Sabine Pass Light Station and Hurricane of 1886
In October of 1886 a hurricane accompanied by massive tidal wave devastated Sabine Pass and the surrounding communities. You can find more information about the storm and it's effect on the area in an artical reprinted from the Beaumont Enterprise and authored by W.T. Block. This article is located at: http://block.dynip.com/wtblockjr/great1.htm.
The Gavelston Daily News reported the following on October 16, 1886.
Beaumont, October 15 - The revenue cutter Penrose, Captain Willie which left Galveston yesterday evening, performed excellent service today, towing skiffs around the bay, in quest of dead bodies and people needing relief. The Penrose, with the news correspondent on board, reached Sabine Pass at 6:30 this a.m. We reached the lighthouse four miles outside the town between 12 and 1:00 last night but were forced to achor because of none being on board who could pilot us to the town. The lighthouse was hailed, but no answer being received a yawl was put off to visit it. The residence attached to the lighthouse, built of solid brick in the most substantial manner, was found crumbled to pieces on the ground, with the furniture in fragments, strewn abound.
Gustave Haummelmen, the keeper, was in the tower, but came down in response to our summons. He was badly broken up, but grit to the last. He, with Henry Plummer, the latter's wife and a lady friend, were in the house when the storm broke loose. When the water began to get too high they sought refuge in the tower. Soon after they abandoned the house it was crushed by the wind and waves. The water rose more than twenty feet and lashed spray through a window fifty feet high. The lighthouse men with the two women climed to the top of the tower. There is a trap door about seventy feet from the ground. This trap has an iron door weighing about one hundred pounds, which closely fits into the frame. The wind blew with such furry through the tower that this door was several times lifted up and the lighthouse keeper had all he could do to hold it down with his own weight and that of five gallons of oil on top of it. They were without food, water, fire or covering beyond their ordinary clothing in the tower for forty-eight hours, when relief boat Lamar went to the rescue.