Scenic USA - California

Battery Point Lighthouse

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Battery Point Lighthouse - Crescent City, California

Photos by Denny Barnes
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     Battery Point, a spit of land that forms the north end of Crescent City Harbor, provides a finicky link to Battery Point Lighthouse.Battery Point Light Station - Crescent City, California Built on a tiny islet, land access to the light station changes with the daily ups and downs of the Pacific tide. The lighthouse, built in a Cape Cod style, was one of a group of nine lighthouses built in the mid 1800s. The Crescent City Light Station was among California's first round of lighthouses, spurred on by the increased maritime traffic and newcomers joining the California Gold Rush. Light station construction was completed in December, 1856, at a cost of 15,000 dollars.
     Crescent City is geographically located near the northern border of the state's 1260 mile long coastline. Here, the rugged North Coast is marked by ever-changing weather. Coupling together the Pacific's harsh weather, relentless surf and corrosive salt air, the light station endured constant challenges from the sea. Taking a severe beating from wind and waves, by 1875 the light station was listed in poor condition. Battery Point Light Station - Crescent City, California Remarkably, the lighthouse continued to serve Crescent City Harbor until it was deactivated in 1965.
     One of 15 California lighthouses open for tours, the Battery Point Lighthouse is only open when low tide permits access across a narrow isthmus. Operated under a lease to the Del Norte Historical Society, the lighthouse was relit in 1982 as a private navigational aid. The keeper's quarters serves as a maritime museum, and features the original 4th order Fresnel lens. Steadily approaching the 160 year mark, the Battery Point beacon remains the oldest working lighthouse in the state.

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