Punta Gorda Lighthouse

Oct. 7, 2019

Punta Gorda Lighthouse, 12 miles south of Cape Mendocino, Humboldt County, California

Built in 1912.


Location: TWELVE MILES SOUTH OF CAPE MENDOCINO; access by vehicle and 1½ hour hike on foot.
Station Established: 1911
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1912
Operational? NO
Automated? UNK
Deactivated: 1951
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower Shape: SQUARE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, BULLS EYE 1912
Property now part of State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation
Occupants: None

Historical Information:

Punta Gorda originally consisted of 22 acres upon which were situated three dwellings, a small two-story concrete lighthouse, concrete oil house, a wooden fog signal building, blacksmith/carpenter-shop, three storage sheds, and a barn. In 1951 all aids-to-navigation were discontinued, the buildings boarded up and personnel was transferred. Whereabouts of the lens is unknown. The property was transferred to the Bureau of Land Management. In the late 1960’s "hippies" moved into the quarters and improved them. Local authorities evicted these people and the Bureau of Land Management burned all the buildings except the Lighthouse and oil house. Punta Gorda was and is a very difficult station to reach. Most of the years it was in operation access was via horse, and during good weather horse-drawn wagon. After the Coast Guard assumed command a rough road was constructed (that usually washed out) and a jeep was used for transportation.