This Saturday, Nov, 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the 140th anniversary of Pigeon Point Lighthouse will be celebrated with festivities at the lighthouse and good news about progress toward restoring this coastside historic landmark.
The anniversary marks the first lighting of the lighthouse’s magnificent Fresnel lens on November 15, 1872.
Most anniversary celebrations in past years have included a once-a-year lighting of the Fresnel lens. That won’t happen this year because a year ago the lens was removed from the lighthouse for safe keeping so the tower could be repaired.
The tower has been closed to the public since December 2001, when two sections of the cast iron belt course near the top of the tower broke off and the lighthouse was declared structurally unsound.
The lens is now on display in the nearby Fog Signal Building, so anniversary visitors will have an opportunity to see it up close. The lens will be returned to the tower when the restoration is completed.
The next step in restoration of the lighthouse occurred just recently, with completion of the interim stabilization of the tower. Visitors this Saturday will be able to see the progress that has been made, with rust removed from the lighthouse ironwork, which now is sealed and protected with rust converter, broken windows replaced, and debris netting installed around the circumference of the belt course.
The interim stabilization, funded by a generous grant from the Hind Foundation, is intended to keep the lighthouse safe until enough money can be raised to completely rehabilitate it. The California State Park Foundation (CSPF) is spearheading the drive to raise money for the complete restoration of the lighthouse tower. The Coastside State Parks Association is raising funds to support the broader restoration of all the light station buildings and grounds.
The day-long celebration this Saturday will include activities for visitors of all ages, including grounds tours, games, information booths, local authors, live music, and the debut of a new video of the beginning of the restoration of the lighthouse. Volunteers who have been restoring the light station grounds will have local native plants on display and a limited number available to purchase.
Light refreshments will be available to purchase, or you can bring a picnic lunch. The event is co-sponsored by California State Parks and the Coastside State Parks Association.
How to get there: Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park is located on Pigeon Point Road, right off Highway 1, approximately 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 30 miles north of Santa Cruz.