Last Visited: May, 2003
In July, 1865, the coastal steamer Brother Johnathan sank on St. George Reef, with the loss of over 150 lives. As a result, planning was begun to place a lighthouse in these treacherous waters. Constructed between 1882-1892, St. George is called America's most expensive lighthouse, costing in excess of $700,000. Built on a small wave washed rock six miles at sea, the lighthouse is composed of hundreds of individually cut granite blocks which were quarried nearly 100 miles south and transported to the site by a steamer. Capped by a cast iron lantern room which housed a giant First Order lens, the structure rose 150 feet above the sea.
Over it's years of service, St. George Lighthouse has withstood storms in which waves broke glass in the lantern room, and it was considered to be one of the most dangerous stations in the lighthouse service; during it's history, four keepers have been killed while on duty. Manned by personnel of the U.S. Lighthouse Service and later the Coast Guard, it was in operation until 1975. It's magnificent Fresnel Lens was removed to the Del Norte County Historical Society Museum in 1983. Throught the efforts of the SGRLPS, the lighthouse was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
St George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society
The best view is from land is at the beach at the north end of town (see maps). The lighthouse is 6 miles offshore, so this is a very DISTANT view. The photos you see on this page were taken with my digital SLR, a 400mm lens and 2x teleconverter. The SLR alone changes the focal length of 400mm lens to appx. 620mm. Then add the 2x teleconverter and the ultimate focal length was somewhere around 1200mm or more. Then some cropping was done in Adobe Photoshop to further "zoom" in the subject. Taking all that into consideration and it's obvious the lighthouse is a long ways from shore. Also, it's VERY windy at that beach. Make sure you've got good support for your camera, otherwise you'll end up with blurry photos.
Nearest Address: 4355 N Pebble Beach Dr Crescent City, CA
- Take US 101 north into Crescent City.
- Once past downtown take a left onto Northcrest Dr
- In 0.7 miles turn left onto East Washington Blvd.
- In 2 miles take a slight right onto N. Pebble Beach Blvd.
- Take N. Pebble Beach Dr. to the end at the beach parking lots. Go to the far end of the parking lots to get to the walkway that'll take you to the beach where you can see the lighthouse off in the distance.
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