Lighthouse Tour of the Gulf Coast 2009
Chandeleur Lighthouse Lens
Located on the eastern rim of the Pontchartrain Basin, the Chandeleur islands were named by the French explorer Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur d'lberville. He sailed past the islands on February 1, 1700, the eve of the religious celebration known in English as Candlemas Day and known in French as "La Fete de la Chandeleur". The ceremoniously named islands mark the way to the current Mississippi River entrance.
Cathedral of St. Louis, King of France
The first church on this site designed by Adrien De Pauger was erected 1724-1727 and was destroyed in the great fire of 1788. The second church - a gift of Don Andres Almonester Y Roxas was designed by Gilberto Guillemard. This church served until it was enlarged and essentially rebuilt in 1849 from designs of J.N.B. De Pouilly, Architect. Designated as the Metropolitan Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1850. On December 9, 1964, Pope Paul VI bestowed upon it the rank of Minor Basilica
Consturction began in 1856, was lit in 1859 and is still in use at the present time. This lighthouse replaced the original lighthouse built in 1824, the first lighthouse on the Gulf Coast.
Mobile Point Lighthouse 4th Order Fresnel Lens 1873-1966
Mobile Point's first lighthouse was a 55-foot brick tower constructed in 1822. The fourth order lens with twenty one lamps and fourteen inch reflectors was visible from twelve to fourteen miles at sea. Because the Mobile Point light was equivalent to a common harbor light the Lighthouse Board made the decision to erect a new seacoast light with a more powerful first order lens on Sand Island.
The Mobile Point light received a new fourth order Fresnel lens in 1858 and its status was confirmed as a harbor light. After the start of the Civil War the Confederate Ligthhouse Service removed the lens and shipped it to Montgomery for safekeeping.
In August 1864 the brick light tower became the target of Union artillery during the seige of Fort Morgan. By the time of the fort's surrender on August 23 the lighthouse had suffered irreparable damage. After the war the U.S. Lighthouse Board ordered the damaged tower demolished.
In late 1872 work began on a new Mobile Point light tower. The Lighthouse Service shipped the lattice work tower to Mobile Point in November. Workmen erected the tower during January 1873 and placed the 1858 fourth order lens in the lantern house. On February 15, 1873 the fixed red beacon was lighted for the first time.
The Mobile Point light served as a guide to mariners until 1966 when it was extinguished for the last time and replaced by an automated rotating beacon.