Sunday, June 22, 2008
Shining a Light On The Past
The bustling port of San Diego was in need of a lighthouse, and a site was chosen in 1851, one year after California had become a state. Building the Old Point Loma Lighthouse took three years, and it was another year before the special lens could be delivered from France. The lighthouse went into service in 1855 and on a clear night, its light could be seen for 25 miles. The fog and low clouds that are so common on the coast often obscured the beam of the lamp and in 1891, the lighthouse closed after only 36 years of service. A new lighthouse was built 100 yards to the south, down the cliff and closer to the water.
The color photograph of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was taken in the 1940s. The lighthouse is preserved today and is part of the Cabrillo Monument, which honors Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on our west coast.