Congress authorized lighthouses at several California locations in 1850, including San Diego. Construction began in 1854 on a lighthouse on a high bluff at the end of Point Loma, more than 400 feet above the sea. The lighthouse began service in November 1855. Its active life was fairly short, as it turned out. The great height of the light station was a handicap when low clouds and fog surrounded the bluff, so a new lighthouse was built on the low tip of the peninsula. Darkened for good on March 23, 1891, the original lighthouse ultimately became known as the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse is now a popular attraction within the National Park Service’s Cabrillo National Monument. There are three guests in this episode. Amanda Gossard is program manager for the Cabrillo National Monument. Karen Scanlon and Kim Fahlen are longtime volunteers for the Cabrillo National Monument, and they’re also the co-authors of the book Lighthouses of San Diego. Kim and Karen also happen to be identical twin sisters. Jen Lewis of Point Cabrillo Lighthouse in northern California cohosts this episode.
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