Matagorda Island Photo Gallery

The Matagorda Island Lighthouse

“This photo is not to be reproduced without the express written permission of the Calhoun County Museum, Port Lavaca, Texas”

"It was in March of 1852. The iron works, skeleton and plates arrived with a crew. Matagorda lighthouse was lit; Captain James Cummins had the honor of it. It's cast iron construction of red, white and black bands, followed years of surveys, hard work and plans. Three steamers were lost as Pass Cavallo and Matagorda Bay, this would not have happened, with a light to show them the way. The light was visible twenty miles at sea. It was the first to be lighted on this coastal prairie. Its two-inch thick steel walls provided safety to island families back then. After bad hurricanes, little was left, to start over again. Captain James Cummings was the first keeper in 1854. After him, there has been quite a few. The lighthouse was heavily shelled during the Civil War. Last keepers were Bill Heinroth, Mike Nelson and Arthur Barr. The Jailhouse Museum has the old beacon on display. (It is currently in the Calhoun County in Port Lavaca, Texas). Calhoun County Historical Society thinks more people can see it this way. If Matagorda Island becomes state park land, an appropriate name, 'IN MEMORY OF JUDGE HUGH HAWES', in honor of this man."

Seadrift Memories - Centennial Limited Edition 1986 (Reprinted 2012)