBES, LOUISIANA
Station Established: 1875
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1875
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1945
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: UNKNOWN
Tower Shape: LANTERN ON SQUARE DWELLING
Markings/Pattern: BLACK LANTERN ON WHITE SQUARE DWELLING ON FIVE PIERS
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

POINTE AUX HERBES LIGHTHOUSE


PORT PONTCHARTRAIN LIGHT

Location: LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN 
Station Established: 1832 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1855 
Operational? NO 
Automated? NO 
Deactivated: 1929 
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PAD ON PILINGS 
Construction Materials: BRICK 
Tower Shape: HOURGLASS W/OCTAGONAL LANTERN 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/RED LANTERN 
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE 
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER FRESNEL 1857 

Historical Information:

Keepers: 

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

PORT PONTCHARTRAIN LIGHTHOUSE


SABINE PASS LIGHT

Location: LOUISIANA SIDE OF SABINE PASS/NE TEXAS BORDER 
Station Established: 1856 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1856 
Operational? NO 
Automated? UNK 
Deactivated: 1952 
Foundation Materials: SIX BRICK BUTTRESSES 
Construction Materials: BRICK 
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL 
Markings/Pattern: WHITE/BLACK STRIPES "ROCKET SHIP" 
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE 
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society.

Photographs: 

SABINE PASS LIGHTHOUSE


SABINE PASS EAST JETTY LIGHT

Location: ON THE SOUTH END OF JETTY, 29 38.7' N x 93 49.4' W
Station Established: 1908
Year First Lit: 1924
Operational: Yes
Automated: N/A (never manned; once maintained by the keeper of the Sabine Pass Lighthouse).
Deactivated: 
Tower Shape/Markings/Pattern: Red, square, skeleton structure on piles on concrete block.
Height: 50'
Original Lens: 500mm
Characteristic: 
Fog Signal: Bell; 1 stroke every 20 seconds

Photographs: 

SABINE PASS EAST JETTY LIGHT


SHIP SHOAL LIGHT

Location: 10 MILES SOUTH OF GRAND ISLE 
Station Established: 1859 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1859 
Operational? NO 
Automated? YES 1950 
Deactivated: 1972 
Foundation Materials: SCREW PILE W/PLATFORM 
Construction Materials: CAST IRON 
Tower Shape: SKELETAL W/CYLINDER 
Markings/Pattern: BROWN 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: SECOND ORDER 

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

SHIP SHOAL LIGHTHOUSE


SOUTH PASS RANGE FRONT LIGHT

Location: MISSISSIPPI RIVER 
Station Established: 1919 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1947 
Operational? NO 
Automated? UNK 
Deactivated: 
Foundation Materials: 
Construction Materials: 
Tower Shape: SKELETAL 
Markings/Pattern: 
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE 
Original Lens: 

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

SOUTH PASS EAST JETTY LIGHT WITH FOG SIGNAL BUILDING

SOUTH PASS EAST JETTY LIGHT WITHOUT FOG SIGNAL BUILDING

SOUTH PASS WEST JETTY LIGHT


SOUTH PASS RANGE LIGHTS

Location: ENTRANCE TO MISSISSIPPI RIVER 
Station Established: 1831 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1881; Second Tower: 1947 
Operational? YES 
Automated? YES 1971 
Deactivated: n/a 
Foundation Materials: PILINGS 
Construction Materials: IRON 
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE BELOW GALLERY, BLACK ABOVE 
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

1831 SOUTH PASS RANGE LIGHT TOWER

1881 SOUTH PASS RANGE LIGHT TOWER


SOUTHWEST PASS ENTRANCE LIGHT

Location: SOUTHWEST PASS ENTRANCE 
Station Established: 1831 
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1962 
Operational? YES 
Automated? YES 1985 
Deactivated: n/a 
Foundation Materials: PILE/TIMBER 
Construction Materials: CONCRETE/STEEL 
Tower Shape: TEXAS TOWER 
Markings/Pattern: TOWER ON WHITE DWELLING ON PILES 
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL 
Original Lens: FIRST ORDER 

Historical Information:

Keepers:

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

1840 SOUTHWEST PASS ENTRANCE LIGHT TOWER

1873 SOUTHWEST PASS ENTRANCE LIGHT TOWER

1962 SOUTHWEST PASS ENTRANCE LIGHT TOWER


SOUTHWEST REEF LIGHT

Location: ATCHAFALAYA BAY, NEAR BERWICK, LOUISIANA
Station Established: 1858
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1858
Operational? NO
Automated? N/A
Deactivated: 1916
Foundation Materials: PILE WITH TWO PLATFORMS
Construction Materials: IRON PLATE
Tower Shape: SQUARE PYRAMIDAL SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: RED, PLATFORM WITH BUNGALOW
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL LENS

Historical Information:

Photographs: 

SOUTHWEST REEF LIGHTHOUSE


TCHEFUNCTE RIVER RANGE LIGHTS

Location: North side of Lake Ponchartrain
Station Established: 1838
First Lit: 1868
Operational: Yes
Automated: Yes- 1952
Deactivated: No
Foundation Material: Stone
Construction Material: Brick
Tower Shape: Conical 
Markings: White with vertical black stripe
Relationship to Other Structures: Separate
Original Lens: 1868
Tower Height: 43 feet
Range: – 
Original Optic: Fifth Order Fresnel lens 
Present Optic: 250 mm
Characteristic: White light 3 seconds on and 3 seconds off
First Keeper: Benjamin Thurston
Current Use: Active aid to navigation – Plans to part of the Museum
Fog Signal: None but had a bell tower
National Register Status

Historical Information:

Researched and written by Linda Herman, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.

