Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 266 – John Zimmerman and Jen Lewis, St. George Reef, California

The seas off the northern California coast are notoriously rough, and no area is more treacherous than St. George Reef, which is the tip of a submerged volcanic mountain about six miles offshore. Construction of a lighthouse on the reef began in 1883. It took nine years to complete the massive 90-foot-tall granite tower on top of a 50-foot-tall base. A powerful first-order Fresnel lens was installed, and the lighthouse began service on October 20, 1892.

St. George Reef Lighthouse, California. Courtesy of the St. George Reef Preservation Society.
Jen Lewis and John Zimmerman at St. George Reef Lighthouse. Courtesy of Jen Lewis.

After a large navigational buoy was positioned nearby in 1975, the light station was discontinued, and the crew was removed. The St. George Reef Preservation Society was formed in 1988 for the purpose of restoring and maintaining the lighthouse. The organization has also provided public tours via helicopter.

Interviewed in this episode is John Zimmerman, president of the St. George Reef Preservation Society. Also taking part in the interview is Jen Lewis, outreach manager for the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. Jen also cohosts the episode.

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