Carquinez Strait Light

July 22, 2019

Carquinez Strait Light, Vallejo, California


Lighthouse Name: Carquinez Strait Light
Location: Approximately 20 miles inland form the mouth of the San Francisco Bay near Vallejo, CA
Station Established: 1908
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1910
Operational? No
Automated? Yes, 1963
Deactivated: Yes, 1951
Foundation Materials: Wood pier
Construction Materials: Wood
Tower Shape: Square
Markings/Pattern: Cream colored
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: Fourth Order, Fresnel

Historical Information:

  • The Lighthouse Board relayed to Congress the need for a lighthouse between the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River. On January 15, 1910 the Carquinez Strait Light was lit.
  • The lighthouse stood at the end of a 1.5 mile pier and was attached to a three-story residence.
  • While in operation this site was used to test the vertical mushroom trumpet fog signals.
  • The lighthouse was deactivated in 1951. An automated beacon and fog signal were placed on the pier at that time.
  • After years of neglect, which included the smashing of the lens by vandals, the building was saved by investors who moved the residence to the Glen Cove Marina in Vallejo, California.
  • The residence, without the tower, is used as the marina office and yacht sales showroom.

The above was researched and drafted by Melissa Buckler, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.

Additional Information (taken from a 1966 USCG Press Release):

Carquinez Strait Light Station is an automatic light station located at Vallejo, California between Suisun Bay and San Pablo Bay. It was first placed into operation on January 15, 1910. The original structure, a 28-room light house weighing 150 tons, was used until abandoned by the Coast Guard in 1951. New family quarters were constructed on top of the bluff overlooking San Pablo Bay and the entrances to Carquinez Strait and Mare Island Strait. On August 6, 1955, the original structure was taken off its pilings and put aboard a barge. It was then successfully towed two miles to its new location at Elliott Cove and converted into a resort. The new buildings were constructed in 1951 on top of the bluff. The main family dwelling consisted of two 3~bedroom and two 2 bedrooms. The men assigned maintained and operated the light at the end of the breakwater and an automatic fog signal. In addition, the unit was responsible for providing emergency repairs on five aids to navigation in the vicinity of the station. A 24-hour lookout was maintained. On June 3, 1963, the Coast Guard personnel were transferred from the station and the light and fog signal were automated.  (December 1966)