Efforts to restore the Sabine Pass lighthouse
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s something that many people don’t even realize we have in our community, a lighthouse. Located in Sabine Pass, the lighthouse was built in 1856 and has since weathered many storms.
“This is the first of three built like this, unfortunately, this is the last one left,” Andrew Tingler with the Cameron Preservation Alliance said.
Located in the marshlands, out of sight, sits the Sabine Pass Lighthouse, standing for well over a century and a half. It has survived Civil War battles, storm surges, and countless hurricanes.
“Erosion of the lighthouse stairwell and top started in the 1970′s,” Tingler said. “Vandals got up to the top and stripped the whole top of it off because it was copper. They broke all the windows out and allowed water to get into the tower.”
Tingler escorted our team as close as we could get, traveling through the Chenier LNG Plant on an ATV.
Currently, the lighthouse is off-limits to the public. There’s no bridge, and the only road to the lighthouse remains impassible to vehicles, and even if you do manage to get out here, you still can’t get to the lighthouse by foot.
“Once Hurricane Ike had about ten feet of water in the lighthouse, sloshing back and forth, the whole stairwell came down,” Tingler said. “Rita also put a lot of bricks off around the sides. But, after that, it’s just been a slow deterioration through the elements. Wind, rain, and everything, slowly eating away at the structure.”
Just to repair the lighthouse’s stairwell will cost nearly $100,000. For an organization made up of volunteers with a love for history, Tingler said they’re relying on the community’s help.
“We put in some stainless-steel bands to hold the structure together because we did have some cracks that were forming,” Tingler said. “Also, we appointed a lot of the masonry at the top. After that, it’s been a lot of fundraising, and that’s where we are still at today.”
Click here to learn more about the lighthouse or to donate.
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