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#68578 - 06/20/10 11:39 PM CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
CALIFORNIA (34 LHs, 7 Fresnels, 1 LShip, 2 Faux LHs):

Prior to joining 37 other USLHS members on a bus tour to see 12 northern CA lighthouses that began on Sunday, 4/11, Stan and I took a self-guided tour of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier in San Diego. I stopped to read the sign telling of the 1980 collision between the Panamanian freighter named “Cactus” and the carrier. I was intrigued by the following excerpt:

“Shortly after 20:00 that night (8pm), the bow of the Cactus slid underneath the Midway’s massive flight deck overhang, the freighter’s structure demolishing the tail sections of several Phantom jets on the flight deck and carrying away or destroying antennas and the Fresnel Lens platform.”

The picture that follows is the Fresnel Lens platform:





And here I thought the term Fresnel Lens only related to optics in lighthouses. . . .


Mary Lee & Skip Sherwood were the USLHS reps and our hosts for the northern CA leg of our trip. They provided everyone with a detailed itinerary and exceptionally well thought-out schedules and impressed me with their organizational skills.. We left from the San Diego, CA hotel we stayed at Saturday night to see Old Point Loma and New Point Loma lighthouses:




Old Point Loma–the tower was too small to accommodate a 1st-Order Fresnel lens that it was to receive originally and the fixed 3rd-Order lens intended for Humboldt Bay was installed instead. The 1st-Order lens was installed at Cape Flattery in Washington State. Today’s restored Old Point Loma Lighthouse has the 3rd-Order Fresnel lens from another California lighthouse, namely Mile Rocks:




The replica assistant keeper’s dwelling is a museum and houses the 3rd-Order Fresnel lens from the New Point Loma Lighthouse, shown above, and the 5th-Order Fresnel Lens (shown below) from the Ballast Point Light, established in 1890 as a harbor light. Together, Ballast Point and the New Point Loma Light replaced the Old Point Loma Light which was too frequently obscured by fog. Ballast Point was a Victorian structure identical in design to the light at San Luis Obispo, which was lit the same year.




Fog, isolation of the site, and cramped living quarters made staffing problematic. These issues all contributed to the station only being active from 1855 until 1891 when a new light and much larger station, New Point Loma, was erected at a lower elevation on the same point..




New Point Loma

We then left for San Juan Capistrano where we lunched and had a self-guided audio tour of the mission located there before departing for Long Beach, CA where we dined and stayed overnight on the Queen Mary:




Following breakfast, we boarded the bus for a boat tour of Long Beach Harbor that included views of the harbor and 2 lighthouses–Los Angeles Harbor (Angel’s Gate) and Long Beach Harbor (Robot) Light and 2 faux lights–Parker’s Restaurant and Lions Lighthouse for Sight:




Los Angeles Harbor (Angel’s Gate) Lighthouse–built around 12 steel columns, the bottom of the lighthouse is octagonal and the top 3 stories are cylindrical. The 12 columns, covered with black pilasters are unique and no other lighthouse has ever been built to this design.




Long Beach Harbor (Robot) Lighthouse–this 3-story, monolithic structure is built of concrete and rests on a base of 6 columns. It was designed to withstand earthquakes and seismic tidal waves, and replaced an earlier skeleton tower. It has never been manned and was initially controlled remotely from the much more esthetically-pleasing Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse.

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#68579 - 06/20/10 11:39 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT



Parker’s Restaurant Faux Lighthouse




Lions (Faux) Lighthouse for Sight

We then traveled by bus to Point Fermin Lighthouse, Point Vicente Lighthouse, and Point Hueneme Lighthouse:




Point Fermin Lighthouse–the first navigational light into San Pedro Bay, this “Stick Style Victorian” design was used for 6 lighthouses built between 1873 and 1874. Three are still standing–East Brother in San Francisco Bay, Hereford Light in NJ, and Point Fermin. Its architectural style is simpler in design and decoration than the later high Victorian period and is characterized by gabled roofs, horizontal siding, decorative cross beams, and hand carved porch railings.




Point Vicente Lighthouse–automated in 1971, this striking station still houses Coast Guard personnel. The station has 3 keeper’s quarters, a fog signal building. Its original 3rd-Order clamshell Fresnel lens still revolves in the lantern room. Powered by a 1,000 watt bulb, the light is rated at 437,000 candle power and can be seen 20 miles at sea.




Point Hueneme Lighthouse–the original lighthouse was an ornate 2-story Victorian identical to the light at Point Fermin. This concrete “Art Moderne” structure began service in 1941 and is still active. Maintained by the Coast Guard, the light is on the grounds of the Port of Hueneme (pronounced “Wy-Nee-Mee”).

We stayed in Port Hueneme, CA overnight. Following breakfast on Tuesday, we were driven to Santa Barbara where we boarded a boat for a trip to see Santa Barbara, Anacapa Island and Point Conception lighthouses:




Santa Barbara Light–this site was selected so the light could serve the double purpose of a sea coast light and a harbor light. The original design was similar to most of the early west coast lighthouses–Cape Cod style with the tower projecting from the middle of the gabled roof. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1925, a temporary light exhibited from a frame tower served until the present structure was put into service in 1935. The light used from 1925 to 1977 is on display at the Point Vicente Lighthouse.





Anacapa Island Lighthouse–Anacapa is derived from the Chumash Indian word, “Eneeapha,” which means island of deception or mirage. For most of the perimeter of the island, steep sea cliffs border the water. Within these cliffs are lava tubes and air pockets that indicate the islands; volcanic origin. Construction of the station was very difficult. Started in the spring of 1930, the light from its 3rd-Order Fresnel lens was first shown in March of 1932. That lens is displayed in the Anacapa Island Visitor Center.

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#68580 - 06/20/10 11:40 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT



A 40' high natural bridge, named Arch Rock, shown above is a trademark for Anacapa and Channel Islands National Park.





Point Conception Lighthouse–located at the western end of the Santa Barbara Channel where the coast makes an abrupt 90-degree turn northward, and changing from the Channel’s east-west direction. As most of the California coast runs in a north-south direction, it is at this juncture that mariners have to make a severe course correction. Originally designed to house an Argand lamp and reflector system, the tower portion of the lighthouse was torn down and reconstructed to accommodate a 1st-Order Fresnel lens following the decision of the Lighthouse Board. This light was the 6th operating lighthouse on the west coast..


We returned to the marina and left for that night’s lodging to freshen up before departing for dinner at a local restaurant.

Wednesday’s travel plans had us in San Luis Obispo, CA by 10:30 AM and boarding shuttle buses for a tour of and lunch at San Luis Obispo Lighthouse.




San Luis Obispo Lighthouse–One of three California lighthouses using these plans, this is the only remaining fully intact lighthouse. The tower of the Table Bluff Lighthouse is all that is left, and the Ballast Point Lighthouse was completely razed to make room for the expansion of the Naval submarine base in San Diego. Its 4th-Order Fresnel lens (shown below) was returned to the station in 2010 as part of the 120th birthday celebration of the station and is on display in the fog- horn house, which has been converted into a visitor center.




We left for Cambria, CA at 1 PM where we stopped to photograph the Piedras Blancas 1st-Order Fresnel Lens. A storm damaged the lantern room in 1949, and the lens, lantern room, ornate railing, and upper portion of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse were removed. A rotating aerobeacon replaced the Fresnel Lens and the lighthouse was returned to service. The local Lion’s Club rescued the lens and situated it on a concrete pad in downtown Cambria where it stood uncovered for about 40 years. In 1990, a retired CIA agent returned to Cambria and was instrumental in getting the lens restored and protected. The Coast Guard cleaned and restored the lens and local individuals helped construct the modern lantern room shown here that now houses the lens:




Piedras Blancas 1st-Order Fresnel Lens. (The interior of the lantern room housing the lens was being worked on and the ladder seen inside the building was obviously in-use.)

Thursday, April 15th, found us boarding the bus for a tour of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, after which we departed for a tour and box lunch at Hearst Castle:




Piedras Blancas, Pigeon Point, and the original Point Arena were the only tall, seacoast lighthouses built in California–the high bluffs along much of its coast provide the necessary height for a focal plane. Named for the large white rocks located just offshore, the 115' tall tower’s 1st-Order Fresnel was first illuminated in 1875. The Coast Guard transferred the lighthouse to the Bureau of Land Management in 2001 and the BLM are developing plans to restore the upper portions of the tower and replication of the lantern room.

We stayed in Cambria for a second night and boarded the bus at 8 AM. Stan and I were dropped at the San Luis Obispo Airport where we picked up a rental car to use for the remainder of our trip to the West Coast, and the bus and its occupants returned to Santa Barbara for their return flights home on Saturday.


(Stan was talking to Skip about our planned trip and made mention that we rarely spend time climbing towers or stopping in the gift shops–getting to as many lighthouses as possible within the time we’ve set aside to be in the area Skip said he understood and believed our method could best be described as “drive-by shootings.” Little did we know that that would describe what we ended up doing when the weather over the next 8 days proved to be such that we photographed a number of lights from the confines of the car with the window rolled halfway down.)

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#68581 - 06/20/10 11:40 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Friday, April 16: 6 lighthouses, 208 miles:

Our first stop was Point Sur Lighthouse. Altho’ docent-led tours are offered on weekends through the year, we were there on Friday and were able to photograph it from Highway 1 using Stan’s newest “toy,” a Nikon D90 with 24X magnification. Not bad considering we were about 12 miles away when this photo was taken:




Point Sur Lighthouse–the point is a 381' tall rock that appears to have been broken off from the mainland, leaving a low lying area of land in between. Various parts of the rock’s 10' to 12' wide summit had to be blasted to obtain level areas large enough to accommodate the buildings. The lighthouse is located in a notch on the northwestern extreme of the rock, several feet below the summit to be located below the typical fog level. The picture that follows shows the station’s buildings and the light on the far right of the rock:




Next stop was Point Pinos Lighthouse, located in Pacific Grove, CA.




Poiint Pinos Lighthouse–included in the first batch of 8 lighthouses erected on the west coast, this light’s 3rd-Order Fresnel lens, originally intended for Fort Point Lighthouse, first shone in 1855. When the original Alcatraz Lighthouse was extinguished in 1909, Point Pinos became the oldest active lighthouse on the west coast.


Next stop was the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, the brick tower built adjacent to what had been the location of the 1-1/2-story house with a pitched roof surmounted by a square light tower named the Santa Cruz Lighthouse. Built in 1869, that light had a 5th-Order Fresnel lens that was first lit in 1870. That lens was replaced by a more powerful 4th-Order lens in 1913. Sold to a local carpenter in 1948, the structure was dismantled and its lumber used for other projects.




In 1965, an 18-year-old surfer, Mark Abbott, drowned near the point. In 1967, his parents used the insurance money to build a brick lighthouse adjacent to the site of the old light. The original lantern room from the Oakland Harbor Light was used until 1996 when it was replaced due to corrosion. A working optic with a red tint is used in the replacement lantern room today.

The lighthouse has been home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, a branch of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, since 1986, but is currently threatened by erosion that is undermining the point.

Next was the second lighthouse in Santa Cruz–the Walton Lighthouse, a/k/a Santa Cruz Harbor Light:




Built in the fall of 2001 on the West Jetty of Santa Cruz Harbor, this tower houses a modern green optic 54' above sea level. Dedicated in 2001, its named for Derek Walton whose brother donated much of the money for the project in memory of Derek, who was a Merchant Marine.

Next was Pigeon Point Lighthouse:




Pigeon Point Lighthouse–the point of land named for the 175' long clipper ship named Carrier Pigeon that had a gilded pigeon as her figurehead that sunk on her maiden voyage in 1853, this area claimed at least 3 more ships before funds were appropriated for a lighthouse in 1871. This 115' tower shares the title of tallest west coast lighthouse with California’s Point Arena Lighthouse, and is similar in design to those at Bodie Island and Currituck Beach in NC, Morris Island in SC, and Yaquina Head in OR.

A radio antenna that emitted a Morse code signal unique to Pigeon Point was erected near the tower in 1943. Synchronized with the fog signal, mariners measuring the delay between receiving the radio signal and hearing the fog signal could calculate the distance from the point. Prior to synchronization of the signals, a ship would use radio signals from multiple stations to triangulate its position. The audible fog signal was discontinued in 1976, when modern navigational aides made it unnecessary.

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#68582 - 06/20/10 11:40 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
We were on the road by 8 AM, Saturday, April 17. The Plan of the Day was to drive 175 miles and view 10 lighthouses. The first stop was Point Montara Lighthouse:




This unique lighthouse is the only one currently in existence that has served on both coasts. From 1881 to 1922 it was served as the Mayo Beach Light and overlooked Wellfleet Harbour in Massachusetts. It was believed that it had been destroyed after the light was discontinued in 1922, but while conducting research for a lighthouse book, the author happened upon a 1928 photograph of a tower in Yerba Buena, CA that had an inscription that read, “This tower formerly used at Mayo Beach, 2d District.” She delved into the National Archives and found proof that this tower was sent from Massachusetts to Yerba Buena and then to Point Montara. Altho’ only 30' high, this tower is short by most standards, but is excellent for keeping the beam beneath the fog.

Next was Quinn’s Lighthouse Restaurant & Pub, formerly Oakland Harbor Lighthouse, located in Oakland, CA:




This lighthouse was a nearly square, 2-story structure built on a steel beam decking that rested on support cylinders. It began operating in 1903, and its fog bell came from the original lighthouse that served from 1890 until 1902 when it was determined that marine borers had weakened the wooden pilings that that lighthouse was built on and it was no longer stable. The second Oakland Harbor Lighthouse served until 1966 when an automatic beacon was installed nearby. Its lantern room was shipped to Santa Cruz where it was installed on the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse. The remaining structure was sold to a restaurant firm and transported 6 miles south along the Oakland estuary to its current home.

Lightship Relief WLV 605:




Construction on WLV 605 began in Boothbay Harbor, ME in 1949 and she steamed to her first station, Overfalls, DE, where she served to mark the entrance to Delaware Bay. Since she acted as a mid-channel marker, traffic in and around the lightship was common. In October of 1954, a large tanker staved in the lightship’s bow and knocked it a full quarter mile off station.

WLV 605 served in Overfalls until 1960 when she was transferred to the Blunts Reef station off Cape Mendocino, CA. She served there until 1969 when she became the Relief lightship for the west coast and operated out of Astoria, Oregon. Whenever a vessel on one of the four remaining active west coast lightship stations needed to be serviced, WLV 605, displaying RELIEF in white letters on her red hull, would be temporarily anchored at the station.

WLV 605 was decommissioned in 1975 and eventually sold to a resident of Woodside, CA in 1977. Following extensive renovations, she was sailed to Half Moon Bay, CA and anchored in the harbor until 1986 when she was donated to the US Lighthouse Society in 1986. In February of 1987, WLV 605 was sailed from Half Moon Bay to the 9th Avenue Terminal in the Oakland Estuary. Volunteers spent thousands of hours and fifteen years restoring her to her 1951 appearance. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990 and was opened to the public in 2002 at her present location, docked alongside FDR’s presidential yacht Potomac. The USLHS received the CA Governor’s Historic Preservation Award in 2003 for its preservation efforts.

Next was East Brother Lighthouse:




Altho’ placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 which prevented the building from being razed, neither the Coast Guard nor other public agencies had funds to maintain or restore the buildings of this station. Receiving little attention for almost 10 years, neglect started taking its toll. A non-profit group, East Brother Light Station, Inc., was formed in1979 to restore the landmark and make it accessible to the public. Government grants, day use fees, and funds received through the operation of the lighthouse as a bed and breakfast are used to maintain the facilities today.

Derith (a/k/a Pixie) gave me a wealth of information prior to our leaving for this trip, much of which I was able to use and all of which I am eternally grateful for. However she indicated the only way to see Yerba Buena was from the Oakland/San Francisco Bridge. So, Stan drove one way across while I tried to get pics from the car, and I drove the other way across and he tried. Neither of us was successful (bridge railings were in the way and shooting blind with the camera held out the window and overhead was asking for trouble!) and the car didn’t have a sunroof. Timing was off for us to take a boat ride from Oakland to San Francisco and her suggestion that one of us go on the cruise and the other one meet the cruise in Oakland wasn’t doable–Stan’s the photographer and I won’t drive in big cities or across bridges by myself. We went round and round and back and forth the little island on which the station is located without any sighting and were going to call it a day when he decided to try to find a place across the bay. After all, he has a new toy and that new toy has 24x magnification. So, we found a municipal parking lot and VOILA:




Still active, the keeper’s dwelling is home to a Coast Guard admiral today. Automated in 1958, the southeast part of the island that once served as the district’s lighthouse depot is now home to Coast Guard Group San Francisco and Aids to Navigation Team San Francisco.

Next stop was to take pictures of Alcatraz Island Light from the Ghirardelli Square area across the bay:




This lighthouse replaced the original 1-1/2-story cottage dwelling that had a tower protruding through the center of the roof. The Alcatraz Citadel, a multi-story fortified barracks finished in 1859 was first used as a prison during the Civil War. The Citadel was razed and in its place, the present cellhouse was built in 1909. It had 600 cells and was reportedly the largest reinforced concrete building in the world. Realizing the new structure would interfere with the operation of the lighthouse, a taller 84', concrete tower was built just south of the original lighthouse. Attached to the base of the tower was a dwelling designed for three keepers and their families.

The island served as a military prison until it was acquired by the U.S. Justice Department in 1933 to serve as a federal penitentiary. The penitentiary closed in 1963 and Alcatraz was declared surplus property. The history of this lighthouse and the island on which it stands is quite interesting and includes a bloody escape attempt that resulted in a number of deaths and the execution of two inmates for their role in the killing of two guards, and occupation by 90 Native Americans for 19 months.

Only the tall cement tower equipped with a modern beacon stands as a reminder of those who served on the island for over a hundred years.

Our 7th stop of the day was to take pictures of what remains of Mile Rocks located 0.4 miles from the closest shore and one mile south of the main shipping channel leading into San Francisco Bay:




The rock on which the lighthouse was built measured 40' x 30' and a sizeable portion was blasted away to provide a level foundation. 4' thick walls x 35' high made of steel-reinforced concrete were built to form the base of the tower. The cistern and fuel tanks were housed within the base. A 3-tiered steel tower capped by a lantern room gave the appearance of a steel wedding cake. The first tier housed the engines for powering the station’s fog signal; the second tier was composed of 2 stories–an office and day room was on the bottom floor, and 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor. The third tier was used for storage. The caisson and first tier were oval; the upper tiers and lantern room (its crosshatched window panes protected a 3rd-Order Fresnel lens) were circular.

Always considered a “stag station,” there was hardly enough room for the resident four keepers, much less a keeper with family. Transported to the tower by boat, keepers had to snag the Jacob’s Ladder suspended from the tower’s catwalk to begin the 30' ascent.

Automation of the lighthouse occurred in 1966 to save money. The Coast Guard dismantled the lantern room and top two tiers prior to automation (despite protests from local officials and residents) and fabricated the top of what remained for use as a helicopter landing pad. Its 3rd-Order Fresnel lens was passed to Old Point Loma where it is housed today. The photograph shown on Lighthouse Friends website of the lighthouse prior to decapitation shows what a striking station it was, especially when compared to how it looks today.

Our 8th stop of the day was Fort Point Light, California’s second lighthouse:




Built at the same time as Alcatraz, the first Fort Point Light was completed in 1853 and was a California cottage-style dwelling with a lantern room on the roof. When the US Army decided that the Point was essential to defense of the bay, the 3-month old lighthouse was torn down and Fort Winfield Scott constructed on the site. The 3rd-Order Fresnel lens destined for the first lighthouse was diverted to Point Pinos where it has remained.

A 36' wooden tower was constructed on a ledge between the fort and the sea wall. Completed in1855, it housed a 5th-Order lens. Lasting only 8 years due to erosion from the Pacific Ocean, the second lighthouse was removed in 1863. The 27' iron tower built on the roof of the fort placing it 83' above sea level was built in 1864. White with a black lantern room and a black iron spiral staircase to the tower, the tower housed a 4th-Order lens and still stands today.

Altho’ Fort Point Lighthouse survived the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, it was made obsolete by the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge--it overshadowed the point and obscured the light. Extinguished in 1934, the keeper’s residences and footbridge that connected their housing at the top of the bluff behind the fort to the roof of the fort was removed. Fort Point is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and protected by the National Park Service.

