Palos Verdes – Point Vicente Lighthouse
Palos Verdes residents are lucky to have this beautiful gem here on the Peninsula. Located in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes the Point Vicente Lighthouse is an area jewel that was added as a historic site on the National Registry in 1979. This beautiful structure stands 67 feet tall, built on plastered reinforced concrete, and is similar to the one standing on Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands chain.
The Lighthouse stands on the southwesterly point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It was originally named in 1790 by Captain George Vancouver, after his good friend Friar Vicente of the Mission Buenaventura. After many ships and seamen lost their lives on these shores, in 1926 the U.S. Lighthouse Service began operation of the brightest beacon in Southern California here, and could be seen for over twenty miles. The U.S. Coast Guard took over operations of the lighthouse in 1939 and manned it until automated equipment and remote control operators took over in 1971.
These days the light still send out it’s beacon across the Catalina Channel. Electronic sensors and automated controls have replaced the lighthouse keeper and activate the fog horn. The housing facility is home to regular Coast Guard personnel assigned to nearby ships, stations and offices. The former radio center is now manned by volunteer civilian members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary who are responsible for the lighthouse besides taking distress calls from boaters in the Catalina Channel.
The Point Vicente Lighthouse is located at 31550 Palos Verdes Drive West, in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Photo courtesy of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.