W5AZN.COM Texas Maritime Museum

Half Moon Shoal Lighthouse


Location: Texas City, Galveston County, Texas.
Original- in the bay, between Pelican Island and Dollar Point.
Replica- Bay St. Park at Bay St. and 14th Ave. N.

Historic Location: 29 24 04 N 94 50 59 W

Viewing: The original lighthouse was in Galveston Bay about a mile north of the present Texas City Dike. It no longer exists. There is a replica of the Halfmoon Shoal lighthouse along the seawall that is Skyline Drive. From the base of the Texas City Dike go north for about a ½ mile, inside the lighthouse are panels with maps and nautical history of the area.

Brief History: A number of families settled along Galveston Bay in the 1830s after land grants were awarded to veterans of the republic of Texas army and navy. An early community at this site became known officially as Shoal Point in 1878 when a U. S. Post Office was established. It was renamed Texas City in 1893. The commencement of shipping in Galveston Bay led to increased settlement in the area. In 1854 the U. S. Government erected a lighthouse in the bay two miles east of Shoal Point at Half Moon Shoal. One of several lighthouses built along the Texas Gulf Coast that year, the Half Moon Shoal lighthouse was a red and white painted frame structure with galleries surrounding the main portion of the building and a captain's walk around the light. A bell served as a fog warning device. Decommissioned during the Civil War, the lighthouse was returned to service in 1868 and provided hazard warnings until the disastrous 1900 storm, when a steamship broke free from its mooring and drifted into the structure, destroying it and killing keeper Charles K. Bowen. A beacon replaced the lighthouse until the shipping lanes in the bay were chanted after the construction of the Texas City channel and dike. From: Historical Marker.

Construction Type & Design: White screw-pile structure with a black lantern.

Fog signal bell struck by machine every 20 seconds.

Height of Light Above Water: 37 feet.

Light Type: Sixth Order, Fresnel lens.