Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lighthouse Series - Sabine Bank, TX

 The Sabine Bank Lighthouse was first opened in 1906 along the banks of the Sabine River.  The Sabine River is the boundary between Texas and Louisiana.  In the Gulf of Mexico, there is a hidden bank that lies twenty feet below the surface of the water (30 miles long X 5 miles wide).  The lighthouse was created to warn vessels of the danger.
Before the lighthouse was constructed, ships would run aground. The lighthouse stood fifty feet tall.  Lighthouse keepers would spend weeks or months at a time before a shift change.  This was one reason it was so difficult to find attendants. A hurricane in 1915 caused major destruction, contaminating the drinking water.  The lightkeeper and attendants remained as long as they could because of the need to keep the light on.  They were awarded commendations by the Secretary of Congress.  The light was repaired and withstood more hurricanes.  In 1922 a lantern was used to activate the light and the last keepers left the station.  In 1924 the light went out and it was determined that a hawk built a nest in the unoccupied light.  During WWII the tower was occupied as a lookout station.  In 1960 it was made into a lamp using a battery.  The lighthouse was still unoccupied, but without the daily maintenance, it fell into disarray. In 1971 the station was converted to solar power.
In 2001 the Coast Guard solicited bids for reconfiguring the lighthouse.  Estimates ran upwards of $1,000,000. It was then determined to close it.  Preservationists removed the top of the lighthouse and placed it in a park.

No comments: