California’s iconic Pigeon Point Lighthouse, located on the central coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, has been guiding mariners since 1872. Today, the historic light station is managed by California State Parks, and the former keepers’ housing serves as a youth hostel. The lighthouse has been closed to climbing since December 2001, after the collapse of some of the brickwork from near the top of the tower.
California State Parks recently announced an upcoming $16 million restoration of the lighthouse, which will begin early this year. During the rehabilitation, contractors will refurbish or replace all the ironwork throughout the tower, and masonry elements will also be repaired or replaced as needed. Today’s guest, Julie Barrow, is the special projects coordinator at Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park.
Also included in this episode is one of our occasional “Be a Lighthouse” segments. This past Christmas Day, a very special dinner was served by the fire department in Ogunquit, Maine. Many of the guests were people who would otherwise be alone for Christmas. The Ogunquit Fire Department has also been helping firefighters in Ukraine. Light Hearted host Jeremy D’Entremont spoke with Ogunquit Fire Chief Russell Osgood about these initiatives.
Please note: Near the end of the episode, there is a promotion for an upcoming USLHS virtual Zoom event featuring Ford Reiche, owner of Halfway Rock Lighthouse in Maine. In the podcast, it’s said that the event is at 7 p.m EST on January 20, but the correct time is 4 p.m. EST. Click here for more details and to register to attend the event.
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