Lighthouses of the United States: Arkansas and Oklahoma

The U.S. states of Arkansas and Oklahoma are in the south central part of the country, northeast and north of Texas, respectively. The Coast Guard maintains aids to navigation on the Arkansas River waterway in Arkansas and the eastern part of Oklahoma, but those aids do not qualify as lighthouses. This page includes one private lighthouse on the river in Arkansas and one private lighthouse found on an Oklahoma lake.

Note: To be listed here, a lighthouse must actually serve as an aid to navigation. This means it must be located on a navigable lake or river and must be lit as a navigational aid at least during the local boating season.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights.

Arkansas Lighthouse
* Fort Smith Lighthouse Inn
1974. Currently inactive. Approx. 45 ft (14 m) 12-sided shingle-covered tower with lantern and gallery. David Brooks has a 2010 photo, a 2009 photo is available, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. The Lighthouse Inn was a popular riverside restaurant, but it closed early in 2011 when its owners decided to retire. The restaurant was expected to reopen, but the plans fell through. The property was sold at auction in May 2016. Located on the south side of the Arkansas just west of the Midland Boulevard (US 64/71) bridge in Fort Smith, near the Oklahoma border. Site open, tower closed.

Oklahoma Lighthouse
* East Wharf (Lake Hefner)
1999. Active; focal plane approx. 35 ft (11 m); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 40 ft (12 m) hexagonal concrete tower with lantern, painted pale yellow; lantern is dark red. Steve Melki's photo is at right, Beau Wade has a nice photo, Lighthouse Digest has Bill Edwards's September 2003 feature on the lighthouse, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse marks the entrance to the marina in a commercial development on Lake Hefner, on the north side of Oklahoma City. It was prefabricated and erected by a "tilt-up" technique, for which it won an award. Located on the eastern shore of the lake, just off Lake Hefner Parkway. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: East Wharf Development. ARLHS USA-1236.
East Wharf Light
East Wharf Light, Oklahoma City, May 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Serge Melki

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Centennial Lighthouse (2007), Elk City (Beckham County), Oklahoma. This is an active lighthouse, but it stands beside a small pond, not navigable water. The lighthouse commemorates the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma's admission to the union as a state in 1907. Guy Bowen has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view.

Adjoining pages: North: Kansas | Northeast: Missouri | Southeast: Louisiana | South: Texas

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Posted July 15, 2003. Checked and revised August 19, 2015. Lighthouses: 2. Site copyright 2015 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.