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#68583 - 06/20/10 11:52 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
If memory serves, we were able to get photographs of Lime Point located at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point located at the south end of that famous bridge:




The San Francisco Bay is the only gap in the Coastal Range mountains between Cape Mendocino and Point Sur that the Pacific fog can enter and the bay is frequently engulfed in fog. A fog signal station was built at the Lime Point site in 1883 and used a pair of 12" steam whistles that were fueled by water from a 20,000 gallon tank that was filled with water obtained from a nearby spring. The fog station received a small 300 mm lens lantern in 1900. When the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, the Fort Point Light was extinguished. Lime Point continued service, but keepers now had to deal with items being dropped by visitors on the bridge that could cause serious injury, as well as the orange tinge on the station’s buildings and laundry from the orange paint used on the bridge.

Automated in 1961, all structures were removed from the site except the fog signal building shown in the picture. Vandals and neglect make for a very desolate picture.

Our final stop of the day was Point Bonita Light, located at the northern entrance to the San Francisco Bay:




Its original name was “Point Boneta”–a reference to the resemblance of the area hills to the hats worn by Spanish religious officials. The first lighthouse was a California-cottage style dwelling with a separate tower that was situated on the highest hill in the area–260' above sea level. The 56' high tower housed a fixed 2nd-Order Fresnel lens (the most powerful beacon of the San Francisco Bay) that was lit for the first time in May of 1855. Fog was a major problem and the lighthouse was often obscured by high fog. That problem eventually led to moving the light from the top of the hill to the far end of the point, an area called Land’s End. The new lighthouse was completed in 1877. The black lantern room and lens from the original tower were used and the original tower was capped. The new building was a 1-story building with 3 rooms. The central room was built with heavy walls to support the tower; the entire structure was 33' high. Both the original tower (serving as a useful daymark) and the replacement lighthouse survived the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, but the original tower was removed by the Army in 1907.

The Coast Guard closed the station to the public in the 1960s. Point Bonita was the last manned lighthouse in California and was automated in 1979. Its original 2nd-Order Fresnel lens is still in the tower. The Coast Guard maintains the light, but the station is maintained by the National Parks Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area.

Sunday, April 18th: 280 miles, 3 lighthouses:




One of the foggiest and windiest stations in the U.S., the original plan for Point Reyes Lighthouse was a 2-story dwelling with an integral tower, much like those built at Point Pinos and Old Point Loma, locating the light on top of the bluff at Point Reyes. However, knowing from Point Bonita that fog could obscure an elevated light, the plan was changed to place the light 275' lower on the bluff. Two terraces were carved out of the cliffs, one at 100' above sea level for the fog signal building and a second one 150' high for the light tower. A 300-step wooden stairway was built into the cliff to reach the tower from the top of the bluff, and 338 more steps were required to reach the fog building.

The lighthouse is a 16-sided, 37', iron tower, a twin of Cape Mendocino, anchored to the cliff with large bolts. It still shelters the 1st-Order Fresnel lens that was first lit on December 1, 1870. The lens has 24 bull’s-eye panels held in place by a brass frame. A 2-story, spacious dwelling was built for the keepers on top of the bluff where the present park service housing is located. 40 mph winds are common, with gusts as high as 133 mph. It is not unusual to have over 2,100 hours of fog annually.

Major renovation work was done at the station is 2003, including repair of the existing buildings and replacing the 300+ steps leading to the tower.


Next stop was Point Arena Lighthouse:




The coastline changes from running in a northwesterly direction to more of a northerly direction. Ships carrying redwood lumber from Northern California to San Francisco increased in the 1850s and 1860s and the need for a light to mark this critical turning point became very evident. The first Point Arena Lighthouse began service on May 1, 1870. Brick was the material chosen to construct the 10' tower, it had a 1st-Order Fresnel, and a large 2-1/2-story, brick dwelling was near the base of the tower to house four keepers and their families.

The San Andreas Fault is just offshore from the point, but the lighthouse survived many earthquakes during its 36 years of service. However, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake damaged both the tower and the dwelling beyond repair and they had to be razed. All the brick and other material that could not be used in reconstructing the station were simply pushed over the cliff into the ocean. A temporary short wooden light tower was built initially and the lantern room from the original lighthouse was placed on top of it. Outfitted with a 2nd-Order lens, that tower began operation in January of 1907.

Reinforced concrete was used for the new tower which was built on the site of the original tower. Iron bars were woven together, surrounded by wooden frames, and covered by concrete to create the tower. This new 115' tower had a 1st-Order Fresnel lens that commenced operation on September 15, 1908. The station was automated in 1977 when a rotating beacon was placed on the tower’s balcony.

2008 renovations included work on th public restrooms, fog signal building, and tower, a new copper roof for the lantern room, and relocating of the 1st-Order Fresnel lens with its pedestal and drive mechanism to the fog signal/gift shop building. The tower remains unpainted due to a lack of funds, but a metal floor has been installed in the lantern room. Emptied of its Fresnel lens, the lantern room makes for a great observation room.




Point Arena 1st-Order Fresnel lens

Our last stop for the day was Point Cabrillo Lighthouse:




This combination lighthouse and fog signal building resembles a small church with a 47' octagonal tower attached to the eastern end of the small 1-1/2-story fog signal building. Two 18hp engines housed in the building ran an air compressor that powered twin sirens protruding from the western end of the roof. A 3rd-Order Fresnel lens using an oil lamp was lit for the first time in June of 1909, its characteristic of a white flash every 10 seconds by using a weight suspended in the tower. An upgrade to an oil-vapor lamp in 1911 was the light source until electricity reached the station in 1935, which allowed the use of an electric bulb to light the lens, as well as electric motors to both rotate the lens and power the fog signal.

The last civilian keeper on the west coast retired from Point Cabrillo in February of 1963, having served there since 1952. The Coast Guard manned the station until the 1970s when the lens was covered and a modern rotating beacon was mounted on a metal stand on the roof just west of the lantern room. The California State Coastal Conservancy purchased the station in 1991 and partnered with the North Coast Interpretive Association, a non-profit group, to manage the preserve. A major restoration of the station was undertaken in 1996 and was completed over the next couple of years. In 2002, California State Parks purchased the station. Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, a non-profit entity formed to continue the restoration of the facilities and protection of the surrounding wildlife habitat, carries on with the restoration work.

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#68584 - 06/20/10 11:52 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Monday, April 19th--241 miles, 7 lighthouses, 1 lens:

First stop was to have been Punta Gorda, but neither one of us was up for what is described as “a strenuous 3-mile hike through loose sand or pea-sized rocks.” When I read further that poison oak is present along the trail, that nixed any thought of making an effort–Prednisone was not part of what I packed for this trip.

Next stop was Mel Coombs Park, Shelter Cove, CA to see the relocated Cape Mendocino lantern room:




In 1868, a 2-story brick dwelling, a carpenter shop, barn, and Cape Mendocino Lighthouse were built on level plateaus that were carved out of the hillside located on the westernmost point in California. The 16-sided, double-balconied Cape Mendocino Lighthouse was bolted to a concrete pad at a height of 422' above sea level, making it one of the highest lighthouses in the U.S. The 43' iron tower with a double balcony is the older twin of the tower at Point Reyes, but the main difference between the two towers is the shape of the lantern room’s roof. Cape Mendocino’s roof is rounded like an umbrella; Point Reyes’ resembles a Chinaman’s hat.

The lighthouse’s 1st-Order Fresnel lens was removed and a rotating aerobeacon placed in the lantern room after WW II. The lens was taken to Ferndale in 1948 and installed in a replica of the tower constructed on the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. The wooden structures at the station were burned down in the 1960s to prevent them from being inhabited or damaged by vandals. The rotating beacon was removed from the tower in 1971 and placed on a pole.

A group was formed to save the tower from the abandoned lighthouse by relocating it 35 miles south to Shelter Cove. In November of 1998, a helicopter from the Army National Guard lifted the lantern room off the tower and carried it south to Shelter Cove. The remaining pieces of the lighthouse were numbered, dismantled, and trucked to a nearby construction yard for repair. In the summer of 1999, the restored lighthouse was reassembled at its new home in Mel Coombs park.

Next stop was to photograph the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse replica that houses the tower’s original 1st-Order Fresnel lens, located at the entrance to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds.




Part of the sign at the fairgrounds states “The 780 prisms and Fresnel lenses in this replica of the original Cape Mendocino Lighthouse were hand ground in France, shipped around Cape Horn and originally placed in operation at Cape Mendocino in 1868. The entire mechanical gear and prisms were moved to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in 1948. . . .” During each night of the fair, the lens is lit–its 16 beams of light must be breathtaking.

We stopped to photograph this unusual item on our way to see Table Bluff Lighthouse in Eureka, CA:




It’s a dolos and is made of unreinforced concrete that is poured into a steel mold. The concrete can be mixed with small steel fibers to strengthen it in the absence of reinforcing. They are used in great numbers to protect harbor walls from the erosive force of ocean waves. Construction is done as close as possible to the area of application due to their great weight. Humboldt Bay Jetties were reinforced using dolosse in the 1980's maintaining the entrance at one of the world's most treacherous harbor entrances. The sign on this one (the plural is dolosse) indicates it weighs 42 tons and is 1,972 of 4,796 cast for the reconstruction of the Humboldt Bay Jetties.


Next stop was to see Table Bluff Tower, located on Woodley Island in the parking lot of the marina:




The original station was like the one at San Luis Obispo–a square tower attached to an ornate Victorian dwelling, a fog signal building, an assistant keeper’s duplex, an oil house, and a carpenter shop. Known as the Humboldt Bay Light Station, this name was too similar to the former Humboldt Harbor Light Station and the name Table Bluff Light Station was adopted.

Used by the military as a coastal lookout and radio station during WW II, patrols would cover the coast between the Eel River and the entrance to Humboldt Bay on horseback, keeping an eye out for enemy activities. Following the war, the Coast Guard decided to demolish the historic dwelling portion of the lighthouse. The wooden tower, separated from its supporting dwelling, had to be steadied by cables. The station was one of the first to be automated (1953) and a modern optic was installed in the tower. The 1911 4th-Order Fresnel lens was shipped to San Diego to be displayed in the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

The 2-story tower was cut in two and relocated to Eureka’s Woodley Island Marina in 1987. The 4th-Order Fresnel lens was retrieved from the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and is displayed at the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum, as is the cupola from the original Humboldt Bay Lighthouse.

