San Luis Obispo Lighthouse

Oct. 15, 2019

San Luis Obispo Lighthouse, Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County, California

Built in 1890.


Location: On Point San Luis, west side of the San Luis Obispo Bay, near Avila Beach
Station Established: 1890
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1890
Operational: No
Automated: 1974
Deactivated: 1975
Foundation Materials: Masonry
Construction Materials: Wood frame
Tower Shape: Octagonal lantern on square tower
Markings/Pattern: White
Characteristic: Flashing white, 20s (3s fl)
Relationship to Other Structure: Attached
Original Lens: Fourth Order, Fresnel
Fog Signal: 10-inch steam whistle

Historical Information:

  • The lighthouse at San Luis Obispo was completed in 1890 and is a 40-foot tower attached to a Victorian style dwelling.  The area was originally known as Port Harford.
  • The area was very difficult to access by land.  Supplies were by brought in by steamer.
  • The Fresnel lens was replaced with a modern beacon in 1969.
  • The light was automated in 1974.  In 1976 the lens was moved to the San Luis Obispo County Historical Society. 
  • Restoration is under way by the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers with the hope of opening as a museum

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