GirlHacker's Random Log

almost daily since 1999

Two California Lighthouses


On Monterey Peninsula and in Big Sur, California, two historic lighthouses stand 25 miles apart. Both are open to visitors. The more accessible of the two, Point Pinos Lighthouse near Monterey, first shone in 1855 and claims the title “Oldest Continuously-Operating Lighthouse on the West Coast.” Its original whale oil lantern has been upgraded over the years and now a 1000 watt lightbulb is fronted by the prisms of a third order Fresnel lens.  Volunteers serve as lighthouse keepers and give tours. Point Sur Lighthouse sits on a large volcanic rock where it has guided ships since 1889. A spot on the 3 hour tour is required to gain access. As with many lighthouses operating nowadays, an aero-beacon (similar to the automatic lights used to warn aircraft away from towers) has taken the place of its first-order Fresnel lens (which is in the collection of the Museum of Monterey).