LA 8.  Franks Island
All these photos can be ordered, use the state # (ME12) for example
and the A, B or C, if there is more than one.



It was 1995 when we photographed Franks Island.  
 As with several other hard to reach Louisiana lighthouses, we got this photo from a seaplane out of Houma.  We had no idea, what this lighthouse originally looked like until we got home and researched it.  The original plan was for a very fanciful structure to be built.  Winslow Lewis agreed to build it, but he felt it would fail, as it would be too heavy for the mudbank it was to be built on.  He got the gov't to agree to pay him even if it failed, if he followed the exact plans.  He even had a government inspector to make sure the plans were followed.  Sure enough, the structure cracked and much of it toppled, 8 days before completion. As per the agreement, Lewis was paid, and later on contracted to build a much simpler structure on that site.  When it was finished it stood 82 ft. high, at least 20 feet higher than it appears today, due to the changing of the waters and the sinking of Franks Island.  This lighthouse served from 1823 to 1856 until the Pass a'Loutre Lighthouse was built.  I have not been able to find out about a keeper's house, or if the keeper was based elsewhere. This year, 2002, I have been informed by several different sources, including a helicopter pilot that flies over the area often, that the lighthouse no longer exists.  This pilot told me that when the tide is low, he can see a pile of debris in the water, all that remains of the Franks Island Lighthouse.

wEST
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