Posts Tagged Lighthouse

Historic Port Isabel Lighthouse Gets Needed Repairs: Scheduled Reopening Date late May / early June

1 March 2017

The historic Port Isabel Lighthouse, which has been closed since October 2016 in preparation, begins the re-stuccoing process today (March 1, 2017). A reopening date of late May / early June has been tentatively set.

March 1, 2017. Port Isabel lighthouse begins re-stuccoing.

 

HISTORY:

The Port Isabel Lighthouse has long been a dominant feature at the southern tip of the Texas Gulf Coast. Its heavy brick walls have stood against the elements for more than a century, and for most of that time, its light has been a familiar aid to seafarers.

This area, long known to coastal Barrado Indians, was discovered by the Spanish explorer Pineda in 1519 while on a mapping expedition of the Gulf shores. Spanish control was established here in the late 1700s, as ranchers began moving into the vicinity from Mexico. By the 1830s a small settlement El Fronton de Santa Isabella, served as headquarters for a large Mexican ranch owned by Don Rafael Garcia.

The Point Isabel region passed almost uneventfully through the period of the Texas Republic to statehood, but it gained widespread attention in 1846. In late April, General Zachary Taylor moved his troops into this area north of the Rio Grande when hostilities between the United States and Mexico seemed imminent. Within two weeks war had begun. The opening battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma were fought north of present-day Brownsville. Point Isabel received the wounded form these initial struggles and served as an American supply depot for the duration of the war.

1930s photo of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse.

The point continued in use after the war to supply two military stations on the Rio Grande–Fort Brown and Ringgold Barracks. Because of the heavy shipping traffic through Brazos Santiago Pass to Point Isabel, a navigational light became a necessity. Land at the point was made available by the War Department, money was authorized by Congress, and construction of a lighthouse was underway by 1851. Two years later, the brick tower had been completed and was topped by a stationary white light that could be seen for almost 16 miles. The Civil War brought armed conflict once again to Point Isabel. Confederate forces held this area in the early stages of the war but gave way in 1863 to Federal troops who were sent to strengthen the blockade on Southern shipping. Both sides used the lighthouse as an observation post. At nearby Palmetto Ranch, Union and Rebel soldiers clashed on May 13, 1865, more than a month after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, in what has since been acknowledged as the last battle of the war.

1940s picture postcard of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse.In 1866 the lighthouse was repaired and relit. For the next two decades its beacon guided large numbers of commercial vessels to southernmost Texas. The light was extinguished between 1888 and 1894 during negotiations over ownership of the site; when finally reactivated, its years of service were numbered. The lighthouse was abandoned permanently in 1905 after shipping traffic declined. And although the coast was later active with defense measures during the two world wars, the tower at Point Isabel stood a dark watch.
The lighthouse and its associated buildings were donated to the state in 1950 as a historic site by Mr. & Mrs. Lon C. Hill, Jr. and the Port Isabel Realty Company. The State Parks Board remodeled the tower by replacing the iron platform with concrete and by raising the glass dome to provide easier access for visitors. Additional repair work by the Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD Point Isabel Lighthouse Flyer) was completed in 1970. At present, the tower with its mercury-vapor light is marked on sea charts as an aid to navigation. Of sixteen lighthouses constructed along the Texas coast, Port Isabel Lighthouse is the only one now open to the public.
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Port Isabel Lighthouse.Upon Re-opening:
Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily (weather permitting). Tickets may be purchased in the Lighthouse, the Keepers Cottage (Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center), the Treasures of the Gulf Museum and the Port Isabel Historical Museum.
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Admission: Adults ($4.00); Seniors ($3.00); Students with id ($2.00). Last ticket sold 1/2 hour before closing. Children 5 & Under (must be at least 38″ and 4 years old tall to climb the lighthouse): Free.

Lighthouse Market Day! Saturday 10/8

6 October 2016

Lighthouse Market Day! Saturday, October 8, 2016. On the grounds of the historic Port Isabel lighthouse. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors!

Vendor Info: vendor-application. Call Jeannie Flores at 956/943-7602 for more information.

Port Isabel Lighthouse featured on The Texas Bucket List

4 February 2016

Season 6 Episode airs this weekend Saturday (2/6) 6:30 p.m. & Sunday (2/7) 6:30 a.m. on KRGV. This episode features the Port Isabel Lighthouse! See preview below…

Lighthouse Market Day 10/13 9-4p ~ Live Music & MORE!

11 September 2012

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, the City of Port Isabel and the Port Isabel Museums will be hosting their annual Lighthouse Market Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Lighthouse grounds.

Vendors on the Lighthouse Square will be offering a variety of food, antiques, arts & crafts, art and more. For vendor information, click here.

Special admission prices to museums and lighthouse! The Port Isabel Historical Museum and the Treasures of the Gulf Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will have a special admission price of $1.00 for each site. The Lighthouse will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. also with a special admission price of $1.00. Come join in the fun, enjoy historic Port Isabel during Lighthouse Market Day.

Vendor Space Map: http://portisabelmuseums.com/mopi/programs/lighthouse-market-day-2nd-sat-oct/lhmd-vendor-map/
Vendor Form: http://portisabelmuseums.com/mopi/programs/lighthouse-market-day-2nd-sat-oct/vendor-form/



For more information contact the Museums at (956) 943-7602 or email Jeannie Marie A. Flores at
museumdirector@copitx.com.
About—
The Lighthouse Market Day is an extension of the Museums of Port Isabel’s mission to collect, preserve, and interpret the art, history, and culture of the Laguna Madre area through preservation, educational programs, tours, exhibits, and workshops. Held annually on the second Saturday of October, Lighthouse Market Day celebrates our historic roots, our community and the beauty of the Port Isabel Lighthouse.

Live music by MEZA! Originally started as a side project for the Woodsboro High School Band in 2008, MEZA is now a versatile trio playing a variety of music such as rock, oldies and even country music. David Meza Jr. is the lead guitar and vocals. Edward Meza plays bass and David Meza, Sr. (Dad) on drums. MEZA has played many venues in the Corpus Christi area, such as The House of Rock and Disc-Go-Round, and local clubs in Woodsboro. Additionally, MEZA has won second place in the Battle of The Bands in Corpus Christi in 2009. They also have played for local benefits such as Back to School Bash, Christmas on the Square and local Church Festivals.

Lighthouse Establishment Cinema Survey

26 April 2012


The Lighthouse Establishment Cinema will begin Season 8 on June 15, 2012! Six showings are scheduled for the summer and one during Halloween and Day of the Dead weekend. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, picnics and friends and family for a memorable evening on the grounds of the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse.

The 2012 Summer Schedule includes the following dates: June 15, June 29, July 6, July 20, August 3 and August 17. All movies start on Friday at 9:30 p.m. just after the South Padre Island Fireworks display over the Laguna Madre Bay.

Please participate in our MOVIE SURVEY now through June 1st.

No more applications accepted at this time. Please call 956/943-7602 for more information.

For more information, contact the Museums of Port Isabel at 956/943-7602 or email Museum Administrator, Jeannie Marie A. Flores at museumdirector@copitx.com. NO ADMISSION CHARGE. Concessions available.
THANKS to the Museums of Port Isabel, the City of Port Isabel, the Port Isabel Economic Development Corporation and TEXAS PACK, Inc.!

If you would like to participate in a sponsorship, call the Museums of Port Isabel, Jeannie Marie A. Flores at 956/943-7602 or email museumdirector@copitx.com. (Sponsorship info> sponsor-pamplet.)

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