Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park

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The Point Cabrillo Light Station was built to guide ships at sea around the treacherous rocks along the northern California coast. Just north of the point lies the 1850 wreck of the clipper ship Frolic. The grounding of the ship brought the attention of settlers to the area, who noted the nearby stands of Redwoods that spurred more development in the area.

Some of that Redwood was used to construct the lighthouse and the housing of the lightkeeper and his assistants. The Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association manages the park for the state and has spearheaded an impressive effort to restore and maintain the buildings here in their Victorian splendor. Visitors can even stay overnight in some of the buildings that have been set up as cottages.

The park consists of almost 300 acres along the coast and a number of trails transect the property. The only parking in the park for day visitors is about a half mile from the lighthouse itself. The paved Lighthouse Road provides a straight shot down to the lightkeepers' housing a short distance from the lighthouse itself. That means anyone wanting to take a gander at the lighthouse has to plan on at least a mile of hiking, which probably tends to weed out some of less inclined.

Colorful roof
A closer view of the lighthouse. Red painted roofs here and on the lightkeepers' housing nearby provided a nice bit of color to the landscape. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Pacific side
A view of the lighthouse from closer to the Pacific shore. Note the two fog horns pointed out to sea. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
The Point Cabrillo lighthouse with the Pacific Ocean behind it. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
To the lighthouse
Housing on the right shows the morning commute for those who kept the light and fog horn working. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
The Head Lightkeeper's house is to the right. One of the assistant lightkeeper's houses is in the foreground. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Lightkeepers Museum
The former lightkeeper's house that now serves as a museum to give visitors an idea of what life was like for those families posted here. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
Trail View
The main paved path leading down to the lighthouse. Only park vehicles and those used by people staying in guest cottages can drive beyond this point. (Photo by Austin Explorer)
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Douglas E. Kyle, Hero Eugene Rensch, Ethel Grace Rensch, Mildred Brooke Hoover, Abeloe William Abeloe
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The only complete guide to the historical landmarks of California, this standard work has now been thoroughly revised and updated. The edition is enriched by some 200 photographs, most of which were taken by the reviser and all of which are new to this edition. Since the last revision in 1990, enormous changes have taken place within the state: many landscapes and buildings have been greatly altered and some are no longer in existence. Every effort has been made, through personal observation, to record the present condition of the landmarks and to provide clear and accurate descriptions of their locations. The text is written with the idea that the reader might use the book while traveling around the state, and thus mileage and signposts have been given where it was thought helpful. For this new edition, the reviser has added additional information on the state's geography, the presence of Native Americans, and state and local museums. To provide historical background, the reviser has written a short historical overview. The chapters of the book are organized by county, in alphabetical order. A rough chronology is followed for each county, beginning with pertinent facts on geography, continuing with Native American life, the coming of the Spaniards and other Europeans, the American conquest of the 1840s, and, in those areas where it had a major impact, the gold rush. The text then continues into the period of intensive agricultural development, railroads, industrialization, the growth of cities, the effects of World War II, and on into more recent times. The bibliography, like the text, has been updated to 2001 and includes some of the established classics in California history as well as more recent material. Reviews of the Fourth Edition "Prodigious in detail and scope, this is the definitive guide to historical landmarks in California and a valuable resource not only for travelers but also for anyone interested in California history." ―California Highways "This is an outstanding and accessible piece of scholarship, one that every student of California will value." ―San Francisco Chronicle "Kyle and Stanford University Press are to be lauded for this monumental undertaking." ―Southern California Quarterly