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Home > Features > Texas Stories > Port Isabel Lighthouse

The Old Lighthouse at Port Isabel
By Greg Fieg

The old Port Isabel Lighthouse at Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site along the Gulf Coast near the southern tip of Texas is one of only five remaining such structures in the state.

Though obsolete today, for the last half of the 19th century it was essential to the safety of the emerging state's early maritime traffic. Commissioned in 1853, the 57-foot conical brick tower has withstood hundreds of storms, including deadly sea surges, and winds exceeding 200 mph.

The more than 150-year-old lighthouse, no longer functional, still commands an unchallenged view of the Brazos Santiago Pass between the Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico and is among the most picturesque in the nation.

Fishing, boating, swimming, camping and other activities are permitted in the area. The lighthouse is open to the public throughout the year. It was decommissioned in 1905.

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