Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Austin's Moonlight Towers
City of Austin Marker:
This is one of 31 original moonlight towers installed in Austin in 1895. Seventeen remain. Each tower illuminated a circle of 3000 feet using 6 carbon arc lamps (now mercury vapor). Austin's tower lights are the sole survivor of this once-popular ingenious lighting system.
The original Texas Historical Commission marker at this site, now missing, read:
This is one of 27 that remain out of 31 towers erected 1894-95 and in continuous use since. Their carbon arc lights then illuminated entire city. Now mercury vapor lamps provide beacons for many miles on roads and airway, from dusk to dawn. Austin is said to be unique in the dramatic method of lighting.
(Erected 1970 by the Texas Historical Commission, marker number 6424).
Erected 1993 by City of Austin and Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 6424.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Man-Made Features. A significant historical year for this entry is 1895.
Location. 30° 16.303′ N, 97° 44.711′ W. Marker is Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Austin TX 78701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hirshfeld Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Wooldridge Park (within shouting distance of this marker); 1933 Austin Public Library (within shouting distance of this marker); Hirshfeld House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ira Hobart Evans (about 600 feet away); Austin Woman’s Club (about 600 feet away); Third Site For Travis County Government (about 600 feet away); Heman Marion Sweatt (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Regarding Austin's Moonlight Towers. It was once claimed that Austin put up the moonlight towers partially in response to the actions of the Servant Girl Annihilator serial killer, but the towers were not erected until 1894 and 1895, ten years after the murders took place.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 2, 2010, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,246 times since then and 28 times this year. Last updated on October 29, 2020, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 3, 2010, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. 3. submitted on January 2, 2010, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.