Point Sur Lighthouse

Oct. 1, 2019

Point Sur Lighthouse, Monterey County, California

Built in 1889.


Location: Moro Rock, near Big Sur, California
Station Established: 1889
Year Current / Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1889
Operational: Yes
Automated: 1972
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Materials: Natural/Emplaced
Construction Materials: Sandstone
Tower Shape: Square on Fog Signal Building
Tower Height: 270 feet above water
Markings/Pattern: White Tower on Sandstone Building
Characteristic: Flashing White, 15 seconds
Relationship to Other Structure: Integral
Original Lens: First Order, Fresnel
Fog Signal: Diaphone, air, group of 2 blasts every 60 seconds, blast 2 seconds, silent 1 second, blast 3 seconds, silent 54 seconds.

Historical Information:

  • Point Sur has always been a navigational nightmare.  After 11 years of petitioning the U. S. Lighthouse Service Board, money was allocated for the Point Sur Light in 1886 . The lighthouse was completed in 1889.
  • Life on Point Sur was very lonely and isolated.  Trips to Monterey were rare since the trail was long and treacherous.  The keepers would receive goods and bulk supplies on a lighthouse tender boat roughly every four months.  As road construction advanced, life on the Point Sur became less isolated.  The light was automated in 1972.
  • The light is still an active aid to navigation and is open to the public.

Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Light House Society volunteer.