West Rigolets Light

Oct. 22, 2019

West Rigolets Light, west end of the Rigolets, near Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana

Built in 1855, deactived mid-20th century, destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.


Location: Rigolets Channel, Lake Pontchartrain
Station Established: 1855
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1855
Operational: No
Automated: n/a
Deactivated: 1939
Foundation Materials: Pilings
Construction Materials: Wood
Tower Shape: Round lantern on square house
Markings/Pattern: White house, black lantern
Characteristic: Fixed white
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: Fifth Order
Fog Signal: None

Historical Information:

  • 1855: Station completed.
  • 1859: Sustained considerable damage during the storm of 15 August 1859.
  • 1861: The light was extinguished on 6 July 1861.  A temporary ship's lantern showed from the lighthouse in late November, 1862, in support of the Union Navy's activities on the lake.
  • 1862: Keeper Thomas Harrison, on the second night of his job, was shot and killed by unknown assailants.  He was the first (and only) keeper to die his post during the Civil War.
  • 1863: The station was "fully renovated" and a Fifth Order lens was operational.  The keeper at this time was John M. Read, who served for 36 years.  After his death his widow, Anna Read, took over as keeper.
  • 1939: Discontinued as a manned light station on 1 December 1939.  "Replaced by a light on piles."  Other sources list this change as occurring in 1946.
  • 1946: Station was assigned to the Farm Credit Administration on 14 May 1946.
  • Station was sold to a private owner at some point.
  • Rigolets Light #5 is considered to be the "ancestor" of the West Rigolets Light.  It rested in six feet of water off the point on the south side of the west end of the Rigolets.
  • 2005: The original station was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.