BLM Completes Restoration of 114-Year-Old Punta Gorda Light Station

Press release from BLM:

white and black light house

The Bureau of Land Management has completed restoration of the 114-year-old Punta Gorda Light Station overlooking the Pacific Coast along the Lost Coast Trail south of Eureka. The rehabilitation project was partially funded by $2.8 million received through the Great American Outdoors Act.

In addition to restoring the scenic quality of the two-story lighthouse and adjacent oil house, renovations included repairing railings and replacing a spiral stairway leading to the lighthouse lantern room and deck. The project was planned and supervised by a team of BLM Arcata Field Office staff members with expertise ranging from engineering to wildlife biology.

“A challenging aspect was completing the work without disturbing a colony of northern elephant seals and harbor seals protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act,” said Paul Sever, manager of the BLM King Range National Conservation Area. “We had a four-month window of work time and monitored the seals constantly for any sign of disturbance. We were happy to see that the seals tolerated our project well.”

The light station, a beacon for ship navigation, was built in 1910. Its light was fueled by oil stored in the nearby and now-restored oil house. The station also included housing and other wooden structures. The light station was deactivated in 1951 and the Fresnel lens used to cast the lighthouse beam far out to sea was removed. The station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The light station is near the Mattole Trailhead at the north end of the King Range National Conservation Area, near the community of Petrolia. Hiking to the site requires planning and caution due to creek crossings, a trail section that is only passable at low tide, and the potential for unpredictably high waves. Information on day hiking to the site and backpacking the Lost Coast Trail safely is available from the BLM King Range Office at 707-986-5400.

Facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Join the discussion! For rules visit: https://kymkemp.com/commenting-rules

Comments system how-to: https://wpdiscuz.com/community/postid/10599/

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John
Guest
John
5 months ago

They should have kept the Fresnel lens. The lenses are the reason they’re called lighthouse. And, they’re really not authentic lighthouses without them.

Outside Looking In
Guest
Outside Looking In
5 months ago
Reply to  John

Yeah, I wish they’d quit doing that.
A lighthouse without its lens upstairs is like a diamond ring minus the diamond.

BoffinD
Member
5 months ago
Reply to  John

If the lens was in this lighthouse it would have been completely destroyed decades ago

farfromputin
Member
farfromputin
5 months ago

The hike to Punta Gorda is very scenic. I usually go in the springtime when the seas calm down. The Elephant seals don’t seem to mind my presence though I do give them space..

Country Bumpkin
Guest
Country Bumpkin
5 months ago

They should have just torn it down and given the site back its original name. Punta Gorda speaks to Spanish colonization and the oil fueled lamp was just the beginning of a legacy of climate change caused by a reliance on combustible fuels and high carbon footprints. Whales were hunted to near extinction to fuel that oil lamp and others like it. It’s nice that they took such care to not disturb the current marine mammal inhabitants of the site, but perhaps they should consider some sort of reparations to the seal population in order to correct past injustice.

Last edited 5 months ago
crap
Guest
crap
5 months ago

I think they should have killed every elephant seal there and turned them to oil to light the place again. It would not be impossable to bulldoeze a paved 4 lane road to the place, perhaps dynamite the rocks in the ocean and build a big wall to keep the waves out for safety.

So why is your opinion more important than mine?

Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
5 months ago
Reply to  crap

Your last sentence gave you away: Who said anyone’s opinion is more important than yours? Who? Where?
Typical Tea-party-MAGA ad hominem attack on the soul, the humanity of anyone who dares to disagree or point out obvious facts.
if you express extreme opinions, expect extreme answers. Expect challenges. Expect to lose the vote once in a while. Expect to be jailed once in a while if you attack our Capitol, ruin lives, attack or kill etc. to achieve your goals. Doh!

Al L Ivesmatr
Guest
Al L Ivesmatr
5 months ago

Uh huh. In any case, the crippler seems to have done the trick. After walking to town in the usual fog, the generic aisle at Larry’s was truly a great memorable moment to behold. Wow! Simpler times, less pseudo hippeas. Hee haw. Insurrection, bwahahahahaha….. The only insurrection was when all the pseudo hippeas proclaimed man caused climate change is real and Hillary won……….and nobody can use their chain saw anymore. Please Soldiers of Jah Army, Irie Soldjah, and Damien Marley keep moving forward…..Peace.

Country Bumpkin
Guest
Country Bumpkin
5 months ago
Reply to  crap

Your opinion is more important than mine because it is yours. It’s the only opinion that you have and you should cherish it.

SickofSocialists
Guest
SickofSocialists
5 months ago

It is called history.

laura cooskey
Member
5 months ago

A few dates for the record: The Punta Gorda Light Station was completed by Sept. 12, 1911; however, its Fresnel lens had not been delivered and the station could not open until it had a light signal. By late December of that year, delivery seemed guaranteed and opening was slated for Jan. 1, 1912 ; the light first saw service on Jan. 15. In April of 1912, the first lighthouse keeper, Paschal Hunter, died of a heart attack while on duty there.

By 1951, the Coast Guard abandoned the station, and in 1970, the BLM burned most of the buildings, ostensibly due to liability issues as hippies were squatting there.