The original lighthouse was built in 1852. In 1873 it was moved two miles inland to the current site. Use of the lighthouse was discontinued in 1995. There is a cemetery next to the lighthouse where lighthouse keepers and their families are buried.
The Matagorda Island Foundation raised over $1 million to preserve the lighthouse, and the beacon was relit December 31, 1999. After three more years of work, the restored lighthouse was rededicated June 11, 2004. In later phases of the project, the keeper's house will be rebuilt and a visitor center will be built at the state park dock.
The Third Order Fresnel lens is currently displayed at the Calhoun County Museum in Port Lavaca, Texas.