Next stop was the remains of the Humboldt Harbor Lighthouse located on the north spit of Humboldt Bay, CA:




The largest bay north of San Francisco in California is Humboldt Bay. Two long, thin spits separate the bay from the Pacific, and a narrow opening between them provides the bay’s only entrance from the ocean. Humboldt Bay was chosen to receive one of the first 8 lighthouses commissioned for the west coast in 1851. Similarly designed lighthouses were built on high bluffs or hills, but the 1-1/2-story dwelling built around a central tower was built on the beach. Early photographs reveal a distinct circular ring at a height where the lantern room was placed on similar lighthouses, and it thought that the tower of the Humboldt Harbor Lighthouse was extended to increase its range.

Plans to relocate the light to a point about 4 miles south of the entrance to Humboldt Bay known as Table Bluff began when it was noted that fog shrouded the spits, rendering the entrance light ineffective. Earthquakes in 1877 and 1882 caused considerable damage to the lighthouse. A new lighthouse and fog signal at Table Bluff was completed in 1892 and Humboldt Harbor Lighthouse was abandoned. The roof eventually collapsed, but the circular tower and portions of the exterior walls of the dwelling remained standing into the 1930s. The tower came down in 1933, and amazingly, the ruins of the lighthouse were left intact. The cupola that graced the top of the lantern room was found buried in the sand in 1987. The outline of the dwelling and tower and even the front steps of the lighthouse remain at the site, surrounded by weathered bricks.

Find the location of the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum was a bit taxing in that it’s been moved outside of town to the grounds of the Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, CA. Getting someone to provide us with correct information was about as difficult as locating some of the lighthouses.

We were able to talk the gentleman (curator?) who was at the museum into opening it for us to take pictures:




Humboldt Harbor Cupola




Humboldt Harbor to Table Bluff to Old Point Loma to Humboldt Harbor Maritime Museum 4th-Order Fresnel lens

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#68585 - 06/20/10 11:52 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Next stop was the Trinidad Head Replica–Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, and Trinidad Head Fog Bell:




Modern counterparts replaced the original fog bell and 4th-Order Fresnel lens at the Trinidad Head Lighthouse in 1947. The historic artifacts were donated by the Coast Guard to the Trinidad Civic Club for use in a planned memorial park overlooking Trinidad Bay. The Club built this concrete replica to house the Fresnel lens and suspended the fog bell from a wooden frame built adjacent to the replica in 1949.

Each year on Memorial Day, friends and families gather to remember those whose names are recorded on plaques inscribed with names of those lost at sea and/or buried at sea. The fog bell has been automated to toll each day at noon in memory of those buried and lost at sea.

Next was a long hike by my knight (sans armor and horse) to get the best picture he could of Trinidad Head Lighthouse:




Located at the top of a 175' cliff, this squat brick tower was built (1871) on the southern portion of Trinidad Head, a large domed prominence rising to a height of 380'. Connected to the mainland on its northern end, it forms the natural Trinidad Bay on its eastern side. The single-family keeper’s dwelling was located roughly 50 yards from the tower. That dwelling was eventually expanded into a double dwelling to house an assistant keeper and his family. Razed in the late 1960s, the Coast Guard built a triplex to house its personnel and the housing was used until the early 2000s, even though the station was automated in 1974. Still active, its optic is a drum-type Fresnel with a backup modern beacon mounted outside the lantern room. A pair of fog signals are stacked next to the fog bell house, which is the only remaining bell house in California.

We tried to get pictures of St. George Reef Lighthouse from a number of vantage points, but the overcast skies and rainy weather prevented anything worth developing–even with the new camera.

So, our final stop of the day and our last California lighthouse was Battery Point Lighthouse:




Three cannons salvaged from the wreckage of the ship America in 1855 that burned in the Crescent City harbor were mounted nearby on the point at the northern side of the harbor’s entrance. The cannons, which were fired during July 4th celebrations, resulted in the point receiving the name Battery Point. The cannons have long since disappeared, but the name remains.

The small island on which Battery Point (Crescent City) Lighthouse was built in 1856 is connected to Battery Point by a narrow strip of land with the sea on either side (isthmus) at low tide. A Cape Cod style lighthouse, with the tower located in the center of the dwelling, had a 4th-Order Fresnel lens in its lantern room. Automated in 1953, a modern 375 mm lens replaced the Fresnel lens. The beacon was replaced by a flashing light at the end of the nearby breakwater in 1965, but in December of 1982, the 375 mm lens was lit again and the lighthouse listed as a private aid to navigation.

The lighthouse is currently home to a museum and is home to live-in caretakers who conduct tours of the premises from April through September. The original 4th-Order Fresnel lens is on display in the lighthouse, as are historic photos and other lighthouse memorabilia.

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#68586 - 06/21/10 12:07 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
The Oregon and Washington portions of our trip will follow shortly.

Hope you enjoy the trip. . . .

Sandy

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#68587 - 06/21/10 02:21 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
WackoPaul Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 8949
Loc: Indy
It looks and sounds like a Great trip, Sandy.. Thanks for the Great report!
_________________________
Onward to The Land of the Midnight Sun!

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#68588 - 06/21/10 03:50 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
Happy Birthday Lorie Roe Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 2005
Loc: St. George, UT USA
Thanks Sandy. I really enjoy reading about everyone's lighthouse travels. John and I are talking about going to the Oregon coast in July so I'll be anxious to read about the rest of your trip. These narrations are really helpful in planning a lighthousing trip.

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#68589 - 06/21/10 04:18 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
kory63 Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 10/08/03
Posts: 720
Loc: Sherrill, NY
Sandy, What a GREAT vhappy trip this must have been for you! Then to share it all with us was awesome!
I am no longer able to do any active lighthousing so I very much appreciate these Forums which allow me to "travel" with those of you who can!
THANK YOU!!!! cheers
Rick

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#68590 - 06/21/10 07:03 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
wvlights0 Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2202
Loc: West Virginia
You put a great deal of work and tons of information into that report Sandy. Great pictures. Thank you for all the work, I can't wait to see the rest. (BTW you have the pictures for Point Conception and Anacapa switched.)
_________________________
Laura

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#68591 - 06/21/10 10:41 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Laura,

Thanks for picking up on my error, which I've corrected.

Thanks to all of you for your comments. Wish we were getting more rainy days here so I could spend more time indoors with this trip, but the weeds are taking over the property and I'm just beat when the sun goes down and truly make like a couch potato at day's end. Stan took close to a thousand pictures and choosing the ones I wanted developed was just as time consuming as getting all the information I've posted here and will also use in my photo albums.

Sandy

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#68592 - 06/21/10 10:49 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
MrsTLC Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 04/19/00
Posts: 1962
Loc: Valley of the Sun
What an excellent travel log, Sandy. Lot's of information and great pictures especially for those who have never been to the West coast. Thanks for taking us along.
towel
_________________________
Ruthie
"Where words fail, Music speaks"

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#68593 - 06/22/10 02:15 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
Bill and Judy Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 1125
Loc: Arvada, Colorado
Great job, Sandy, and wonderful memories. I haven't put mine together yet either. It is a big job and that was nice of you to share them with everyone. With all our pics and trips we could be at the computer 24/7!

Judy

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#68594 - 06/22/10 06:51 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
rscroope Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 6801
Loc: Long Island, New York, USA
I did a bound book with my photos from that trip. It 's nice to have those memories of a great trip!

Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
LONG ISLAND BOB

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#68595 - 06/22/10 11:49 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Bob,

"from that trip." You were with us as a stowaway?

Sandy

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#68596 - 06/23/10 12:06 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
Lighthouse Loon Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 07/21/06
Posts: 7144
Loc: Barnegat Bay
Great stuff Sandy !!!

Thanks for taking us along !!!
_________________________
Stan M
New Jersey Lighthouse Lovers
------------------------------------
Harry Wishlist: Tinicum Rear Range, Miah Maull Shoal, Finns Point, Bergen Point, Cross Ledge, Old Ambrose Lightstation, Romer Shoal, Barnegat Lightship, Liberty Lightship.

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#68597 - 06/30/10 06:59 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
OREGON: 9 LHs, 1 LShip, 2 Official Private LHs:

Tuesday, April 20th: 262 miles, 6 LHs, 2 Official Private LHs:

A special “THANK YOU!!” to Danny for his assist in getting us on the road to Oregon’s lighthouses. I have to agree with him (he hails from Kansas) that the Oregon coastline is breathtaking. Having heard about California’s coastline from others who have traveled the Pacific Coast Highway, I knew what to expect. However, California comes in second to Oregon as to beautiful coastline in my mind’s eye. If you get the chance to travel Highway 101 through Oregon, grab it–you won’t be disappointed.

First stop was Pelican Bay Lighthouse, one of two private lighthouses on the Oregon Coast:




Perched on the corner of a 100' cliff above the Pacific, this octagonal tower is 141' above the ocean and can be seen 11 miles out to sea. Lit for the first time on July 4, 1999, its lamp is a fixed acrylic Fresnel lens that turns on at dusk and off at dawn. There are a total of 4 lamps, 12 volts each with a life of 3,000 hours each. When one light burns out, the bulb is automatically replaced with the next one by means of a built-in changer.

Next stop was Cape Blanco:




Cape Blanco juts out 1-1/2 miles into the Pacific from Oregon’s southern coast. At the end of the cape is a large headland with 200' cliffs along most of its perimeter. The cliffs are chalky in color and early Spanish explorers named this landmark, the most westerly point in Oregon, Cape Blanco or White Cape.

The lighthouse is located far from any harbor. Its primary function was to warn ships away from the reefs that extended from the cape, and to provide a position fix for navigators. The light from a powerful 1st-Order Fresnel lens with its fixed, white signature assisted as well.

A hood was placed around the lamp sometime in 1910, and a clockwork mechanism was used to raise the lower the hood to produce a flashing signature. In 1936, the original lens was replaced by a slightly smaller revolving lens with 8 bull’s eyes. The new lens was rotated by an electric motor, powered by a generator. The motor and lens are still operating in the tower today.

Automated in 1980, two local teenagers broke into the lighthouse in 1992 and smashed one of the lens’ bull’s eyes and 6 smaller prisms. The boys were apprehended and convicted and the lens was repaired at a cost of $80,000.

The station’s two keepers’ dwellings, oil house, water tower, and other utility buildings are gone, but the majestic tower remains and visitors are allowed to ascend the spiral staircase to the lantern room.

