Photos are courtesy of Julie Barrow, California State Parks
Established in 1872, Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pascadero, California celebrated its 147th anniversary on November 16, 2019. The event was sponsored by California State Parks and the Coastside State Parks Association (CSPA). Activities during the day included: small tours into the base of the tower; guided grounds tours; viewing of exhibits, including the stunning first order Fresnel lens; and a book signing by historian and author JoAnn Semones.
Now the Pigeon Point Lighthouse had more to celebrate than ever! Several “ground level” projects were unveiled that support Pigeon Point’s tower restoration and preservation efforts. Recently completed projects include a new roof on the keeper’s office and oil room at the tower’s base and lead abatement in those rooms. This resulted in the creation of safe public tours into the keeper’s office and tower base.
The fuel bunker, constructed in 1905, was also refurbished, lead abatement was performed, and safer benches were built for use around the bunker. A new exhibit created by JoAnn Semones was added which expands upon those in the fog signal building. Since Pigeon Point was originally named Whale Point and was later the site of a shore whaling station, the display includes a large sample of whale baleen.
Another major project to brighten up the park and improve visitor safety was rebuilding the picket fence along the south bluff of the park. Big Creek Lumber donated the redwood lumber while the Park Champions program of the California State Parks Foundation coordinated the volunteer labor. Rice Soil Farm donated rock to finish the trail along the fence. CSPA funded non-lumber materials such as paint, concrete, and tools.
Also underway is a contract to refurbish the weather-beaten exterior of the fog signal building, restore the badly corroded fog horn trumpets, and rebuild the decaying back deck. Funds for this were raised by CSPA.
“Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Pigeon Point each year. It is a beloved landmark and people are eager to see the tower and other structures restored and preserved,” explains Julie Barrow, Special Projects Coordinator for Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park. “Once the tower can be reopened, we will offer public tours again to view the priceless first order Fresnel lens in its rightful place at the top of the beacon.”
This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2020 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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