Point Bonita Lighthouse, Point Bonita, San Francisco Bay entrance in the Marin Headlands, near Sausalito, Marin County, California
Built in 1855.
POINT BONITA LIGHT
Location: POINT BONITA/SAN FRANCISCO BAY ENTRANCE NEAR SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA
Station Established: 1855
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1877
Foundation Materials: MASONRY
Construction Materials: BRICK/CEMENT
Tower Shape: POLYGONAL ON SQUARE OIL HOUSE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: SECOND ORDER FRESNEL LENS, 1877
- Point Bonita Light Station had the first fog signal on the West Coast. It was an Army surplus 24-pounder siege gun.
- This light is only one in America that can only be reached by crossing a suspension bridge. Of course, it is a replica of the Gold Gate Bridge.
- The original Point Bonita Light was located too high. While East Coast lights need to be tall to be seen, the West Coast has incredibly dense fog above 300 feet. The original light was 306 feet above sea level. The second order Fresnel lens was often cloaked in fog and was not able to be seen from the sea below.
- In 1877 the lighthouse was moved to its current location. This location required the builders to overcome many challenges, including the need for a hand carved, 118-foot long hard rock tunnel.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.