Next stop was Coquille River–unique in its design, but not as unique as Harbour Light’s version:




Acting as both a coastal light and a harbor light, Coquille River Lighthouse’s 4th-Order Fresnel first shown on February 29, 1896. Its design is unique with a cylindrical tower attached to the east side of an elongated, octagonal room, which housed the fog signal equipment and had a large trumpet protruding from its western wall. A long, wooden walkway connected the lighthouse to the keepers’ dwelling, 650' away. The dwelling was a 1-1/2-story duplex and a barn was located 150' beyond the dwelling.

A forest fire swept into Bandon, OR in 1936 and consumed all but 16 of the town’s 500 buildings. The lighthouse, separated from the fire by a water barrier, was not damaged, but ash and soot found its way into the lighthouse requiring extra work from the keepers, who had also provided shelter for some of the now homeless residents of Bandon.

The Coast Guard placed an automated beacon at the end of a jetty, disassembled the keeper’s dwelling, and abandoned the lighthouse in 1939. The lighthouse was neglected for 25 years and considerable damaged inflicted by vandals. A state park was created on the north side of the river in 1964 that included the grounds of the original 11-acre light station. A joint restoration effort involving Oregon State Parks and the Army Corps of Engineers was launched in1976. A solar-powered light was placed in the tower as part of the Bandon centennial celebration in 1991. Another restoration effort was carried out during the summer of 2007. Damaged stucco was removed, the exterior repainted, the roof replaced, the addition of a false chimney, and repair of copper flashing occurred. The colors used to paint the lighthouse were reportedly found on some older layers of stucco, but some locals (and my new friend, Danny) strongly oppose the new color scheme and insist that white is the historically accurate color.

Next stop was Cape Arago (a/k/a Cape Gregory):




The third lighthouse at this station is shown above. Located on a small, detached piece of land with sheer cliffs called Chief’s Island by the Coos Indians, the first light was an octagonal, wrought iron tower capped with a lantern room that housed a 4th-Order Fresnel lens (first illuminated in November of 1866) that was supported by spindly metal legs built at the northern end of the island.. The tower was linked via a wooden walkway to a 1-1/2-story wooden keeper’s dwelling, constructed near the southern end of the island. Rowboats were used to access the island, as were a low bridge (1876), a cable tramway (1891), a high bridge (1898). The first tower was encased in bricks and covered with stucco in 1896, but erosion on the point endangered the lighthouse and fog signal building and a wood-frame fog signal building with an attached octagonal tower was built near the keeper’s duplex in 1909. The new tower was similar to the lighthouse that had been recently constructed at Mukilteo, Washington. That tower was moved in 1934 to serve as the keeper’s office and the third lighthouse was constructed where the second lighthouse had been located. It is constructed of concrete, using the plans from Washington’s Point Robinson Lighthouse.

All that remains today are the third lighthouse and the high bridge constructed in 1898. The original lighthouse was blown up with dynamite some time after the third lighthouse was completed. The second lighthouse was razed in the 1960s. Automated in 1966, the Fresnel lens was removed in 1993 and is on display at the Coast Guard Air Station North Bend.

Many ancestors of the Coos Indians were buried on Chief Island and the nearby mainland and the Confederate Tribes (Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indian Tribes) obtained an Indian Burial Ground Easement on the mainland opposite the present lighthouse. Deactivated in 2006, the land at Cape Arago was transferred to the Confederate Tribes in 2008. The legislation provides that the tribes must make the light station available to the general public for educational, park, recreational, cultural, or historic preservation purposes at times and under conditions determined to be reasonable by the Secretary of the Interior.

Next stop was Umpqua River Lighthouse:




The turbulent force with which the Umpqua River collides with the Pacitic Ocean created a great hazard for ships and a lighthouse marking the area was needed. Built in 1857, its 3rd-Order Fresnel lens was the first light along the Oregon Coast. Similar to others built at the time, it was a large cape Cod duplex with a tower rising from the gabled roof, 92' above ground. Unfortunately, the survey crew never saw the site at flood stage and winter storms brought swollen river banks and crashing seas. The lighthouse, built on sand, eroded the foundation and eventually came down. The Lighthouse Board replaced the lighthouse with a floating buoy and built a new light 25 miles south at Cape Arago. The Board eventually determined that the coast should be illuminated so that a ship would come into the light of one beacon as it passed out of the rays of another. Lighthouses at Heceta Head and Umpqua River would close the unlighted gap between Yaquina Head and Cape Arago, and the second Umpqua River was completed in 1894.

The location is the furthest away from a river or ocean of all the lighthouses along the Oregon coast. A sibling of Heceta Head, Umpqua River Lighthouse is a 65' tower that stands 165' above sea level. The tower, brick overlaid with cement plaster, is 5' thick at the base and tapers to 21" thick at the parapet. The station did not have a fog signal and that is thought to be the reason that it was a desired assignment for lightkeepers.

Automated in the 1960s, the chariot wheels which rotated the beacon wore out and the Coast Guard talked of shutting off the Fresnel lens and installing a modern optic. Hundreds of names were gathered from the surrounding communities and eventually the Coast Guard relented and the chariot wheels were fixed in 1985. The Fresnel lens still shines and the lighthouse is part of the Umpqua River State Park which is managed by Douglas County Parks. Douglas County took ownership of the lighthouse in early 2010 and leases the lens so that it will continue to operate as a Private Aid to Navigation (PATON).

Next stop was Heceta Head:




Located on a bluff 150' above sea level, Heceta Head Lighthouse is one of the most visited lighthouses in the United States. The tower is 56' tall with a focal plane of 205' above sea level. Its 1st-Order Fresnel lens, shown for the first time in March of 1894, contains 8 panels with 640 prisms, each 2" thick and is the most powerful light along the Oregon coast. The light can be seen 21 miles out to sea and is only stopped by the curvature of the earth.

A rock slide in February of 1961 caused by heavy rains snapped the electric wires leading to the station, causing the only occasion when the light failed. The generator failed as well and the keeper and two Coast Guard assistants used an Aladdin lamp and turned the lens by hand by walking around the interior of the lantern room. They kept their vigil from midnight until 7:30 the next morning.

The rotation mechanism wore out and the lens leaned nearly 6". The Coast Guard proposed deactivating the Fresnel lens, but a public outcry made them decide to repair the lens instead. Its rotation was stopped in June of 2000 and the lens was restored and reactivated on March 15, 2001.

There was a single dwelling for the headkeeper and a duplex for two assistants. The single dwelling was razed in 1940 and the duplex was leased for a time after the lighthouse became automated in 1963. It is currently a B&B that has become so popular that there is at least a 3-month waiting list. The picture that follows shows the considerable distance between the lighthouse’s location and the B&B duplex.




The next to last stop of the day was the second of the two official private lighthouses:




Built in 1976 by a former lighthouse attendant and noted historian Jim Gibbs, The Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse was designed as a replica of the former Fiddle Reef Lighthouse, which was located on Oak Bay near Victoria, British Columbia. Made of redwood siding painted driftwood gray, it stands 34' tall and is 110' above sea level. Its optic sends a beam from a small halogen globe that can be seen 16 miles out to sea.

Mr. Gibbs has incorporated several historic pieces from West Coast lighthouses into the decor. The stair railing from the original keeper’s dwelling at Yaquina Head is installed in the tower, and two 4th-Order Fresnel lenses are among many maritime treasures.

Mr. Gibbs is in his 80s and actively involved in the Oregon Lighthouse community. Cleft of the Rock was not originally considered for a lighthouse designation because ocean traffic at this point travels well offshore, but in 1979, the light was made an official navigational aid.

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#68598 - 06/30/10 07:00 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Last stop of the day was to photograph Yaquina Bay Lighthouse:




This 2-story clapboard structure is located on a hill overlooking the northern side of the entrance to Yaquina Bay. Built in 1871 when Yaquina Bay was a bustling port, its whale oil lamp shone from its 5th-Order Fresnel lens. With increased maritime traffic along the Oregon Coast, the LH Board decided the area would be better served with a coastal light at Yaquina Head, 4 miles to the north. The completion of Yaquina Head Light in 1873 eliminated the need for the Yaquina Bay Light. The light was extinguished in 1874, its Fresnel lens transferred to the Yerba Buena Lightstation in San Francisco Bay where it was lit in 1875.

Empty for 14 years and falling into disrepair, the lighthouse was repaired when the U.S. Army Corps of engineers used it for crew housing from 1888 to 1896, during construction of the north jetty. In 1906, the U.S. Lifesaving Service housed a crew in the house portion and constructed a lookout station nearby. It was used for housing until 1933 when it was abandoned again.

Scheduled for demolition in 1946, the Lincoln County Historical Society was formed in 1948 specifically with the purpose of saving the lighthouse. They worked to raise the money necessary to preserve the structure for three years, but it was not until an Ohio industrialist who was raised in Oregon joined the preservation campaign and lead a movement to get national recognition for the structure that demolition plans were abandoned. In 1956, the lighthouse was dedicated as a historical site under the jurisdiction of the Lincoln County Historical Society and served as a county museum for the next 18 years. In 1974 the old deserted lighthouse was restored under the Historical Preservation Program and later accepted on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now owned and managed by the Oregon State Parks Department. The light was relit in December of 1996, using a 250 mm modern optic on loan from lighthouse historian James Gibbs (see Cleft of the Rock copy). The light is an official U.S. Coast Guard privately maintained aid to navigation displaying a fixed white light visible for 6 miles. The Yaquina Bay structure is the only existing lighthouse in Oregon in which the living quarters are housed in the same building as the light.

Wednesday, 4/21/2010--3 LHs, 1 LShip, 288 miles, 7 hours:

First stop this morning was Yaquina Head Lighthouse:




Construction on this 93' tall brick tower, the tallest tower on the Oregon coast began in the fall of 1871. The tower is double walled for insulation and dampness protection and its 1st-Order Fresnel lens was illuminated for the first time in August of 1873. A sibling to Pigeon Point Lighthouse, CA and Bodie Island Lighthouse, NC, Yaquina Head’s light shines 162' above the ocean and can be seen 19 miles out to sea.


