The small strip of land across from home base was called Lighthouse Island until new developers bought it in recent years. They renamed the land Beacon Island. Gag! I have my own campaign to rename it Naked Island, after all the trees were cut down in January 2013. The lighthouse will be a key landmark for the proposed development. Its “story” is included at the Beacon Island website. You can read it here.
According to the posted story the lighthouse is a replica of the lighthouse at Cape Canaveral, whose history is tightly woven into the space program along with the astronauts. It even traces a historical link to von Braun, the German rocket mastermind who came to the United States after World War II and helped launch the space race. How the Houston replica came about I can’t say, but what I do know is that a portion of its history isn’t included in the write up, that being the lighthouse’s original site.
For many years the lighthouse stood on Nasa Road 1, as a part of a restaurant, lounge, or shopping center. The memories are a bit foggy. One individual remembers it as a lounge with a sign that read: Members and Non-members only. But the Assistance League of the Texas Bay Area includes a passage in its 1999 cookbook connecting it to a restaurant: “The lighthouse at South Shore Harbour, which is registered on the U.S. Coast Guard charts as a landmark and aid to navigation, was moved to its present location from Ports of Call, a once popular NASA Road 1 restaurant.” Yet, some recall Ports of Call as a shopping center, not a restaurant.
Whether the lighthouse was associated with a restaurant, lounge or shopping center isn’t clear. There is agreement that it was relocated to its current location in the early 80’s. I promise to do more research and dig out the true story of its history. It interesting to note, though, how quickly we forget the past, and how easily history can be rewritten. That’s worth remembering.