Digest>Archives> February 2003

Frank’s Island Lighthouse Has Disappeared

Another lighthouse is lost forever


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Frank’s Island Lighthouse in Louisiana in 1995. ...
Photo by: Bob and Sandra Shanklin

Louisiana’s Frank’s Island Lighthouse, the first lighthouse built in the Gulf of Mexico and the second tower at that site has collapsed into the ocean according to recent reports. The lighthouse has been on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of endangered lighthouses since we began publishing the list over ten years ago.

Completed in March of 1823 it replaced the Lightship Aurora Borealis. With 30 lamps elevated at 82 feet above sea level it was the tallest and most powerful light on the Gulf Coast. The lighthouse was discontinued in 1855 and never used again. For 148 years it sat empty, unused, abandoned and neglected. Over the years the island that it was on disappeared and soon the tower was sitting it water that got higher and higher each year.

Over the years others and we have done extensive research on this lighthouse. We have never been able to find any photos of keepers or family members who lived there or photographs of the tower when it had its lantern room. They either never existed or were lost in time. Now also, the lighthouse is gone and with it another part of America’s lighthouse history.

Thanks to Bob and Sandra Shanklin, www.thelighthousepeople.com, through their contacts, were the first to report the old beacon had collapsed and met its sad demise.

This story appeared in the February 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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