Next stop was Cape Meares Lighthouse:




Located at the north end of the 20-mile Three Capes Scenic Loop along the Oregon coast, Cape Meares was named Cape Lookout by explorer Captain John Meares in 1788. Nautical charts produced in 1850 and 1853 mistakenly put the name on another cape 10 miles south. By the time the mistake was realized, the name was widely used by mariners fo the southern cape. An officer with the Coast Survey decided it would be easier to rename the original Cape Lookout than fix the maps and he renamed it Cape Meares in 1857. Good thing, or we would’ve had two Cape Lookout Lighthouses–one on the east coast, one on the west coast.

Construction began in 1888. A hand-operated crane made from local spruce trees was used to lift the crates containing the prisms of the one-ton, 1st-Order Fresnel lens that was shipped from France around Cape Horn the 200' cliff to the tower’s location. The tower is made of sheet iron lined with bricks, the only one of its kind on the Oregon coast.

Illuminated for the first time on January 1, 1890, the squatty lighthouse is only 38' tall. Located on a 217' cliff, its light could be seen for 21 miles. Decommissioned in 1963, its light is now an automated beacon installed on a concrete blockhouse a few feet from the tower can be seen 25 miles at sea. The replica workroom shown in the picture was built following allocation of funds that made restoration of the lighthouse possible and houses the gift shop.

Vandals fired at the lantern room on January 9, 2010 and broke 15 panes of glass and several prisms in the priceless Fresnel lens. The photo that follows shows the damage, estimated at $50,000:




The two individuals, in their 20s, were apprehended and their trial was scheduled according to one of the women in the gift shop. Not being a resident of Oregon, I couldn’t serve on the jury.

Next stop was Tillamook Rock Lighthouse:




Built on a rock that’s shaped like a sea monster rising from the ocean, where sheer cliffs drop straight into the sea to depths of 96 to 240 feet, Tillamook Head Lighthouse is a testament of the will and determination of the human spirit. A breeches buoy was used to transport laborers to and from the site. Work began in October of 1879 and the 1st-Order Fresnel lens first shone on January 21, 1881. A 16' square tower rises from the center of the 1-1/2-story, 48' x 45' house with a 32' x 28' extension for the fog signal equipment.

Four keepers were always on the rock and each keeper spent 42 days on and 21 days off. The cramped quarters, frequent storms, and almost-constant fog with the ensuing blasting of the fog sirens often caused tension among the crew. Any keeper causing trouble or showing mental instability was immediately transferred from the rock.

The October, 1934 storm smashed the Fresnel lens, boulders smashed through the lantern room, and iron bolts anchored into the rock 3' deep were ripped out. Some areas of the lighthouse were neck high in water. The keepers worked in knee-deep water to set up an auxiliary light–amazingly, mariners were without the beacon only one night of the 4-day storm.

Replaced by a red whistle buoy in 1957, anchored one miles seaward of the rock, “Terrible Tilly” shone her light for 77 years. Sold in 1959, again in 1973, and again in 1980, the last owners and a group of investors gutted the structure and turned “Terrible Tilly” into the Eternity at Sea Columbarium. Individuals could have their ashes placed inside the lighthouse with pricing ranging from $1,000 for a place in the derrick room to $5,000 for a prime spot in the lantern room. The owners lost their license to operate as a columbarium in 1999. An application for a new license was rejected due to inaccurate recordkeeping and improper storage of urns in 2005. Niches to store some 300,000 urns are reported to be available, but only about 30 urns have been placed in the lighthouse and two of those were reported stolen by vandals in 1991.

Last stop of the day and our Oregon segment was the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, OR:



United States Lightship Columbia (WLV-604) was the last lightship on the Columbia River Bar of the United States. (The silt and debris carried down by the fast-flowing river is slowed by the Pacific tides, depositing much of its load of sediment at the mouth of the river. These deposits form sandbars that shift with the tides and currents and create challenges to safe navigation. This shoaling, or shallowing of the river depth is referred as the bar where the river’s flow enters the ocean.) The Columbia River lightships guided vessels across the "Graveyard of the Pacific" from 1892 until 1979. The station was both the first and the last lightship on the Pacific Coast. This lightship, WLV-604, was essentially a small town anchored five miles out to sea marking the entrance to the Columbia River.

Everything the crew needed had to be on board. In the winter, weeks of rough weather prevented any supplies from being delivered. Life on board the lightship can best be described as long stretches of monotony and boredom intermixed with riding gale force storms. The crew of 17 men worked two to four week rotations, with ten men on duty at all times. Thirty-foot waves were not unusual during fierce winter storms. Even the most experienced sailors got seasick. The lightship did not roll like a regular ship, but bobbed like a cork in all directions. The crew can recall many sleepless nights listening to the foghorn, but they took great pride in their duty: keeping ships safe and on course at the entrance to the Columbia River.

WLV-604 is now located at the Columbia River Maritime Museum — the official maritime museum of the State of Oregon. The Columbia was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989 under the name Lightship WAL-604 "Columbia."

Replaced by a large navigational buoy (LNB) in 1979, 86 years after the establishment of the station, the LNB was decommissioned in 1993 and joined the lightship in the museum:





One of the most informative museums we’ve been to and highly recommended if you have the time.

The lighthouses we photographed in the State of Washington will follow shortly.

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#68599 - 06/30/10 03:50 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
WackoPaul Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 8949
Loc: Indy
I agree with you about the drive along Highway 101, Sandy.. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, we did this trip in 1992 only in reverse, starting Washington then South thru Oregon and California..

I wish you could serve on the jury along with some others from the Forums..
_________________________
Onward to The Land of the Midnight Sun!

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#68600 - 06/30/10 07:57 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
rscroope Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 6801
Loc: Long Island, New York, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by sandy:
Bob,

"from that trip." You were with us as a stowaway?

Sandy
No, I wish. We did the West Coast on 2 trips in 2007.
_________________________
LONG ISLAND BOB

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#68601 - 07/01/10 02:45 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
wvlights0 Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2202
Loc: West Virginia
Wonderful job again Sandy! I especially like your picture of Yaquina Head. The sky is gorgeous! Tillamook is so clear and close. I am going to have to disagree with the statement about the coast of Oregon versus California, but only because I saw the Big Sur area one spring after an especially wet winter. Can't wait for Washington! You must have had a wonderful trip. How long did you have?
_________________________
Laura

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#68602 - 07/01/10 03:53 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Laura,

We left CT on April 9th and returned on April 25th--14 days of lighthousing, 2 days of travel. Packed 'em in like I'm not returning, which I'm probably not going to do. Like Skip Sherwood (our guide for the beginning of the trip) said, "Lots of drive-by shootings."

Sandy

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#68603 - 07/01/10 02:04 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
fra02441 Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 904
Loc: old bridge, new jersey,usa
Where did you get the shot of Point Bonita. I was there 2x and going back again. I would like to get that shot. I am starting at San Francisco and going up to Oregon. Can you tell me what hotel you stayed at after Point Cabrillo.
I loved your pictures and stories. If you have any special tips I would appreciate it.
Fran

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#68604 - 07/02/10 07:06 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Fran,

Stan recalls that we wound our way around a road leading to a state park and stopped along that road to take photos. We had to do that because the road to the lighthouse was closed. I plugged in coordinates of each lighthouse I wanted to see to my GPS, and also printed a backup using MapQuest. MapQuest gives the following as directions to get to Point Bonita from Lime Point: Start out going west on Conzelman Rd. toward McCullough Rd. Turn left onto Fort Barry. Total travel time: 10 minutes, 3.84 miles.

Altho' we didn't use Pixie's instructions, she wrote: "Bonita can be viewed from the parking lot that is up on the right of where the tour of the lighthouse begins. It is near the fort. Just keep going until you see a wire fence, then look left."

Re: Point Cabrillo--you can spend the night in the headkeeper's dwelling if that's of any interest. Search for Lighthouse Inn at Point Cabrillo to get info. We stayed at the Best Western Humboldt House Inn in Garberville, CA: 800-780-7234. It's 76 miles from Point Cabrillo.

Only "tip" is to give yourself time to search once you get to the general area of whatever light you're looking for. As you probably have found, locating some of these lighthouses can be a real task and is not for anyone lacking patience.

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#68605 - 07/11/10 05:52 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
WASHINGTON: 16 US LHs, 1 Fresnel lens, 4 Vancouver, BC LHs, 1,014 miles by car, no idea how many miles by air.

Thursday, 04/22/2010: 5 lighthouses, 1 spectacular 1st-Order Fresnel lens & its back-up:

First stop this morning was Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:




The Columbia River travels more than 1,200 miles from its start as a small stream at the base of the Canadian Rockies until it meets the Pacific Ocean. The force of it flowing into the sea creates one of the most treacherous bars in the world, and there are 234 identified ships that stranded, sunk, or burned between 1725 and 1961 near the mouth of the river.

A cape on the mouth’s north side marks the entrance to the river. Captain John Meares sought shelter from a turbulent sea on July 6, 1788. Unable to obtain that, he named the cape “Cape Disappointment.” A white flag placed on top of the cape was the original marker for the river’s entrance. Then three prominent spruce trees growing at the cape’s summit were topped to mark the point. A ship would take a bearing on the trees from 5 miles offshore, then head for the southerly tip of the cape to navigate through the deepest part of the river. Eventually funds were appropriated to build a lighthouse on the point and Cape Disappointment Light became one of the first eight lighthouses on the West Coast.

Construction finally began in 1855, but was delayed when it was discovered that the upper diameter of the tower was not large enough to accommodate the lantern room for the 4 ton, 1st-Order Fresnel lens. This resulted in it being necessary to dismantle what had been constructed brick by brick and rebuilding of the tower from the ground up. That same 53' tall lighthouse has continued to guide mariners through the entrance of the Columbia River since October of 1856. Its beam has a focal plane 220' above sea level, and its black horizontal stripe was added later to distinguish it from North Head Light located just 2 miles north.

The 1st-Order Fresnel lens was transferred to North Head in 1898 and replaced with a 4th-Order lens which still operates today. The 1st-Order Fresnel was used in at least 3 other lighthouses and is now on display at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park. (We were unable to enter the Center, arriving at the site well before it opened. We could see the lens, but were unable to get a picture through the reflective windows.)

Next stop was North Head Lighthouse:




After Cape Disappointment Lightstation was established in 1856 to mark the entrance to the Columbia River, mariners approaching the river from the north complained they could not see the light until they had nearly reached the river. Many shipwrecks occurred along the Long Beach Peninsula, just north of the cape and this supported the need for another lighthouse in the area.

