235 Lighthouse Way, Crescent City, CA

Status: Historical Lighthouse


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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


California’s rugged coast and wide deep rivers that were difficult to ford made safe coastal transport by ships absolutely essential in the early years of it’s settlement.

Safe transport by ship meant building a number of lighthouses.

In 1855 five years after California became a State the US Congress voted $15,000 ($523,000 in 2023 dollars) to build this lighthouse as part of that program. The light was turned on in 1856.

The lighthouse was constructed on a tiny island only accessible by foot during low tide.

In 1953 the lighthouse became automated removing the need for a lighthouse keeper.

In 1965, after surviving the tsunami from the 1964 Alaskan Earthquake that devastated the northwestern coast of North America, the light was turned off and a flashing light at the end of the nearby breakwater was used as a replacement.

In 1982 the light was turned back on and is now considered a private navigation light.

The lighthouse is now owned by the Del Norte Historical Society and is available for tours from April to September but only during daytime hours and when the island is accessible at low tide.


Paranormal Activity

The lighthouse is considered one of the top 10 haunted lighthouses in the United States.

That being said it has been suggested that the haunting has become quiet in the last few years.

The lighthouse keepers – they are now volunteers living on the island for 1 month terms – reports rocking chair that rocks on it’s own; the phantom smell of cigar smoke when no one has smoked in the building in decades; slippers that move around when they are sleeping and the phantom sound of heavy boots stamping around on the tower staircase when there is a storm.