Home Maps Resources Calendar About
Resources Calendar About
Point au Fer, LA  Lighthouse destroyed.   

Select a photograph to view a photo gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

See our full List of Lighthouses in Louisiana

Point au Fer Lighthouse

1915 – Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La.—The act of October 22, 1913, appropriated $50,000 for erecting aids to navigation on the Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La. By letter of November 30, 1914, the War Department advised the Department of Commerce that a portion of the land along the Point Au Fer Reef had been transferred for lighthouse purposes (for the site of the Point Au Fer Reef Lighthouse). Plans and specifications were prepared for the construction of a lighthouse, with fourth-order light and bell fog signal, on 25 iron-cased piles; a carbide house, boathouse, boatways, wharf and walks on Point Au Fer Reef, two lighted beacons each on nine iron-cased piles along the channel in the Gulf outside of the reef, and three lighted beacons each on four iron-cased piles along the channel in Atchafalaya Bay. Amount expended to June 30, 1915, $2,685.

1916 – New fourth-order light stations, each with a fog bell, were placed in commission at Rondout North Dike, Hudson River, N.Y., and Point au Fer Reef, Atchafalaya Entrance, La.

1916 – Atchafalaya Entrance Channel La.—The act of October 22, 1913, appropriated $50,000 for erecting aids to navigation in Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La., and contractor commenced driving foundation piles for Point au Fer Reef Lighthouse on December 4, 1915, and the construction of Point au Fer Reef Lighthouse and Atchafalaya Entrance Channel Lights Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, and 2, La., was completed on May 7, 1916. The foregoing contract was completed at a cost of $18,749.75. The construction of a launch and the establishment of gas-lighted buoys along this channel has not yet been completed, although necessary steps have been taken in these matters. Amount expended to June 30, 1916, $19,616.69.

1916 – ATCHAFALAYA ENTRANCE CHANNEL, LA.

Purpose—To properly mark the recently completed dredged channel leading from the Gulf of Mexico through Atchafalaya Bay to the mouth of the Atchafalaya River, Point au Fer Reef Light and Fog-Signal Station and Atchafalaya Entrance Channel Lights Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, and 2 were established on May 10 and 13, 1916. In addition to these aids, a number of gas-lighted buoys will be purchased and placed along this channel.

Site.—Point au Fer Reef Light and Fog Signal Station is situated on Eugene Island on the westerly side of the dredged channel midway of its length. The island is 2 to 5 feet above mean high water and consists of shells and mud. The five beacon lights, are on submarine sites about equidistant (with the main light) along the channel, the bottoms at all these locations consisting mainly of soft, sticky mud with sand.

Structures.—The structures consist of a light and fog-signal station, carbide house, boathouse, boat ways; wharf, etc., and five lighted beacons.

The light and fog-signal station consists of a wooden platform 32 feet square and 17 feet above mean high water, resting on 25 iron-cased, creosoted piles and supporting a story and a half frame dwelling surmounted by a square frame tower. This tower supports a fourth-order octagonal straight bar lantern whose focal plane is 364 feet above the platform.

Of the five beacon lights, the two outside beacons consist of wooden platforms 20 feet square and 15 feet above mean high water, each resting on nine iron-cased, creosoted piles and supporting square pyramidal horizontally slatted structures. These structures support lens lanterns whose focal planes are 20 feet above the platform. The three inside beacons consist of wooden platforms 15 feet square and 12 feet above mean high water, each resting on 4 iron-cased, creosoted piles and supporting superstructures similar to those above; the focal planes of the lens lanterns are 25 feet above the platform.

Illuminating apparatus.—That for Point au Fer Reef Light Station consists of a fourth-order fixed lens giving a fixed white light. The intensity of the light is rated at 2,900 candles, the focal plane is 54 feet above mean high water, and the light is visible 13 miles in clear weather. A 35 mm., type B, 2-tank, incandescent oil-vapor lamp furnishes the light.

