Fun facts about Louisiana

A lighthouse disappears and reappears in 1875

See that little red icon? That marks Timbalier Bay off the coast of Louisiana. From 1857 to 1941, a keeper was stationed at a lighthouse on this lonely spot to keep the light burning brightly for ships.

As you can imagine, this is a spot vulnerable to hurricanes. From time to time, the lighthouse has fallen prey to Mother Nature and had to be rebuilt.

In 1875, word came from the oystermen that the lighthouse had once again been knocked down, this time taking the keeper and his family with it. The keeper was just referred to as Judge Collin.

Days later came the happy news that the lighthouse was still there with its light burning brightly.

The deputy collector of customs wrote to a New Orleans newspaper confirming the report.

Previous to reports of the gale (and whether it was fake news), the lighthouse made the newspaper because it was fairly new and deemed “large and costly.” So, maybe the oystermen were just having a bit of fun: Ho, ho. That big, shiny lighthouse got knocked down!

From Lighthouse Friends, here are the keepers who kept the lighthouse burning bright through the years. You’ll see that Keeper Collin/Collins lasted two years before calling it quits. Very few lasted a long time at the post. While the solitude likely appeals to some, the fierceness of a Gulf storm probably quickly dulled the charms of lighthouse keeping.

  • Elijah Chester (1857 – 1859)
  • W. Taylor (1859)
  • Jacob Lottmann (1859)
  • Louis Alley (1859)
  • William Douglas (1859)
  • Thomas C. Barton (1865 – 1866)
  • B. C. Miller (1866 – )
  • F. Collins (1875 – 1876)
  • John Anderson (1876 – 1877)
  • Richard A. Fitzgerald (1877 – 1881)
  • William Munck (1881 – 1884)
  • David Conners (1884 – 1885)
  • Cornelius Canty (1885 – 1898)
  • Fred Tredup (1898 – 1905)
  • Joseph B. Brockenborough (1905 – 1906)
  • William H. Oliver (1906 – 1908)
  • John C. Gray (1908 – at least 1921)
  • Eddie M. Authemont (at least 1935 – at least 1941).

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