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Battery Point Light

California Travel Directory - Museums- Archaeology

Battery Point Light museum in California

Battery Point Light was one of the first lighthouses on the California coast. Rugged mountains and unbridged rivers meant coastal travel was essential for the economic survival of this region. In 1855, Congress appropriated $15,000 for the construction of a lighthouse on the tiny islet, which is connected to Battery Point by an isthmus which is visible, and can be traversed on foot, at low tide. Although not included in the 1852 contract by the United States Lighthouse Service for the first eight west coast lighthouses, the Battery Point Lighthouse was actually lit ten days before the Humboldt Harbor Lighthouse, the last of the original eight to become operational. The fourth-order Fresnel lens was lit in 1856. The lighthouse was automated in 1953, and a modern 375mm lens replaced the fourth-order Fresnel lens.

Access to the light does depend upon the tide, thus making it important to call ahead (707) 464-3089. To learn more about visiting the Battery Point Lighthouse.

In 1964, the earthquake that stuck Alaska sent a tidal wave toward the Battery Point Light that threatened to finally destroy it, but the light and its keepers were spared because the wave struck at an extreme angle that protected the structure. Crescent City was not quite so lucky, though, as 29 city blocks were destroyed.

Accessible by foot only at low tide, Battery Point is currently a Maritime Museum and is operated by Del Norte County. The Cape Cod structure built of brick and granite offers visitors a look at the maritime history of the region and gives great insight to the life of a light Keeper. Worn from storms and tidal waves, this 45 foot tower and attached lean-to still function today as an important navigational aid to seaward travelers along the northern Pacific coast.

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