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Western Lighthouses

Most of the pictures here were taken in the spring of 2008 on a trip up the CA and OR coasts.

Eastern Lighthouses            Canadian Lighthouses


Point Piedras Blancas, CA

Located at the northern entrance to San Simeon Bay, the Piedras Blancas lighthouse, built in 1875, has a 74' tower. The light is 142' above sea level. It was automated in 1975 and its First Order Fresnel lens was replaced with a VRB-25 in 2002.

20 Apr 2008


Point Pinos Light

Guarding the south entrance to Monterey Bay, the Point Pinos Light was built in 1855. Its 43' foot tower contains the original third-order Fresnel lens and is still in operation.

24 Apr 2008


The original lighthouse in Santa Cruz was built in 1869, moved in 1878, and deactivated in 1941. Private owners razed it in 1948.

In 1965, Mark Abbot, an 18-year old surfer died nearby; his family donated the money to build a new lighthouse in his memory in 1967.

25 Apr 2008

The Pigeon Point Lighthouse dates from 1872, and at 115' is the tallest operating lighthouse on the west coast. Although now lit by a modern aero-type beacon, the original first-order Fresnel lens is still in the tower and is lit once a year in November to celebrate the light's birthday.

25 Apr 2008


Montara, CA

The Point Montara light is a small, 30' tower originally built in 1881 in Wellfleet MA on Cape Cod. Decommissioned in 1925 it was moved and rebuilt here in 1925. It is the only US lighthouse currently in existence that has stood watch over two oceans. Originally equipped with a fourth order Fresnel lens, it was automated in 1970 with the installation of an FA-251.

27 Apr 2008

Fort Point, San Francisco CA

The Fort Point light is the third light to guard the entrance to San Francisco Bay. It was built in 1864 as part of Fort Point. The steel tower atop the brick turret is 27' high, putting the light 110' above sea level. The light was deactivated in 1934 and its fourth order Fresnel lens was removed.

27 Apr 2008


Point Reyes CA

It was cold, foggy day when we visited the Point Reyes light. There are 308 steps down to the light. It was built in 1870 with a first order Fresnel lens, which although no longer in use, is still in the tower. The 35' tower put the light 294' feet above the water.

28 Apr 2008

Point Arena CA

The original 1870 Point Arena light was damaged in the 1906 earthquake; it was replaced in 1908 with this 115' tower, the first reinforced concrete tower built in the US. Its first order Fresnel lens was replaced in 1977 with an automated DCB-224.

29 Apr 2008


Mendocino CA

The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was activated in 1909 and housed a third-order Fresnel lens and a steam-powered air siren. In 1972 the Coast Guard retired the fog signal and replaced the Fresnel lens with an automated DCB-224 aero-beacon. Thanks to local conservation groups, the Fresnel lens was placed back in service in 1999. The head keeper's home is now an inn.

29 Apr 2008


Trinidad CA

This replica of the Trinidad Head Light was built in 1949.

4 May 2008


Trinidad CA

Unfortunately, this is as close as the public is allowed to the Trinidad Head Light. You can just make out the light in the center left, while the wooden water tank is a little closer up the hill on the right. This light was activated in 1871 with a fourth order Fresnel lens. The tower is 25' high, with the light 196' above sea-level.

4 May 2008

Crescent City CA

Built in 1856, the Battery Point light is one of the oldest along the Pacific coast. It's 45' tower originally contained a fourth order Fresnel lens; it was replaced with a fifth order lens in 1953. The light is accessible at low tide by walkers.

4 May 2008


Cape Blanco OR

The Cape Blanco lighthouse stands at the westernmost point in Oregon. Commissioned in 1870, the light is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast. Sitting atop a 245' bluff, the tower rises 59'. Its first order lens was replaced with a second order lens in 1936 and the light was automated in 1980.

6 May 2008


Coquille River OR

Standing on the north bank of the Coquille River in Bandon, OR, the 40' Coquille River Lighthouse was commissioned in 1896. It ceased operations in 1939 after improvements were made in the river's navigation.

7 May 2008


Cape Arago OR

Cape Arago Lighthouse: The 44' tower stands on an islet 100' above sea level. This is a fairly new light, built in 1939 to replace an earlier tower. In fact, there were two earlier lights here, built in 1866 and 1908; both succumbed to weather and erosion. The original fourth order lens was replaced by a solar-powered VRB-25 beacon in 1998.

7 May 2008

Umpqua River Light, Winchester Bay OR

The Umpqua River Lighthouse guards the entrance to Winchester Bay. This is the second light here; the first fell into the river in 1861, only 4 years after being commissioned. The new 65' tower was built in 1894, and is located on higher ground 165' above sea level. The original first order lens is still in operation.

9 May 2008


Hecetah Head OR

Said to be the most-photographed lighthouse in the United States, Hecetah Light was built in 1894. It boasts a first-order Fresnel lens 205 feet above sea level, making it visible 21 miles to sea.

9 May 2008

Yaquina Bay, Newport OR

The Yaquina Bay Light, inactive from 1874-1996, was built in 1871. Its tower is 51' tall, with the light 161' above sea-level. It was replaced by the Yaquina Head Light in 1874.

12 May 2008


Yaquina Head, Newport OR

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse was lit in 1873. It's 93' tower is the tallest on the Oregon coast. Its first order lens, installed when the tower was built, is still in operation.

12 May 2008

Cape Meares OR

The Cape Meares Light, with its 40' tower, is the shortest on the Oregon coast. It was built in 1890 and replaced by an automated beacon in 1963. The original first order lens is still in place. Of particular note is the fact that this is one of only two 8-sided lights in the United States; the other is in Hawaii,

13 May 2008


Hannibal MO

The Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse was originally built in 1935 not as an aid to navigation but to shine light over the year-long festivities surrounding celebration of Mark Twain's birthday. The lighthouse was originally lit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt from the White House. The lighthouse was rebuilt in the 1960's and rededicated by President Kennedy. The lighthouse was refurbished in 1994 and rededicated by President Clinton..

15 Jun 2002


While stationed on Okinawa in 1968, I explored much of the island on a little Honda motorcycle. One day I came across this lighthouse.

Jun 1968