Amite River

Year Established:
1882
Existing:
No
Source:
LL-1908

LOCATION

Location:
Amite River Mouth/lake Maurepas
Latitude:
30° 33.25'
Longitude:
90° 85.19'
City / Town:
Port Vincent
U.S. State:
Louisiana
Country:
United States

OWNER & ACCESS

Open to Public:
No
Light List Data:
  1. Amite River
Light list data courtesy Gary Riemenschneider

STRUCTURE

Year Tower Established:
1882
Tower Construction Material:
Wood
Tower Foundation:
Four Piles
Height of light above mean high water, in feet:
45
Tower Daymark:
White on Brown Piles
Fog Signal Building?:
No
Keeper's Quarters?:
No

OPTICS

Active Aid to Navigation?:
No
Original Optic Type:
Tubular Post Lantern
Year Original Lens Installed:
1882
Private Aid:
No
USCG Access to Optics:
No

Comments:

Though the name "Amite" is derived from the Choctaw word Hamitta, which means "young," the Amite River certainly has a lot of history. In the late 1700s, the banks of the Amite were ripe with sugar cane; later they held cotton fields. In the first decade of the 1800s, a Spanish trading settlement sprang up at the mouth of the river, guarded by a dozen Spaniards and a few bad cannon. In the War of 1812, General Andrew Jackson's men blocked Bayou Manchac above the Amite to prevent the British from reaching the Mississippi. 

Despite its interesting and diverse history, the Amite River was not marked by a light until the 1880s. The Lighthouse Board had received funds to mark the Amite as early as 1856, but as they were unable to acquire land for the station, the project was abandoned. Soon, the Civil War prompted a shift in priorities, and it was not until 1880 that the Board once again petitioned Congress for the money to build a light on the Amite. Congress offered $3,000, and though the amount was small, the Board was able to erect a minimal station in 1882. 

Just after the station's completion, the entire structure settled two and a half feet into the cypress bog. It was raised and the pile foundation improved. It is somewhat debatable if the structure raised on the Amite can even be called a lighthouse. There was a light and there was a house. The Amite's keepers hoisted a small tubular lantern on a mast over the dwelling's roof, 45 feet above the lake.

The station was replaced in 1934 by an automated acetylene lamp.


Entered by:
t.wheeler
Entered Date:
Jan 15, 2018