In the 1920s, Point Isabel had a slogan, “Building A City Where A City Belongs”. “Free Excursions Daily” left points west of Port Isabel with potential buyers who had dreams of making a life on the southernmost coast of Texas. This shot was most likely taken from Garcia Street looking west towards the Lighthouse. The James Dickinson Company had made improvements to the downtown area which also included the structure behind the bus.
Then & Now!
On the left, an excerpt from the above photo with the bus, shows a crowd gathered on the top catwalk in the Lantern Room. They appear to be reading a broadsheet that the developer most likely affixed to the top of the Lighthouse. The glass in the windows was missing, so the visitors were left with the window frames for support! Seems it would take a determined potential buyer to trek to the top of the Lighthouse and cling to the structure to read the advertisement. On the right, a lone youngster stands on the same interior catwalk and peers east towards South Padre Island. The photo on the right was taken about 90 years after the photo on the left. At that time , the railing on the exterior catwalk had become so damaged that it had to be removed. Visitors could tour the Lighthouse but had to remain inside.
Today, the Lighthouse is open 7 days a week, weather permitting. Tickets are available at the Keeper’s Cottage Visitor Center or at the Lighthouse.