Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Located in San Diego
Erected in November of 1855, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was frist lit at dusk on November 15, 1855. The original Point Loma Lighthouse is one of the original eight Cape Cod influenced structures built along the California coast to aid sea navigation. The lighthouse did not get off to a good start. First, construction costs reached over $30,000 - much over the budget. Then, when the first-order Fresnel lens arrived, the builders could not fit it into the tower and a smaller lens had to be substituted. Finally, because of its elevation, the light was often shrouded in fog.
For 36 years, the tower was a beacon at the entrance of the San Diego Bay. At 422 feet above sea level, the original location seemed to be good for ships entering the area. It was soon recognized, however, that the light was often hidden by low hanging clouds and dense fog. March 23, 1891, Robert Israel, the last keeper at the Old Point Loma Lighthouse extinguished the lamp for the last time. The site was boarded up and abandoned. Robert Israel and his wife, Maria, and their family moved into the new location closer to the water and at the tip of the Peninsula (You can see a picture of the new location at the bottom of the page).
Check the weather at Old Point Loma Lighthouse
You can dive up close to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and determine if you need warmer clothing.
Here is a picture of my son MAC and I
standing in the doorway of the Lighthouse.
The original 3rd Order, fixed (non-rotating). Sautler & Co. lens from the Old Point Loma Lighthouse
was shipped to the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment's New York Depot. The Henry-Lepaute lens
in the tower today is similar to the 3rd Order lens that was in use from 1855 until 1891.
Here is the way many people dressed back in those days.
Let's go inside the Old Point Loma Lighthouse
This was the lightkeepers home. When they would go home, they would go to a lighthouse.
This is looking in room #1
Kerosene lamps provided light for long evening.
This is room #3
Robert Israel was the lightkeeper for 20 years. Playing cards with family and friends helped pass the time.
Looking in room #4 up stairs.
Looking in room #6
Looking down the spiral stairs to location #2
This is looking up at the fresnel lens (location #7) from the ladder in location #5
Below is the New Point Loma Lighthouse that was constructed because of the fog.