The year 2021 proved to be more challenging than anticipated, yet once again, with the outstanding efforts of you, our brilliant volunteers, friends and supporters, the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association was able to manage, protect, restore, interpret and provide public access to the historic Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park.
Point Cabrillo Light Station is open to the public again! As restrictions were lifted, doors opened to masked visitors. As vaccines became available, operations achieved a safe “new normal”. Docents greeted visitors in the Lighthouse Museum and Gift Shop every day and in the First Assistant Keeper’s House on weekends. Jen Lewis’s efforts on social media enabled new and returning friends to keep in touch. Her inspired and increasingly popular “Pups at the Point” feature celebrates our four footed furry visitors. A few “Cats at Cabrillo” added to the fun.
Several school groups visited throughout the year and our Education Team anticipate many more in 2022. Kristin Gordon helped us expand the previous Whale Festival events to include 5 Saturdays of outdoor interpretation activities and whale spout spotting which will continue in 2022, in March and April. Those dates and activities will be announced soon!
This year the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse was featured in a stunning piece by local artist Ryan Grossman, for a mural that now hangs at the corner of Redwood Street and Highway One in downtown Fort Bragg. This piece was commissioned by Margaret Reiter in honor of her late husband Ron, and you can read all about it at the Fort Bragg Alleyway Art Project website.
The response to the mid-year Education Raffle inspired us to switch our fundraising efforts to include the option of raffle tickets or tax deductible donations for our end of year appeal. The result has been outstanding and some lucky people will be winning stays in the Vacation Rentals this coming week.
Steve’s maintenance efforts this year were primarily behind the scenes. Leaks were repaired, basements cleared, doors rehung, document organization and storage enhanced and satellite internet installed. Progress on determining what we need to do to rebuild the historic Barn has advanced beyond expectations. We look forward to re-opening the Kearn Family Farmhouse with exhibits that expand understanding of local Pomo history and lots of painting in 2022!
New energy joined our Board of Directors bringing new skills and perspectives. Mikael Blaisdell is researching the fog signal and was elected Vice President, Samantha Greenlee has been organizing records and researching what to do about rebuilding the Barn, Kom Dixon took over Treasurer when Scott Vorhees moved to Ohio. Ruth Walsh left the Board but not Point Cabrillo as she will be leading East House History training as well as continuing to serve in the Lighthouse.
The delayed remembrance of the 1850 Frolic shipwreck was delayed again. We haven’t given up on the beer though!
The magnificent historic Fresnel Lens inspired the PCLK to endure and in many ways thrive. It has been a tough year and our hearts go out to all who have suffered personal loss and sadness.
It is my honor on behalf of the Board of Directors to once again thank you for all that you do. Whether you are new to this organization as a supporter or a volunteer with ten hours or thousands of hours, we are reminded that it takes a group of determined people to keep the beacon at Point Cabrillo shining.
President of the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org