There are hundreds of lighthouses strewn across America, and many grace the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Texas, however, is home to only one of them open to the public today: the Port Isabel Lighthouse. The Port Isabel Lighthouse stands at the southern point of the Texas Gulf Coast and operates today as a historic site.
History of the Port Isabel Lighthouse
The Point Isabel area was discovered by Spanish explorers in 1519, and Spain established control of the region in the 1700s. In 1846 during the Mexican-American War, American General Zachary Taylor moved troops into the area, and Point Isabel functioned as an American supply depot until the end of the conflict in 1848. With the advent of heavy shipping traffic, a lighthouse became a necessity. The U.S. Congress authorized the construction of the Port Isabel Lighthouse, and construction began by 1851. The Lighthouse was completed in 1853.
The Port Isabel Lighthouse features heavy brick walls and a stationary white light that can be seen for nearly 16 miles. It served as an observation post during the Civil War, guided commercial vessels during the following decades, and was abandoned in 1905 due to a decline in shipping traffic.
The Port Isabel Lighthouse Today
The Port Isabel Lighthouse was donated to the state of Texas in 1950 and today functions as a historic site that draws visitors from near and far. The Lighthouse is open daily, so for a one-of-a-kind and historical experience with the family, head there today.
Need a vehicle to make your trek out to the lighthouse? Contact us at Tipton Ford.