Santa Cruz Lighthouse

Oct. 15, 2019

Santa Cruz Lighthouse, Santa Cruz, California

Built in 1869.


Location: On point, west side of entrance to Santa Cruz Harbor
Station Established: 1869
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1869
Operational: No
Automated: No
Deactivated: 1941
Foundation Materials:
Construction Materials: Wood
Tower Shape: Square tower on roof of dwelling
Markings/Pattern: Originally white, later changed to red
Characteristic: Gp. Fl. W., 15 s
Relationship to Other Structure:
Original Lens: Fifth Order, Fresnel
Fog Signal:

Historical Information:

  • The original Santa Cruz Lighthouse had only three keepers in it lifetime.  The first was A.A. Hecox.  He was succeeded in 1883 by his daughter Laura Hecox who was keeper until her retirement in 1916.  Arthur Anderson served until 1941 when the light was discontinued.
  • Erosion became a problem and in 1878 the lighthouse was 300 feet inland.
  • A fourth order lens was installed 1909.  The structure was sold in 1948 and razed in May of that year.
  • In 1965 a surfer named Mark Abbott drowned near the site of the lighthouse. His parents built a brick lighthouse near the site of the original.  The new lighthouse, The Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse is home to the Santa Cruz Surfer’s Museum.  The lantern room on the new structure is from the Oakland Harbor Light.

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