Photographs: 

1838 Tchefuncte River Range Rear Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); no caption, date, Photo No. 326; photographer unknown.

1857 Tchefuncte River Range Rear Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "Chefunctie May 19.1918  N&E from camera Dist. 200 ft. [;] Station of Camera W. W. From Light Station Dist. 200 Feet."; Photo dated 19 May 1918; Photo No. "#10"; photographer unknown.

1857 Tchefuncte River Range Rear Light: (75 dpi); Original caption: "Chefuncte Rear Rg Lt Sta. . . Taken from wharf at 50 ft."; photo dated 29 December 1937; photo by "C.R. Mauteer [sp?]."


TIMBALIER BAY (LITTLE PASS) LIGHT

Location: TIMBALIER BAY
Station Established: 1857
Year Current Tower First Lit: 1917
Operational: No
Automated: 1939
Deactivated: 1950s
Tower Shape/Markings/Pattern: Square cylindrical tower on roof of dwelling
Height: 30' (1903)
Original Lens: Lens lantern (1903)
Characteristic: Flashing white
Fog Signal: 

Historical Information:

  • On August 3, 1854, Congress appropriated $15,000 "for a light station to mark the entrance to Timbalier Bay and for coast purposes." The lighthouse was reported completed in 1857. 

  • During the Civil War the light was discontinued. Upon the occupation of the southern portion of Texas by Union forces in 1864, application was made by the military authorities for the reestablishment of the Timbalier light. Measures were promptly inaugurated to ascertain the condition and necessities of the station and suitable illuminating apparatus was sent to be put in position when requisite repairs had been completed. 

  • The tower was described in 1867 as built upon a low sand beach near the point of Timbalier Island which, by that year, had been encroached upon by the sea until it was entirely surrounded by water.

  • By February 1867 the tower was in danger of falling and workmen were sent to take down the lens and establish a beacon on top of the dwelling. On the 29th and 30th of March 1867, during a hurricane, the dwelling, together with the tower, and everything about the station was leveled to the ground and covered with 3 to 6 feet of water. The keepers barely escaped with their lives and lived for some days in an iron can buoy. 

  • Congress appropriated $50,000 for a new lighthouse on March 3, 1869, followed by two similar amounts in 1871 and 1873. A final appropriation of $15,000 was made in 1874. With $120,000 of these appropriations a new iron screw-pile lighthouse, with focal plane 125 feet above sea level, was completed by January 1875. The new lighthouse was placed in the water inside the island, which acted as an effective breakwater. The design was a skeleton frame work with a spiral stairway, enclosed by sheet iron, giving access to the lantern and provided with a keeper’s dwelling in the lower part of the tower. The lens was a second-order, showing a fixed white light varied by red flashes.

  • In 1894 the light tower was undermined by the scouring of the channel and on the morning of January 23, 1894, it canted over. The illuminating apparatus was saved but was in damaged condition. An attempt was made to take the dismantled tower to pieces and save it, but owing to the inability of the lighthouse tender to approach near enough to the wreck, the work was discontinued and the lighthouse was abandoned. The Lighthouse Board decided that requirements of navigation were not such as to justify the rebuilding of the tower, but decided to use instead a lens-lantern light.

  • The present structure was rebuilt in 1917. It is a white square tower on a wooden dwelling built on piles and stands in 6 feet of water off the north side of the east end of the island. The light was changed to unwatched operation in 1939 and consisted of an 850-candlepower light which was 56 feet above the water and could be seen 13 miles, flashing white every 4 seconds. The building was later used as a daybeacon but was destroyed by hurricane Juan in 1985.

Photographs: 

TIMBALIER LIGHTHOUSE


WEST RIGOLETS LIGHT

Location: Rigolets Channel, Lake Pontchartrain
Station Established: 1855
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1855
Operational: No
Automated: n/a
Deactivated: 1939
Foundation Materials: Pilings
Construction Materials: Wood
Tower Shape: Round lantern on square house
Markings/Pattern: White house, black lantern
Characteristic: Fixed white
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: Fifth Order
Fog Signal: None

Historical Information:

  • 1855: Station completed.
  • 1859: Sustained considerable damage during the storm of 15 August 1859.
  • 1861: The light was extinguished on 6 July 1861.  A temporary ship's lantern showed from the lighthouse in late November, 1862, in support of the Union Navy's activities on the lake.
  • 1862: Keeper Thomas Harrison, on the second night of his job, was shot and killed by unknown assailants.  He was the first (and only) keeper to die his post during the Civil War.
  • 1863: The station was "fully renovated" and a Fifth Order lens was operational.  The keeper at this time was John M. Read, who served for 36 years.  After his death his widow, Anna Read, took over as keeper.
  • 1939: Discontinued as a manned light station on 1 December 1939.  "Replaced by a light on piles."  Other sources list this change as occurring in 1946.
  • 1946: Station was assigned to the Farm Credit Administration on 14 May 1946.
  • Station was sold to a private owner at some point.
  • Rigolets Light #5 is considered to be the "ancestor" of the West Rigolets Light.  It rested in six feet of water off the point on the south side of the west end of the Rigolets.
  • 2005: The original station was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Photographs

West Rigolites Light, 19th century: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi); Original caption: "RIGOLETS."; no date/photo number; photographer unknown, 19th century photo.

West Rigolites Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi): No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Station is flooded after a storm; cisterns and other out buildings are visible.

West Rigolites Light: (75 dpi) ; (300 dpi): No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Station is flooded after a storm.


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Last Modified 11/17/2014