Brazos Padre Island, Padre Island
186b_Brazos_Santiago_TX_CG1.jpg (249.03 KB)
Collection / Donor:
Padre Island/Laguna Madre Entrance
City / Town:
OWNER & ACCESS
Open to Public:
Light List Data:
Wooden Superstructure Destroyed by Fire 1940
Year Tower Established:
1853, 1854, 1864, 1879
Tower Construction Material:
Screwpile with Platform
Height of light above mean high water, in feet:
Height, in feet, from base of structure to center of lantern:
Fog Signal Building?:
Year Keeper's Quarters:
Original Optic Type:
Year Original Lens Installed:
USCG Access to Optics:
Jan 15, 2018
1853: The original tower of 1853 was an unusual construction consisting of a beacon set on 5-foot wheels resting on 19-foot oak "axletrees." This tower was likely meant to be moved regularly to account for the seasonal migrations north and south of the Brazos Santiago channel. The wood structure measured about 30 feet in height and was fixed on a 15-foot-square platform resting atop the axles. It was lit by a square copper lantern hoisted using a block and tackle.
1854: The newly formed Light-House Board was unimpressed with the beacon erected in 1853, which had been conceived and commissioned by the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, who had exercised control over the nation's lighthouse services until just prior to 1853. The Light-House Board built a more conventional timber-frame tower in 1854, and this held a fifth-order lens 35 feet above sea level. This tower was burned to the ground early in the Civil War.
1864: In order to support Union Army operations towards the end of the Civil War, Lighthouse Engineer Max F. Bonzano arranged for a prefabricated 34-foot tower to be shipped to the site and erected in 1864. This tower survived until 1874, when it collapsed during a storm, killing the keeper's wife as it fell.
1879: The final and most lasting lighthouse at this site was erected in 1879, with a metal substructure and wooden superstructure that raised its fourth-order lens to 61 feet above the sea. The light was electrified and the station automated in 1939, but in 1940 a fire destroyed the wooden superstructure. The light was moved to the nearby Coast Guard station in 1943.