I could go in to some boring historical recounting of how the concept of lighthouses grew from large bonfires to the towering structures we see today, but that would be boring. Instead, I'll tell you how I became interested in them. It's a quick, simple and most of all, strange story.
I grew up in Utah. We don't have lighthouses there and I've never been a big fan of playing in the water so lighthouses were just something you learn about and file away in the deep memory banks of the brain. A thought to recall later while flipping through travel magazines or during dull conversation with old friends over dinner. Then I happened to catch an episode of Ghost Hunters when they investigated the St. Augustine lighthouse in Florida. They captured some very compelling evidence of paranormal activity while there and I've wanted to visit St Augustine ever since. Yup, it was those damned ghosts that hooked me. Every time! