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Efforts to preserve “at-risk” 147-year-old Texas lighthouse

GALVESTON, TX – Owners of the 147-year-old lighthouse on Bolivar Peninsula are developing plans to repair the historic structure, an effort that comes as the lighthouse was named to the Galveston Historical Foundation Heritage at Risk List.

Point Bolivar Light is a historic lighthouse in Port Bolivar, Texas, that was built in 1872. It served for 61 years before being retired in 1933, when its function was replaced by a different light.

The current lighthouse is at least the second structure at the site. The first lighthouse was built in 1852 of cast iron and was pulled down during the Civil War so that Union warships could not use it as a navigational aid.

Built in 1872, the current Bolivar Point Lighthouse needs about $2.5 million in repairs, said Mark Boyt, whose family and other relatives own the structure.

The Bolivar Lighthouse today

The paint is largely gone from the lighthouse and sections of cast iron need to be replaced, Boyt said. Crews will need to weatherproof the building, clean the bricks and repair some masonry, Boyt said.

Boyt’s grandfather, E.V. Boyt, bought the lighthouse from the federal government in a 1946 public auction, he said.

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