Anacapa Island Light

Oct. 30, 2019

Anacapa Island Light, Santa Barbara Channel, near Ventura, California


Station Established: 1912
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1932
Operational? YES
Automated? YES 1968
Deactivated: n/a
Foundation Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE
Construction Materials: BRICK/CONCRETE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/BLACK TRIM
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1932

Historical Information:

Anacapa, a native-American word meaning "ever changing", was first discovered by Gabrillo in 1542. The islands were called Las Mesitas or the Little Tables by De Portola in 1769. Captain George Vancouver renamed them Anacapa from the Canalino Indian name of Enecapah.  Anacapa Island is really a chain of three small islets extending four and a half miles from east to west. The easternmost island is one mile long, a quarter of a mile wide, and rises 250 feet above the water. Middle Island is one and a half miles long, a quarter of a mile wide and 325 feet at its highest point. The western, and largest island of this group, is two miles long by six tenths of a mile wide, and rises to a peak of 930 feet.

Anacapa’s 40-foot lighthouse tower and adjacent foghorn building are located on East Anacapa. Her radiant 1.1 million candlepower light beacon, her bellowing foghorn and beeping radio signal have guided ships safely through the coastal channel since 1932, the date of construction. Prior to that an unattended light placed on the island in 1912 served as a guiding beacon for sailing vessels. A one tenth second of white light, 11-9/10 second of darkness, one-tenth second of light, 11-9/10 second of darkness, one tenth second of light, 35. 9 seconds of darkness. This is the visual voice of Anacapa Island Light Station. The foghorn, a diaphragm-type horn, groans one two second blast then is silent for two seconds, blasts again for two seconds and then completes the cycle with 14 seconds of silence during low visibility. Electronic equipment sends out a continual radio beacon signal with a range of 12 miles. The Coast Guardsmen and their families of the light station resided in the four large Spanish style white stucco houses with red tile roofs before the light station was automated in December, 1968. 

The buildings other than the lighthouse are now being utilized by the National Park Service.