Local historical preservationists are taking their message to the streets.
Andrew Tingler, president of Cameron Preservation Alliance Sabine Pass Lighthouse, showed off his just-pressed Sabine Pass Lighthouse license plate at the Jan. 24 meeting of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society.
Purchasing the plate will help raise money to restore and preserve the Sabine Pass Lighthouse.
David Eakins did the artwork. Representative Bob Hensgen sponsored the bill. The process took about two years.
"So far, about 18 are on the road," Tingler said.
The Sabine Pass Lighthouse went into operation in 1857, according to the Cameron Preservation Alliance website. Active for 95 years, it's survived war, storm, hurricanes, floodwaters, fire, vandalism and neglect. It's changed ownership several times, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. In 2001 ownership was transferred to the Cameron Preservation Alliance.
In 2012 CHPS put the Johnson's Bayou structure on the most endangered list, describing it as "perhaps the oldest brick structure standing in Southwest Louisiana and an emblem of Southwest Louisiana's resolve to survive.
Plates are available at the Sulphur, Lake Charles or Cameron DMV and through expresslane.org, according to Tingler.
"The most important need is fixing the cracks and banding the tower to stop or slowing water from getting in from the top," Tingler said. "We have an estimate from the International Chimney Corp on those issues, but we are trying to solve some logistics at the moment."
The lighthouse is located on La 82, one mile east of the Louisiana/Texas Causeway Bridge in Johnson's Bayou.
The Cameron Preservation alliance has a GoFundMe site and hosts other fundraising events throughout the year.