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Port Bolivar Lighthouse in 2010
|Location||SH 87, Port Bolivar, Texas|
|Year first lit||1852|
|Construction||brick covered with |
cast iron sheets
|Tower height||116 feet (35 m)|
|Original lens||Fresnel lens|
|Heritage||place listed on the National Register of Historic Places|
Point Bolivar Lighthouse
|Area||0.3 acres (0.12 ha)|
|Built by||Bureau of Lighthouses|
|Architectural style||Malleable-Iron Lighthouse|
|NRHP reference #||77001445|
|Added to NRHP||August 18, 1977|
The current lighthouse is at least the second structure at the site. The first lighthouse was built in 1852 of cast iron made at the Baltimore foundry of Murray and Hazlehurst, and was pulled down during the Civil War so that Union warships could not use it as a navigational aid.
During the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the lighthouse served as a shelter for at least 125 people, saving their lives. In 1915, the lighthouse also survived another hurricane, where winds of 126 miles per hour were recorded. The first lighthouse keeper, H. C. Claiborne, retired in 1918, after witnessing those two storms, and was replaced by a Captain J. Brooks. From the 1890s until the line's abandonment in 1942, the lighthouse looked down on the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway line that ran between it and Texas State Highway 87. In 1947, the lighthouse was sold and, although still standing, is not open to the public. The 1970 film My Sweet Charlie, starring Patty Duke and Al Freeman Jr. was filmed at the lighthouse and adjacent caretaker's house.
After withstanding over 150 years of erosion, the lighthouse is now entirely black. This has caused some to call it "The Haunted Lighthouse" of Bolivar.