North Lighthouse began construction in 1896. The tower is brick masonry with a cement plaster overlay built on a sandstone foundation. The lantern room is 65' from the ground and 194' above sea level, and 69 steps lead to it. The 1st-Order Fresnel lens came from Cape Disappointment and was lit for the first time on May 16, 1898. Since it is only 2 miles north of Cape Disappointment, North Head was given a fixed white light as its signature; Cape Disappointment alternated red and white flashes.

One of the windiest places in the U.S., winds have been clocked at 126 mph (1921) and are frequently measured at over 100 mph. The ferocious winds forced a wild duck to fly out of control into the lantern room, causing it to crash through the plate glass and taking a chip out of the lens in 1932.

The original lens was replaced by a 4th-Order lens in 1935 when electricity came to the station. On June 22, 1942, all lighthouses were darkened after a Japanese submarine fired upon Fort Stevens in a strategy to keep the location of Fort Stevens (the primary military defense installation in the three fort Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River--Forts Canby and Columbia in Washington were the other two) and Fort Canby hidden. They were not illuminated until the danger was over.

The 4th-Order lens was replaced by 2 aero beacons in the 1950s. Automated in 1961 with a modern optic mounted on the tower’s gallery, the light was decommissioned on July 1, 1961. The Coast Guard restored the lighthouse in 1984 and opened it to the public under the direction of Cape Disappointment State Park. The keepers’ dwellings, located about a half-mile away from the tower were also restored at that time and appear to be in the process of restoration again when we were there. Half of the keepers’ duplex houses park personnel; the other half and the single-family dwelling are available for overnight stays.

Next stop was Grays Harbor (Westport) Lighthouse:




Grays Harbor stands 107' tall, is the tallest lighthouse in Washington, and the third tallest on the West Coast. The base of the lighthouse rests on a 12' thick foundation of sandstone. The lighthouse walls which are 4' thick at the base, are made of brick with a coating of cement on the exterior. 135 metal stairs bolted to the wall lead to the lantern room. Windows provided the light for the interior of the tower originally, but they were cemented over when electricity was added to the station to cut down on maintenance. When built in 1898, the lighthouse was just 400' from high tide. Massive amounts of accretion, due in large part to the jetty system at the entrance to Grays Harbor, have since built up and the lighthouse currently stands approximately 3,000' from high tide.

A unique 3rd-Order clamshell Fresnel lens was the original light–its signature was an alternating red and white light every 15 seconds. Red glass placed on one side of the light source, cut the light transmission by as much as 90%. To overcome this reduction, the bull’s-eye in front of the red glass is much larger than the bull’s-eye that produces the white flash. With this modification, the white sector can be seen 25 miles out to sea; the red sector, 23 miles. The lens originally floated in a trough containing 20 gallons of mercury, providing near frictionless movement. Rotation was accomplished by a weight that hung inside the tower. When the light was electrified, a 1/6 horsepower motor was used the turn the giant lens.

The Fresnel lens was turned off in 1992 and a smaller light was mounted to the balcony. The new light operates on a 35 watt bulb that can be seen 19 miles with the white sector, 17 on the red sector. The lantern room still holds the original 3rd-Order clamshell Fresnel lens.

The Westport South Beach Historical Society negotiated a lease agreement with the Coast Guard in 1998. In 2001, following extensive cleanup, the tower was opened for public tours. In 2004 under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the Society was granted ownership of the tower and enacted a 5-year plan to restore the lighthouse and its Fresnel lens.

Next was a visit to Westport Maritime Museum:




The Destruction Island 1st-Order Fresnel is displayed here, in a 70' Lens Building, constructed in 1998. A ramp partially encircles the lens to allow views at various levels. A skylight above the lens lets natural sunlight shine on the prisms as the lens slowly rotates.

Shown below is the backup lens that was mounted atop the Destruction Island Lighthouse:




Next stop was Destruction Island Lighthouse:




The island was initially named Isle of Sorrow following the killing of seven men sent ashore for wood and water in 1776 by the Spanish explorer who was commander of the schooner Sonora. In 1787 a British ship Imperial Eagle visited the island and dispatched a long boat to explore the nearby coast. The crew rowed some distance up a river where they, too, were massacred by hostile Indians. The captain of the British ship named the river Destruction. The name was eventually transferred to the nearby island, and the river was called by its Indian name Hoh.

The 30-acre, flat island rises roughly 80' above the surrounding water and is bordered by steep bluffs. Building materials were transported to the island by boat, lightered (a large, open, flat-bottomed barge, used in unloading and loading ships offshore) into the narrow landing cove and either lifted to the top of the plateau using a derrick or hauled up manually. The 94' conical tower was wrapped in a skin of iron to protect it from the elements. Its 1st-Order Fresnel lens containing 24 bull’s-eyes and 1,178 prisms was assembled in the lantern room. On December 31, 1889, the 5 concentric wicks of the lamp were lit for the first time.

The Coast Guard assumed responsibility for the lighthouse in 1939. They attempted to abandon the station in 1963, but protests from mariners stopped the closure. On-site keepers maintained the light until 1968 when it was automated. The Fresnel lens was removed in 1995 and replaced with an automated beacon. Citing that the beacon was no longer being used for navigation, the Coast Guard switched off the light in April of 2008. The tower, two oil houses and the fog signal building which was remodeled to serve as temporary housing for maintenance crews are all that remain of the station. With no need for upkeep, this remote lighthouse will probably be lost to the elements.

Last stop of the day was the present day Ediz Hook Light:



In 1946, the modern beacon (shown in the above picture) positioned at the top of the control tower at the Coast Guard Air Station in Port Angeles, WA replaced the second lighthouse that stood at the end of the 3-1/2-mile long spit called Ediz Hook.

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#68606 - 07/11/10 05:52 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Friday, 04/23/2010: 2 LHs by car, 8 US LHs, 4 Canadian LHs by air:

First stop today was to locate and photograph the former Ediz Hook Lighthouse:




The Port Angeles Harbor is the deepest harbor in the northwest and is protected by a 3-1/2 mile long spit called Ediz Hook. As early as 1862 driftwood was burned on a tripod to provide light for navigation. The first Ediz Hook Lighthouse resembled a country schoolhouse. It was a 2-story dwelling with a pitched roof and a small tower protruding from one end. A fixed, 5th-Order Fresnel lens was first shown on April 2, 1865. This dwelling/lighthouse was in need of repairs by the turn of the century and mariners repeatedly complained about the fog bell’s coverage, or lack thereof. To solve both problems, in 1908 a fog signal building with an attached octagonal tower was completed near the old lighthouse and a new lighthouse similar in style to Mukilteo Lighthouse was built. The lantern room and lens were removed from the 1865 lighthouse and placed atop the new tower. The tower was removed from the old lighthouse, it was remodeled, and continued to serve as a dwelling together with a newer structure built next to it.

The second Ediz Hook Lighthouse served until 1946. It was sold and barged across the harbor to Port Angeles where it is a private residence.


Next stop was the Wm. R. Fairchild International Airport and Rick Mowbray, Charter Pilot:

First view was of New Dungeness Light:




Nearly a century and a half old, New Dungeness Lighthouse still guides ships past its treacherous spit in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. The 6-mile flat spit is barely visible from a distance and is one of the largest natural spits in the world. On December 14, 1857 the 3rd-Order Fresnel lens from the New Dungeness Lighthouse, the second lighthouse established in the Washington territory (the first was Cape Disappointment), was exhibited for the first time.

The original New Dungeness lighthouse was a 1-1/2-story Cape Cod style duplex with a tower rising from the center of the roof. The tower stood at 92' and its bottom half was painted white, the top half painted black, and the lantern room was a bright red. Nicknamed “Shipwreck Spit,” the spit also had a long history as an Indian battleground. Over time the tower developed structural cracks and was shortened by 30' in 1927. The original lantern room and lens were too large for the tower, so they were replaced by the lantern room and 4th-Order Fresnel lens from the decommissioned Admiralty Head. The remodeled tower was painted white from top to bottom which is the current color.

A modern optic was installed in 1976 and the 4th-Order Fresnel can now be seen at the Coast Guard Museum in Seattle. New Dungeness was the last Coast Guard manned lighthouse on the west coast. The last keeper left in 1994 and the Coast Guard planned to board up the lighthouse. Volunteers with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and members of the New Dungeness Chapter of the USLHS devised a plan that has literally saved the lighthouse.

The Chapter leases the station from the Coast Guard and manages a program where volunteers stay at the lighthouse for a week, maintaining the structure and greeting visitors. The program is very popular–so much so that the reservation list is two years long. Located in the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge, the refuge is haven to more than 250 species of birds, 41 species of land mammals, and 8 species of marine mammals.

Next flyover was Marrowstone Point:




Named for the soft clay visible in the bluffs above Marrowstone Point, it forms the eastern entrance to Port Townsend Bay and was first marked by a lens lantern on a pole in 1888. A fog bell was added to the station in 1896, and a 1-1/2-story dwelling was constructed on the point to house the keeper and his family. In 1902, the light was placed on the small, concrete structure.

Fort Flagler was built on the bluff above the point in 1907. It became the 3rd active fort guarding Admiralty Inlet. Together with the guns at Fort Casey on Admiralty Head, and those at Fort Worden near Point Wilson, the batteries at Fort Flagler formed the “Triangle of Fire,” to prevent hostile vessels from entering Puget Sound.

Mariners complained that the fog bell at the point was often inaudible. Different experiments proved inadequate until the small, square cement building seen on the far left in the photograph was outfitted with three large trumpets was put into service in 1918. Eventually, the light was mounted on top of the fog signal building. Automated in 1962, the keeper’s dwelling is now home to the Marrowstone Marine Field Station, and Fort Flagler, now a state park, includes a military museum.

Next was Bush Point:




Located south of Admiralty Head on Whidbey Island, this small lighthouse has been guiding mariners through the middle reaches of Admiralty Inlet into the waters of Puget Sound since 1933. Before its construction, residents hung a kerosene lantern on a pole warning passing ships on dark nights.

Next was Burrows Island:




Located on the southwestern end of Burrows Island, the lighthouse built there in 1906 warns of the dangers of nearby Dennis Shoal and Lawson Reef where strong eddy lines and tide rips can be unpredictable. The wood-framed building is similar to Mukilteo Lighthouse in design. The 34' tall square tower is attached to a fog signal building which originally held a Daboli trumpet fog signal.

