Brenton Reef Light

July 16, 2019

Brenton Reef Light, Texas


Station Established: 1875 (AS A LIGHTSHIP STATION)
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1962 (OFFSHORE LIGHT TOWER)
Operational: No
Automated: Yes, originally constructed as an automated station.
Deactivated: 1989, replaced by a lighted buoy.
Foundation Materials: Four cross-braced steel legs, made of 30-inch steel pipe, extending 25 feet into the bed
     rock beneath the ocean floor.
Construction Materials: Steel.
Tower Shape: Square; a six-foot tower rose from the deck, itself 81-feet above the ocean's surface, supported
     a white 1.2 million candlepower beacon with a visibility range of 15 miles.  
Markings/Pattern: Painted red (porcelainized fire red similar to coloring of the lightship the tower replaced),
     with white lettering "BRENTON" on all four sides.  Legs were illuminated at night.
Original Lens: Crouse Hinds, Double Drum Double Ended DCE-36 Airways Beacon.
Characteristic: Group Flashing White, two flashes every 10 seconds
Fog Signal: Two Diaphragm-type Leslie Typhones.  
Fog Signal Characteristic: Group of three-second blasts every 60 seconds, baffled from the Newport area.
Radio Beacon: Class D


  • Construction on the "tower-type deep-water off-shore light structure," which replaced the former lightship station of the same name, began in May 1961.  The station's original construction cost was approximately $500,000.  It was built in about 78 feet of water.  Power was supplied via submarine cable from Beavertail Light Station.
  • The light was placed in operation on 28 September 1962.   
  • The Coast Guard first suggested demolishing the tower in 1983 due to the high cost of keeping it operational.  The tower was spared due to the America's Cup Race being held in the area.
  • 1989: March 1 the Coast Guard announced that it would discontinue use of the light and planned to "remove the deteriorating light tower over the next several years."  It was to be replaced with a lighthouse buoy equipped with an electronic horn and radar beacon.  The supporting legs of the tower were badly corroded and repair or replacement costs were considered prohibitive.  The tower itself was dismantled in 1992 (?) and on 8 January 1993 the scrap was sunk off Long Island, New York, to create the Shinnecock artificial reef.