In the 2003-4 School Year (which we're still trying to get finished up by posting a few of the field trips we had photos from), we studied about light in a KONOS Unit. We studied about man-made lights, God-made lights, rainbows, wavelengths, lighthouses, bioluminescence and more. We had other Konos users from around the United States send us postcards from lighthouses in their areas and mapped them. We even made our own little lighthouse (although we didn't add a real light to it).
We love to take field trips. I'm not sure who loves them more, Daddy and I - or the kids!?! I did some research online and learned that the only lighthouse within driving distance to us (at the time we were living in Houston) was Bolivar Point.
The great thing about Bolivar is it's wonderful, touching history. Bolivar is responsible for protecting many people from the great storm that laid waste to Galveston in 1900. We visited the site, which is now privately owned, and were able to walk up to the light and look inside it's dark, spooky, rusty windows... but you can't really see inside clearly - a lot is left to the imagination. It was creepy to think of having to climb into it and sit on the stairs while you heard the ocean and hurricane ravage the island outside... wondering if you would be alive come daybreak. It was hard to imagine 61 people on it's thin, inner spiraling staircase; as they wept, holding hands in pitch darkness as the raging storm claimed so many lives. The lighthouse keeper was said to have saved 125 people from certain death in that storm. Afterwards, he took care of them and fed them for a while since most of their homes were destroyed.
We discussed Bolivar's history and enjoyed seeing it twinkle in the dusk from across the waters as we drove. It looked like it was lighting up that night - maybe they turned it on for our benefit because we knocked on the door and asked if we could go on the property to see it... but I have heard that it is not in operation. I'm glad that someone is taking care of this Galveston icon that was so important in Texas History.
Here are a few other links you might enjoy:
Story of the Bolivar Lighthouse - CrystalBeach.com
Texas lighthouse site - Texas Lights
Portrait of Bolivar Light - Randy Welborn Studio
Buzz Words: Field Trip, Foto, Texas, Lighthouse, Beach, Summer, Vacation, Light, Family, Learning, Homeschool, Unit Studies, Fun, Galveston, Nautical, Parenting, Children, Crafts, Sight Seeing, History