Those for the five beacon lights consist of the standard five-day lens lantern, showing fixed white lights. The intensity of the lights is rated at 160 candles. The focal planes are 35 feet above mean high water, and the lights are visible 9 miles in clear weather. Single-wick mineral lamps furnish the light in each case.

Fog signal.—This consists of a 1,000-pound bell located on the platform of Point au Fer Reef Light Station and struck by machinery one blow every 20 seconds.

Quarters.—The quarters for the three keepers are located at the main light on Eugene Island. The first floor, located on the platform, consists of a kitchen or living room, a bedroom, bathroom, and room for the fog-signal machinery. There are two bedrooms on the second floor. The single room on the third floor in the square tower is the watch room for the lantern. Two 1,500-gallon water tanks are located on the platform of the main light, and the latter is connected by a system of elevated walks with the oil or carbide house, boathouse, and wharf. Supplies are landed at the wharf from the tender.

Cost.—The station was established under the act of October 22, 1913, appropriating $50,000. The total cost is $39,320.40. The work which was carried out under contract was commenced in September, 1915, and practically completed in May, 1916. The gas-lighted buoys mentioned above and a motor boat will be placed in commission at a later date.

1917 – Aids to navigation. Atchafalaya Entrance Channel La.—The act of October 22, 1913, appropriated $50,000 for establishing aids to navigation in Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La. During the preceding fiscal year, which ended June 30, 1916, Point au Fer Reef Lighthouse and Atchafalaya Entrance Channel Lights Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9. and 2 were completed. Requisition has been made for the necessary gas-lighted buoys, and an order has been placed with the United States naval station, New Orleans, La., for the construction of a 42-foot motor launch. The buoys have not yet been received and the launch has not been completed. Amount expended to June 30, 1917. $32,708.59.

1918 - Aids to navigation, Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La.—The act of October 22, 1913, appropriated $50,000 for establishing aids to navigation in Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1916, Point Au Fer Reef Lighthouse and Atchafalaya Entrance Channel Lights Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 2 were completed. A 42-foot motor launch was completed by the United States Naval Station, New Orleans, La., during the fiscal year 1918, at a cost of $6,951.71. Requisition for the necessary gas-lighted buoys has been partly filled at end of year. Amount expended to June 30, 1918. $36,383.59.

1919 - Aids to navigation, Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La.—The act of October 22, 1913, appropriated $50,000 for establishing aids to navigation in Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1916, Point Au Fer Reef Lighthouse and Atchafalaya Entrance Channel Lights Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 2 were completed. A 42-foot motor launch was completed by the United States Naval Station, New Orleans, La., during the fiscal year 1918, at a cost of $6,951.71. Amount expended to June 30, 1919. $40,995.06.

1920 - Aids to navigation, Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La.—The act of October 22, 1913, appropriated $50,000 for establishing aids to navigation in Atchafalaya Entrance Channel, La. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1916, Point Au Fer Reef Lighthouse and Atchafalaya Entrance Channel Lights Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 2 were completed. A 42-foot motor launch was completed by the United States Naval Station, New Orleans, La., during the fiscal year 1918, at a cost of $6,951.71. Amount expended to June 30, 1920. $48,119.97.

1976 - The light was deactivated and replaced by a skeleton tower in 1975. The Coast Guard offered the decommissioned lighthouse to the South Lafourche Cultural and Historical Society, but when they declined, the Coast Guard burned it down.

Keepers:

  • Head: Louis Buras (1916 – 1917), Joseph M. Waits (at least 1919 – at least 1921), Peter Duay (1926 – 1942).
  • First Assistant: Louis Buras (1916), Joseph M. Waits (at least 1917), Sullivan R. White (1918 – 1925), Peter Duay (1926), Lee O. Price (1931 – 1943).
  • Second Assistant: Walter W. Legge (at least 1917), Sullivan R. White (1918).

Copyright © 2001- Lighthousefriends.com
Pictures on this page copyright Coast Guard, used by permission.
email Kraig