Monday, April 30, 2012

Point Sur Lightstation

On our recent visit to Big Sur we had an opportunity to tour the Point Sur Lightstation.
This California State Historic Park is operated and maintained entirely by volunteers.  Visitors drive to a parking area at the base of the hill and hike up 360 feet to the lightstation.
You can't actually see the light from this side.  The lighthouse is lower on the hill so that the light would be under the clouds.
Restoration of the lantern room was made possible by grants, tour fees, gift shop sales, donations and membership fees in the Central Coast Lighthous Keepers.
If one has a fear of heights or is claustrophobic they might not care to clime up into the cupola.
This arch was not just an attractive window for viewing the Pacific, it supported a chimney.  The fog horn was operated by a wood fired boiler and it was necessary to direct the smoke away from the light so that it would not limit visibility.
 Wooden stairs led from the lighthouse up to the living area.
The small house on the left was the home of the head lighthouse keeper.  The three assistants and their families lived together in the larger house in the center.  Volunteers have almost completed restoration of the head keepers house.  So faithful are they to the effort that they are cutting down modern 12" linoleum tiles to the 9" that were common when the buildings were occupied.  They must wait for asbestos removal before they can restore the larger house.
In their spare time, the keepers would use their woodworking and blacksmith skill to make items to trade with local ranchers and farmers for fresh food and other items.  The dedicated volunteers have found period tools on e-bay and at yard sales to restock the shop.
A water tank, right.  No, though one did stand on this spot at one time.  It is a cell tower.  I think it is a big improvement over those fake trees we see all over.

For more information or to check tour dates, go to the Point Sur Lighthouse website .

To see more of our wonderful world got to Our World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.

20 comments:

Gary said...

Great to see Volunteers take over the place.Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Interesting post. Thank you.

Sylvia K said...

What a wonderful, beautiful place and I do love lighthouses!! Your captures are wonderful, Martha! Hope you have a lovely week!

Sylvia

Randi said...

Terrific captures! I love lighthouses too. This one looks very different to those we have here.

Karen said...

I love lighthouses! Great shots!

aka Penelope said...

I so like that photograph of the underside of stairs. It has a dizzying effect. Thank goodness for volunteers who tend to be the ones who keep up historical artifacts and monuments. They play such a vital role!

Snap said...

I love lighthouses. So great that volunteers are working here. Thanks for all the info and the link to the Point Sur Lighthouse.

Indrani said...

Great captures.

Gaelyn said...

What would happen to places like this without volunteers.

Black Jack's Carol said...

This was a wonderful tour. Thank you! I, too, especially enjoyed the stair shot, and I, too, am very grateful that the volunteers have worked so faithfully to restore history so accurately.

LifeRamblings said...

such a fascinating place to explore. lovely shots and i particularly love the perspective of the stairways.

Denise said...

This is such a beautiful lighthouse, and great pictures. I like hearing about the goodness of people, and volunteers are right up there in my books.

Janie said...

What a scenic, historic place to visit. Being a lighthouse keeper must've been a dream job, living on the coast with such a wonderful view.

katney said...

We visited the Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro a few years ago. It has an interesting history. I am sure all lighthouses do.

I too am annoyed by the fake tree cel towers, but they are marginally better than the naked ones.

CameraCruise said...

Great shots of the beautiful lighthouse.
I love lighthouses.
Thanks for sharing.
Mette

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Love this particular post. The old woodworking tools look so interesting. We tried to see the Pt. Reyes lighthouse recently but arrived too late.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I'm glad for the volunteers -- they're doing a good job. The life of lighthouse keepers is fascinating to me.

I agree about the cell tower/ vs.fake trees.

Joan said...

I have never been to this one. It's great when they are taken care of like this. Great dedication!

Linda Reeder said...

I'm just catching up on some of your coastal travels. Your photos are wonderful! Your blogs make me want to head out right this minute!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I think the story of the west coast lighthouses is fascinating. I've read about the tradeoff between the height for maximum visibility and staying below the fog. I think life was very hard on the staff and their families.

Great post.