Lighthouses Along the Gulf Coast

I started thinking about lighthouses on the Gulf when I read an article about the local bureaucrats wanting to move the Middle Bay Lighthouse from Mobile Bay inland.  They’d do some restoration and then open it to the public.  Currently it seems to have weathered the storms and is only viewable from a boat.  But, so is the Sand Island Lighthouse.  I think they should all stay were they are.  

So I made a list of lighthouses, from Texas to Florida’s Dry Tortugas, that are still standing.   Some may not be working but they’re still standing.  The Louisiana list was confusing because there are so many lights listed (many of which have fallen) and some replaced, not by another light “house” but by a light on a pyramid-shaped skeleton tower.  I don’t know how to classify that so I left you the website I liked and you can figure out how you’d like to classify them.  Unfortunately, it seems while other states have a historic preservation fund or organization to repair and maintain the lighthouses, Louisiana doesn’t.  Some towns have taken it upon themselves to fix/restore/move lighthouses in their vicinity.  I applaud them.  Many were lost to Katrina either during the storm or later as a result of damage.  

Here’s my list:

Alabama has 3: Mobile Point Lighthouse, Sand Island Lighthouse  and Middle Bay Lighthouse.  The website is www.alabamalighthouses.com

Mississippi has 3: Round Island, Biloxi Light and Ship Island.

Florida has : Pensacola Light (which I hear is haunted), St. Joseph Point, Cape San Blas, Cape St. George, Dog island, Crooked River Light, St. Marks, Cedar Keys Light, Anclote Key Ligh, Egmont Key Lighthouse, Gasparilla Lighthouse, Boca Grand Lighthouse,

Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum

Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum

Sanibel island Lighthouse, Alligator Reef, Sombrero Key, American Shoal, Key West Lighthouse, Sand Key Lighthouse, Northwest Passage, Rebecca Light, Shoal Harbor, Tortugas, Dry Tortugas and Old Dry Torgugas Light. 

Sanibel Light

Sanibel Light

Check out www.floridalighthouses.org for a map of all the state’s lighthouses.  Of course, there are more along the east coast, but I write about the Gulf Coast.

Texas has 5: Aransas Pass, Half Moon Reef,  Bolivar Point, Matagorda Island, and Point Isabel. Sabine Pass Light was demolished in 2002 but the lantern and watchroom were restored and are on display in Sabine Pass. 

Louisiana has 12:  New Canal Light, Pass A L’Outre Light, Pass Manchac Light , Port Ponchartrain, Southwest Reef Light, Ship Shoal, Tchefuncte River,  1839 Southwest Pass Light, 1871 Southwest Pass  Entrance Light,  Southwest Pass 2, Sabine Pass Lighthouse , Hibernia Bank Light.  There are others but I don’t know if you’d call them lighthouses or just lights.  They are skeletons on a platform with a light at the top.  You decide.  You’ll find more detailed info about the lighthouses, current skeleton-frame lights and the fate of many on this website: http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/la.htm  

The website listed above is The Lighthouse Directory and has stories about lighthouses and lights around the globe.  Simply scroll to the bottom of the Louisiana page and click the link to the index.  Also I’ve found www.lighthousefriends.com to be fairly accurate and interesting.

If you collect lighthouse items, the Post Office has a series of lighthouse stamps.  I like them.

Edited 3/14/10 (Pi Day): I recently saw an article in the local paper about the Middle Bay Lighthouse.  It has been decided the lighthouse will stay where it is and will undergo some restoration.  Check out this link for the article: http://blog.al.com/live/2010/02/middle_bay_lighthouse.html

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