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Bayou St. John Light

Nov. 5, 2019
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Bayou St. John Light, Lake Pontchartrain, mouth of the Bayou St. John, Louisiana

BAYOU ST. JOHN LIGHT

Location: CANAL DE CARONDOLET, BETWEEN NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN
Station Established: 1811
Year First Lit: 1811
Operational: No
Automated: N/A
Deactivated: 1878
Tower Shape/Markings/Pattern: Octagonal wooden tower on artificial island, destroyed by storm in 1837; 1838 a new 48-foot tower was constructed; in 1855 a screwpile, cottage-type structure was built, damaged during 1860 hurricane; 1869 a tower was built on the screwpile foundation.
Height: 48'
Original Lens: Sixth Order, Fresnel (1869)
Characteristic: 
Fog Signal: 

Historical Information:

  • 1808 – Congress authorized $2,000 to build the lighthouse. It would be the first lighthouse built in the United States outside of the original 13 colonies.
  • 1811 – Lighthouse completed and station established.
  • 1813 – Original lamp replaced by street lamp from New Orleans.
  • 1837 – Original tower swept away in a storm.
  • 1839 – Light installed in new lighthouse.
  • 1854 – Sagging tower fortified.
  • 1856 – New, pre-fabricated screwpile lighthouse put into place.
  • 1860 – Hurricane irreparably damaged lighthouse
  • 1869 – Replacement lighthouse erected on original screwpiles.
  • 1878 – Lighthouse discontinued at this location.

Keepers:

  • A.B. Shelby (1856 – unknown)

Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.