Aug 292013

The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was built in 1909.  It’s bright beam of light was visible for more than 20 miles, to guide ships away from the jagged rocks and reefs of the Mendocino Coast.Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Scene

Lighthouse Museum California
We had to walk the one half mile to the lighthouse, since driving is restricted to service vehicles or people vacationing there.  According to the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society website, a French physicist, Augustin Fresnel invented the lens.
Lighthouse Museum lightLighthouse Museum FireplaceThe Fresnel lens’ glass prisms are clustered to appear like one enormous beehive.  The hand ground and polished glass prisms were fitted into the frames, so they bend the light into a horizontal beam.  Since this type of lens produces more light with less weight, the Fresnel lens has many uses even today.

The lighthouse keeper’s full-time job was to keep the lens’ oil lamps burning brightly, make sure the lens turned smoothly and clean the smoke off the prisms.  Today, this function is done electronically with minimum maintenance work involved.Lighthouse Museum toys

Originally, the fog horn had two steam-driven diaphones that produced a two-tone “bah-rump.”  The keeper and his assistants had the tedious job of tending the boilers that produced the steam.  The fog horn is no longer needed, but I wonder how the light keeper’s family slept through the noisy bah-rumps.

The children had tinker toys and a rocking whale to play with.  I love the whale’s colorful, pink lips!

The job of lighthouse keeper offered low pay, but free room and board for the families living there.  If you’ve always wanted to experience a quiet and isolated vacation, you can rent the Head Lighthouse Keepers home at this website:
This historical museum is a short distance from Fort Bragg, California.  If the youngsters in your family aren’t ready for a quiet vacation, I highly recommend visiting the lighthouse just to see this lens operate.  It is so unique and amazing to watch, as it silently sends it’s beacon out to sea.  Please share where you enjoyed your most unusual vacation.

  12 Responses to “Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, a unique vacation site”

  1. Oh, Neva, this post so tugs at my heart! I have always been fascinated with lighthouses. Even had an East Coast tour of several planned years go. Unfortunately a hurricane decided to beat me to it.

    My most unusual vacation was with my kids in Colorado. They spent their days skiing, but I spent my hours in and around our quiet cabin on a llama ranch. The llamas and their individual personalities made it unique.

  2. Neva, I was born and raised in Central California and our drives up the Mendocino coast were some of favorites! Thank you for the memory! 🙂

  3. Aloha Neva, I’ve never been to this lighthouse, wonderful, thanks for sharing…there’s actually three glass beaches in Ft. Bragg so it comes and goes with the tide.

    • Hi Noel, I didn’t realize there were three glass beaches. I appreciate your comments and information regarding the tide’s effect on the beach. I hope you get a chance to visit this lighthouse. I don’t think people realize what a gem it is!

  4. It’s a beauty, isn’t it? There’s definitely something about lighthouses. 🙂

    • My husband and I are dedicated train buffs. Now I’ve added lighthouses to my bucket list travel sites. The more history I learn, the more I want to see! Thanks for your comment, Jo.

  5. Love the first picture, it is quiet nice. I like lighthouses as well 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Marysia. My husband and I are train buffs and now I’ve added lighthouses to my Travel Bucket List.

  6. Beautiful place 🙂

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