The 4th-Order Fresnel lens was first lit on April 1, 1906. The light station was built on one of the few level spots on the island and originally, the station included the combination light tower and fog signal building, a keepers’ duplex, a boathouse, and a derrick. A bungalow was built later north of the duplex to house an additional keeper. A power plant was added when electricity arrived. Fuel to keep the generators going was delivered every 8 months.

Automated in 1972, a modern optic replaced the Fresnel lens in the early 1990s. A helicopter landing pad now stands where the keeper’s bungalow was located. The original Fresnel lens is at the Coast Guard Station in Port Angeles. Forty acres of the island now make up Burrows Island State Park and includes the light station and 1,000' of shoreline. Offered to an eligible entity under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act in 2006, the National Park Service has yet to announce the result of the review process on the applications received.

Next was Cattle Point Lighthouse:




Located near Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Cattle Point Light is in danger of collapse due to erosion. Unlike other lighthouses, this modern 34', octagonal, concrete, 1935-built structure had neither a lantern room nor a lighthouse keeper. The site was marked as early as 1888 by a post lantern and, in 1921, the US Navy installed a radio compass station nearby, which is now an interpretative center.

The site was used to graze cattle, and at one time a ship loaded with cattle was stranded nearby and the crew forced the cattle to swim to the point–hence the name.

The Coast Guard owns the lighthouse and an article in the May, 2010 edition of Lighthouse Digest indicates the Guard will take the necessary steps in 2010 to save the lighthouse. They intend to drive in piles of thin interlocking sheets of steel to obtain a continuous barrier around the lighthouse, which will then be reinforced by concrete.

Next flyover was Patos Island Light:




The northernmost island of the now-American San Juan Islands, Isla de Patos (“Island of Ducks”) was so-named by Spanish explorers in 1792. The lighthouse is located at Alden Point on the western tip of the island. The original station was a post light and 3rd-Class Daboli trumpet fog signal. The post light was used as a navigational aid to steamships traveling from British Columbia to Alaska through the Boundary Pass waterway adjacent to the island and was first lit on November 30, 1893.

Improved in 1908, a 38' tower housed a 4th-Order Fresnel lens. Automated in 1974, the Fresnel lens which was also used at the Alki Point Lighthouse, is now in private ownership in Oregon. The original keeper’s quarters were torn down in 1958 and replaced with a 2-story duplex for the Coast Guard attendants. After the Bureau of Land Management assumed control of Patos Island in 2005, the duplex was also torn down as it had become a safety hazard due to deterioration and vandalism.

Next was East Point Light Station (Saturna Island), British Columbia:




This Canadian lighthouse and the United States’ Patos island Light, bracket the transition between Boundary Pass, which follows the U.S./Canadian border for 14 miles, and the Strait of Georgia. The first lighthouse, named Saturna Island, was a square pyramidal wooden tower, 60' high, with an attached dwelling. A revolving white light was first displayed on January 1, 1888. Its flash attained its greatest brilliancy every 30 seconds, and had a focal plane of 140' above the high water mark. Mariners were warned not to approach the light within 1-1/2 miles from the northerly and westerly directions to avoid dangerous ground. A post light was established on Patos Island, across Boundary Pass, in 1893.

The present red, steel, skeletal tower and new keeper’s dwelling were built in 1948. A third keeper’s dwelling was built in 1960 and was in use until the station was destaffed in 1996. The station was transferred to Parks Canada and added to the new Gulf Island National Park Reserve in 2006. The tower continues to display a pair of lights to guide mariners. The tower, a keeper’s dwelling, and a fog alarm building remain standing at East Point. The keeper’s dwelling are used as housing for park staff; the fog alarm building serves as a heritage center featuring displays and information related to the heritage of East Point.

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#68607 - 07/11/10 05:52 AM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
sandy Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 1964
Loc: Kent, CT
Next flyover was Lime Kiln Lighthouse:




Located on the west side of San Juan Island, the largest island of the large group of islands that form the San Juan Islands in the northwest corner of Washington State. The remains of the limekilns built nearby in the 1860s that lie just north of the lighthouse are where it gets its name from. The last major light established in Washington, Lime Kiln began operations in 1914 and marked the waterways of the entrance to Haro Strait, a major shipping route to Vancouver, BC. Updated in 1919 with a 38' octagonal concrete tower rising from the fog signal building, its 4th-Order Fresnel lens was first exhibited from the new tower on June 30, 1919. The lighthouse did not receive electricity until the 1940s, after WW II..

The Coast Guard automated the Lime Kiln Lighthouse in August 1962, using photoelectric cells to turn the light on at dusk and off during daylight hours. In 1985, the lighthouse and surrounding sea were dedicated as a whale sanctuary and research station for marine mammal scientists. In 1998, the drum lens was replaced with a modern optic, flashing a white light once every 10 seconds. Sitting on the rocky shoreline at a height of 55 feet, the beacon is visible for 17 miles.

Next we photographed Discovery Island Light, Vancouver, British Columbia:




Built in 1886 on Pandora Hill, the highest point on Discovery Island in the province of British Columbia, Canada, the daughter of the first keeper, Mary Ann Croft, became the very first female lighthouse keeper in Canada, following the death of her father in 1902. Mary Ann retired as the keeper in 1932, having spent a total of 46 years living on Discovery Island, 30 of those years as keeper. In 1996 the lighthouse destaffed and automated, having been manned for 110 years.

The foghorn was deactivated and removed from the station in 2004. Nobody lives on the island the lighthouse buildings are deteriorating.

Next was Race Rocks Light, Vancouver, British Columbia:



One of two lighthouses (Fisgard is the other one) built on the west coast of Canada, financed by the British Government, and shone for the first time in 1860. It is the only lighthouse on that coast built of granite purportedly quarried in Scotland, and topped with sandstone quarried on Gabriola Island. The Islands of Race Rocks are located just off the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about 10 miles southwest of Victoria, British Columbia.

Built between 1958 and 1860, Race Rocks Light was illuminated on December 26, 1860, six weeks after the smaller Fisgard Island Lighthouse built at the entrance to Esquimal Harbour near Victoria. Both lighthouses celebrated their sesquicentennial in 2010.

Race Rocks Light is an 80' cylindrical tower with black and white bands that flashes a white light every 10 seconds. Its foghorn sounds 3 blasts at one minute intervals. Automated since 1997, restoration of the interior and exterior of the historic light tower was carried out in 2009.

Next was Sheringham Point, Vancouver, British Columbia:




Built to guide mariners entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the north between Carmanah Point and Race Rocks lighthouses, Sheringham Point and the Lighthouse are named for a commander of the Royal Navy whose accomplishments included surveying the south coast of England and Wales.

The hexagonal reinforced concrete lighthouse stands 84' high, and has a 7' lantern room that housed a 3rd-Order triple flashing Fresnel lens. Lit for the first time on September 30, 1912, the station’s close proximity to Victoria proved beneficial to keeping staff for long periods.

Destaffed in 1989, its 3rd-Order Fresnel lens was removed from the tower in 1978 and can be seen at the Sooke Region Museum. The Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed in 2003 to work for the preservation of the tower and the creation of a public park on the surrounding 10 acres. Conservation groups are petitioning the government to purchase other acreage around the lighthouse to prevent private developers from constructing homes.

Last flyover was Cape Flattery:




Captain James Cook visited the waters off the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in 1778. An opening along the coast had “flattered” Cook into thinking he had located a harbor or passage, prompting him to name the place Cape Flattery. He noted in his logbook, “In this very latitude geographers have placed the pretended Strait of Juan de Fuca. But nothing of that kind presented itself to our view, nor is it probably that any such thing ever existed.” Ten years later, several explorers confirmed the existence of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Occupying America’s northernmost point, Cape Flattery Lighthouses was part of the second batch of 8 lighthouses to be completed on the west coast. Built on Tatooche Island (named for the Chief of the Makah Indians), a small island a half mile off Cape Flattery in 1857, the tower protrudes through the roof of a 1-1/2-story dwelling. The tower was large enough to house the 1st-Order Fresnel lens–ordered for Point Loma Lighthouse and found to be too large. It was first illuminated on December 28, 1857, 2 weeks after the New Dungeness Lighthouse. Its 1st-Order Fresnel was replaced by a 4th-Order Fresnel sometime in 1932, and a Vega Rotating Beacon served as the light source in recent years.

An isolated station, keepers hired local Indians to transport people, supplies, and mail to the island. The station included a fog signal building (1872), a 33,000-gallon cistern (1875), a duplex (1876[?]) to house keeper and assistant keeper and their respective families. The dwelling in the lighthouse was used for storage after the duplex was built, as its conditions were such that it was uninhabitable and it was not until 1894 that it was made habitable again. Automated in 1977, substantial maintenance and repair work was performed on the island’s remaining structures in 1999. A 3-phase clean-up was completed by the Coast Guard in September of 2009. Removal of old generators and fuel tanks and erection of a new 30' skeletal tower that will require a checkup annually. The decommissioned Cape Flattery Lighthouse will eventually be turned over to the Makah Indian Tribe.

Last stop for the day was by car and Dofflemeyer Point Light:




Dofflemeyer Point defines the eastern side of the entrance to Bud Inlet. A lens lantern on top of a 12' stake was established at the point in 1887. The light was upgraded to the present 30' pyramidal concrete tower in 1934. Local residents were contracted to care for the light and activate the fog signal. The light was automated by the Coast Guard in the 1960s, but the fog signal still required manual activation-- the fog signal was not automated until 1987. Coast Guard personnel aboard a buoy tender maintain the signal today

Saturday, 04/24/2010: 1 lighthouse, 560 miles (round trip), 9.5 hours:




Clover Island is located off the shoreline of the Columbia River in Kennewick, WA. A new 62' tall lighthouse now helps to define the 17-acre island. Part of a plan to develop the 28-acre span of shoreline adjacent to Clover island that will eventually include a carousel and mixed commercial, retail, and residential development.

The lighthouse has a functioning solar powered LED beacon and will serve as a private aid to navigation.

Well, that’s a recap of our journey. Hope you enjoyed your trip. . . .

Sandy

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#68608 - 07/11/10 04:44 PM Re: CA/OR/WA 04/09–04/25, 2010 - 59 LHs, 2 LShips, 9 Fresnels, 2 Faux LHs, 4 Canadian LHs
WackoPaul Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 8949
Loc: Indy
Thanks for taking us along on your fantastic trip!!
_________________________
Onward to The Land of the Midnight Sun!

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