Point Vicente Lighthouse

On our drive around the Palos Verdes peninsula in April during our family vacation in southern California, we made a brief stop at the Point Vicente Lighthouse on the most southwesterly point of the peninsula. The point was named in 1790 by Captain George Vancouver (who explored the Pacific coast for England in his ninety-foot sloop, Discovery) for his good friend Friar Vicente of the Mission Buenaventura.
Before the installation of this lighthouse on May 1, 1926, sailors deplored this dangerous stretch of coastland. Upon installation, it was the brightest beacon in southern California. The 1000-watt bulb, focused through a five foot lens, could be seen over twenty miles. The lens, hand ground by Paris craftsmen in 1886, saw forty years of service in Alaska before its installation here. The tower is 67 feet tall but the beam's position on the cliff gives it a height of 185 feet above the ocean. Operation of the lighthouse was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. The lighthouse was manned until automated equipment and remote control operators took over in 1971. It is still in operation today.

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