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Proctorsville Lighthouse

1848 – In Louisiana. - For a bug-light at Proctorsville, on Lake Borgne, five hundred dollars

1849 - SIR: In continuation of the report which I had the honor to submit to the honorable Committee on Commerce of the Seriate, under date of the 15th December, 1848, in relation to the execution of the law of the 14th August, 1848, entitled "An act making appropriations for lighthouses, light-boats, buoys, &c, and providing for the erection and establishment of the same," and which report was printed by order of the Senate at the special session in March, 1849, and numbered one, I now proceed to detail what has been done under the several appropriations, beginning with:

For a bug-light at Proctorsville, Lake Borgne, $500. The appropriation being insufficient, nothing has been done in the case.

1853 – Extract from the report of Captain D. Leadbetter, corps of engineers, light-house inspector, 8th district, dated Mobile, Alabama, November 21, 1853.

For the next year I am at present prepared to offer only the following project:

For new light-house at Port Pontchartrain - - - $6,000

Do do Bayou St. John - - - 6,000

Do do New Canal .... 6,000

For beacon-light at Proctorsville .... 3,000

With regard to the new light-houses proposed on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain and at Proctorsville, it need only be said that those now existing are wholly worthless, and are being repaired at this time, only in the hope of making them serve till new ones can be built.

1853 -INSPECTOR'S OFFICE, 8TH LIGHTHOUSE DISTRICT,Mobile, Alabama, November 26, 1853. SIR: By the enclosed letter, received this morning from W. Alex. Gordon, esq., president of the Mexican Gulf Railroad, and keeper of the beacon-light at Proctorsville, Louisiana, I learn that this latter establishment was destroyed by fire on the night of the 23d-24th instant.

A description of it will be found in my report of inspection last spring. The building was of no value, except as being available till another could be erected.

I shall direct Mr. Gordon to keep up the light, in the manner which he has adopted, and shall visit the place soon.

Very truly, sir, your obedient servant,
D. LEADBETTER, Captain Engineers, Inspector 8th District.
Captain E. L. F. HARDCASTLE,
Secretary Lighthouse Board, Washington.

1854 - This establishment having been destroyed by fire, its place has been temporarily supplied by a glass lantern suspended from a pole 36 feet above the water.

1856 – The works at Southwest Cape and St. Vincent island, Florida, and at Proctorsville, Louisiana, are delayed for want of perfect titles to the sites.

1857 – No titles have been obtained as yet to the sites of the lights authorized on St. Joseph's island, Southwest cape, St. George's sound, at Proctorsville, Amite river, or at St. Andrew's bay.

1858 – The small beacon light at Proctorsville has been erected on land belonging to the United States, and is lighted.

1860 – By the gale of the 11th August the light-houses at Bayou St. John and Proctorsville, Louisiana, were entirely destroyed, and the light-houses at Cat island. Round island, Pascagoula, Choctaw point, Rigolets, and Mobile point, sustained considerable damage from that and the storm of the 15th of the same month.

1860 - On the 11th and 12th of September last, a heavy gale occurred on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, destroying entirely the light-houses at Bayou St. John and Proctorsville, Louisiana, (the keepers of the latter station being drowned,) and doing much damage to the lights at Round island and Cat island, on the coast of Mississippi.

1862 - Steps have been taken to repair damage done to the lights at Ship island, Cat island, St. Joseph's, Pleasanton head, Proctorsville, Rigolets, Bon Tonea, Port Pontchartrain, Bayou St. John, New Canal, Tchefuucti river, and Pass Manchac, and it is hoped and expected that by the 1st of January, 1863, all of these lights will be re-exhibited. The other lights and the buoys in this district will be restored as rapidly as circumstances shall warrant.

1868 – Proctorsville.—Destroyed in the hurricane of 1860 and not re-established. This station is comparatively unimportant, and a wooden structure, of an inexpensive character, would answer every requirement.

1871 – For Proctorsville light-station: Raising and repairing the lighthouse at Proctorsville, Louisiana, five thousand dollars.

360. Proctorville Beacon.—The available appropriation,($5,000) for a building on the plan of the Light-house at Head of the Passes, placed, on a pile foundation, is insufficient, and if, on further examination, it is found best to place the Light at this point, the appropriation should be increased to $7,500.

Since the last annual report a canal has been made by a company called the “Mississippi and Mexican Gulf Canal Company,” with the intention of affording a passage to vessels of ten feet draught, from the Mississippi River into Lake Borgne. The northern terminus of this canal adjoins Tower Dupre, on which the Light destined for the old site at Proctorville, the former terminus of the abandoned Mexican Gulf Railway, might be placed with much greater advantage to commerce and navigation. There would probably be made no military objection to the placing of a Light on the tower itself.

The canal, though finished the entire distance, has not yet been connected by locks with the Mississippi River, nor has it attained, at its entrance into Lake Borgne, the projected depth of ten feet. The canal is, however, useful, for light-draught vessels, from Lake Borgne, and thus furnishes a harbor of refuge, which Proctorville is not. The appropriation, though insufficient for the structure contemplated on the original site, is sufficient for establishing a serviceable Light on Tower Dupre, and it is therefore recommended that a re-appropriation should be made of the amount now available, and that the Board be empowered to place the Light at Tower Dupre or at Proctorville, as may be found advisable.

Keepers: Cary Watkins (1850 – at least 1857), W. Alex Gordon (1858), Charles Combret (1858 – at least 1871).

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