Historic Sites, San Diego, California
Old Point Loma lighthouse
As a youngling I grew up in Point Loma and never paid attention to all the history there. I decided to visit the lighthouse and found the lighthouse to be a nice experience.
With the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848, ship traffic greatly increased on the west coast, prompting the construction of several lighthouses. The Point Loma Lighthouse was one of the original eight west coast lighthouses, built under contract by the firm of Gibbons and Kelly from Baltimore. Six of the original eight, including the Point Loma Lighthouse, were built in the cape cod style, consisting of a one and a half story dwelling with a central, spiral staircase leading to the lantern room perched atop the structure.
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. What seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, had a serious flaw. Fog and low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished and the keeper moved to a new lighthouse location closer to the water at the tip of the Point.
Today, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still stands watch over San Diego, sentinel to a vanished past. The National Park Service has refurbished the interior to its historic 1880s appearance.