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Point Reyes Lighthouse

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Title: Point Reyes Lighthouse  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Point Reyes (former settlement), California, Point Reyes Lifeboat Station
Collection: Buildings and Structures in Marin County, California, Historic Districts in California, Historic Districts on the National Register of Historic Places in California, History of Marin County, California, Lighthouse Museums in California, Lighthouses Completed in 1870, Lighthouses in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lighthouses on the National Register of Historic Places in California, Museums in Marin County, California, National Register of Historic Places in Marin County, California, Point Reyes National Seashore, Towers Completed in 1870, Transportation in Marin County, California, West Marin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Point Reyes Lighthouse

Point Reyes Lighthouse
Point Reyes Light
Point Reyes Lighthouse is located in California
Location Point Reyes, California
Year first lit 1870
Automated 1975
Foundation Concrete
Construction Cast Iron with Brick Lining
Tower shape 16-sided Pyramidal
Markings / pattern white with red roof
Height 35 feet (11 m)
Focal height 265 feet (81 m)
Original lens First order Fresnel lens rotating, 1870
Current lens First order Fresnel lens
Range 21 nautical miles; 39 kilometres (24 mi)
Characteristic white flash every 5 s
Admiralty number G4356
ARLHS number USA-636
USCG number


Point Reyes Light Station
Architect Marston, Phineas F.
Governing body United States Coast Guard
MPS Light Stations of California MPS
NRHP Reference # 91001100
Added to NRHP September 3, 1991[1]

The Point Reyes Lighthouse, also known as Point Reyes Light or the Point Reyes Light Station, is a lighthouse in the Gulf of the Farallones on Point Reyes in Point Reyes National Seashore, located in Marin County, California, U.S.A.

The park's adjacent Lighthouse Visitor Center features exhibits about the lighthouse and the park's marine life and natural history. Visitors can climb down about 300 steps down to the lighthouse itself, weather permitting. The main chamber of the lighthouse, known as the Lens Room, features the Fresnel lens and clockwork mechanism, and is open to the public on a limited basis.


  • History 1
  • Image gallery 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


A lighthouse was assigned to Point Reyes in 1855, but construction was delayed for fifteen years because of a dispute between the United States Lighthouse Board and the landowners over a fair price for the land. The lighthouse is a sixteen sided, 37-foot (11 m) tower, and a twin of Cape Mendocino Light. The first-order Fresnel lens was first lit on December 1, 1870. Electricity came to the lighthouse in 1938, and concrete steps were built into the cliff in 1939. The station was automated in 1975.

The following historical information from March 1962 is maintained on the USCG web site:

Point Reyes Light Station was established in 1870 at Point Reyes, Calif., 19 miles (31 km) from the nearest town of [2]

The lighthouse was used as a location for the 1980 John Carpenter film The Fog. It is also the subject of a poem by Weldon Kees, "The Exposed Reef." Kees, together with filmmaker and photographer William Heick, later made a documentary film about the lighthouse and its environs in 1954-55.[3]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.[1]

Image gallery

See also


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: California". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  3. ^ James Reidel, Vanished Act: The Life and Work of Weldon Kees (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press).
  • "Chart 18647: United States - West Coast - Drakes Bay".  

External links

  • Visiting information for Point Reyes Lighthouse and Lighthouse Visitor Center - National Park Service
  • entry
  • A short video of Pt. Reyes Light Station, Public Domain,
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