Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike's Aftermath - Bolivar Peninsula Past, Present and Future??



For those of you who love places by the sea and lighthouses that stand guard over places that whisper names from history with ghosts of legends past will enjoy reading some of the links below to the lighthouse known as Point Bolivar Lighthouse. It stood guard for several years on that part of the Texas coast. Built, taken down during the Civil War as many lighthouses were and then rebuilt. People were said to have survived the 1900 Galveston Hurricane by taking refuge in the tall, strong lighthouse.

Above is a picture from before Ike. Below is a picture from after Ike.



Pictures are few and hard to come by as for some reason the government in charge has not allowed fly overs nor the press to go on the island in any manner to find out how many are alive, how many may have died and what happened during Ike's assault on that once beautiful island. Rumors abound but I do not trade in rumors, rumors run rampant after a Storm and often the truth is harsher than the rumors made up and often not as dramatic.

Time will tell but someone should tell it soon and information should be released to the media and those who own homes there or are friends and family of those who may have stayed or own property there.

It's past we know, it's presents seems to be a watery grave of sorts or just maybe it is in some watery limbo waiting for the next step in it's history though I fear it will be a sad step as much as been lost on Bolivar Peninsula.

Below are some links to blogs and stories about it's history and the people who lived there so that when stories unfold in the press over the next few days it is not just a name on a map linked to Ike but a real, living place where gulls flew and people dined and watched the sunrise and set and enjoyed life before Hurricane Ike roared ashore and covered the peninsula with water where only a part of the lighthouse was left standing.

While all the fears of the country were focused on Galveston and Houston a lesser known bit of paradise took the brunt of Ike's fury.

With sadness... as I fear many souls may have been lost on this once beautiful place.

Rumors also say that there has been a forced evacuation immediately of any survivors but I'm not sure how they are supposed to evacuate unless the government is doing so ... though not sure if this is true so here is the link..we will know soon.

http://jakeabby.com/cb/vacate.php

A very nice blog from a visit there a while back. Beautiful pictures of what is now under water or is slowly rising back from the Gulf of Mexico.

http://barb-bil.blogspot.com/2007/11/galveston-bolivar-peninsula-adding.html

http://www.bolivarpeninsula.com

Click on history for an intriguing history for this beautiful spot including pirates and cattle ranchers.

An excerpt from the history is below:

"According to legend, Jean Laffite's entire pirate crew from Galveston Island sometimes held parties on the peninsula. At least one former pirate, Laffite's cabin boy, Charles Cronea, made his home there at Highland, where he is buried."

Some information on the lighthouse above from the website posted. "Bolivar's prestigious lighthouse towering almost one hundred and twenty feet high was constructed in 1872 and guided seafarers for over six decades until eventually being replaced in 1933 by the South Jetty lights in Galveston. During the devastating 1900 Hurricane that claimed over 10,000 lives along the Texas Gulf Coast, their were 125 residents of Bolivar Peninsula that sought refuge and survived the storm in the structure. Fifteen years later during another deadly hurricane the lighthouse saved sixty more lives. This is one of the most famous lighthouses in America and has been featured in movies, documentaries, and been written about in countless publications. It is currently privately owned and not open for public tours."

This was in April, in better times ..read and get a feel for what life was like on the peninsular before Ike covered it with water and washed away all that we knew.

http://bolivarpeninsula.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html

Stories of other hurricanes that hit this area and threatened it's future.

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/BB/rrb6.html

http://www.crystalbeach.com/light.htm

One of many tragic stories from Ike but perhaps the most tragic and long lasting memory we will have aside from high gas prices and rebuilding downtown Houston and the still flooded bayous of Louisiana and places like Beaumont who have to have their electric grid rebuilt most likely... but will any be as poignant as what will be revealed from Bolivar Peninsula?

Nite... Bobbi..

5 Comments:

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a child I and many of my friends use to play around and inside this historic lighthouse. We never knew we were playing in a historic place...just that we thought the light house belonged to our community. It was privately owned, but the Boyd's never kept it away from our community. I left Bolivar when I was 16 years old...I have fond memories of running bare foot through the town with a few stops to remove the annoying "sticker Burrs" that would puncture your foot and hurt like hell to remove. We were free to drive cars at 12 years old, no police to tell us no. I love Bolivar and will always call it home..My heart and my soul are aching for the loss...they are strong and will rebuild. Lisa Ortiz Garnett

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, played around the lighthouse as a youngster. In the aftermath photo, it was the only thing still standing. This should say something about its continuity. It's symbolic of the community's strength.

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger hummingbirdgirl said...

My grandmother, Alice Bellar, grew up on Boliver. If she were now alive, she would be well over 100 years old. As a child, she too played in the lighthouse! She married Jessie Yancey in Galveston in 1885 and went through the Great 1900 Storm. So feel blessed Lisa, I wish I could also go into that lighthouse. I hear she withstook Ike, but had some damage to the top

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger 123 123 said...

Nice article you got here. I'd like to read a bit more concerning that matter. Thanx for posting that info.
Joan Stepsen
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At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great shot of the old lighthouse! my father was hired to take care of the grounds while the property was still privately owned. I used to live on the property and play in the old lighthouse when I was a kid. I was about 12 years old back then, wow, many years ago. I am glad that they made it an historical landmark.

 

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