Pass Christian Lighthouse

Sept. 24, 2019

Pass Christian Lighthouse, Pass Christian, Mississippi

Built in 1831, deactivated in 1882 and later demolished.


Location: North part of Lake Borgne; "about 6.5 miles northwesterly of Cat Island"; 
     30° 18' 54" N x 80° 14' 02" W (1858 Light List)
Station Established: 1831
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1866
Operational: No
Automated: n/a
Deactivated: 1882
Tower Shape / Markings / Pattern: White conical brick tower
Tower Height: 30 feet
Original Lens: 14-inch reflectors with "Eight lamps"; Fourth Order (1857)
Characteristic: Fixed white (1857)
Foghorn: None

Historical Information:

  • Congress authorized $5,000 for "a light-house at or near the Pass Christian" with another $500 authorized for buoys.
  • 1/2 acre of land was purchased on 21 December 1830 for $250.
  • Contract let with Winslow Lewis for lighthouses at Pass Christian and Cat Island; contract was dated 5 March 1831 for a total cost for both lights of $9,283.00.
  • Lighthouse was built with solid walls, 28 feet two inches high and 15 feet outside diameter at base, tapering to about nine feet at top.  Walls three feet thick tapering to one foot eight inches.
  • First keeper was Robert A. Heirn; followed by Findley Heirn in 1839.  A Miss C. A. Heirn was appointed keeper on 18 October 1844.  Each were paid $500 per  annum.
  • Refitted with a Fourth Order lens in 1857.
  • Light was extinguished during the Civil War.
  • The light was thoroughly overhauled and re-exhibited on 15 August 1866.
  • The keeper in 1867 was listed as "C. F. Johnson."
  • The 1867 Coast Pilot listed the light as being 6-1/2 miles from Cat Island and "on the Main" in town.
  • The keeper in 1871 was listed as "E. F. Johnson" at an annual salary of $640.
  • In 1873 the keeper was listed as Mrs. M. J. Reynolds of Maryland.  Her annual salary was $600.
  • In 1875 the keeper was listed as Sally A. Dar of Alabama.
  • In 1877 the keeper was listed as Alice S. Butterworth of Mississippi.
  • The keeper's dwelling was torn down in 1878 as it was "untenantable."  A substantial frame dwelling was then erected on the site.
  • In 1882 the light was listed as being a: "small harbor light [which] is on the main street of the village. The light is obscured by several trees.  The owner refuses to trim or cut them; hence the light is of little use. . . .The tower should be raised or the light discontinued. . . The latter is recommended, as the light is of so little benefit to navigation or commerce."
  • The "Committee on Location" recommended discontinuance on 4 September 1882 and the Secretary of the Treasury authorized the light's discontinuance on 9 September 1882.
  • The light was extinguished on 1 October 1882 and sold the following year to Lawrence G. Fallon for $1,225.00.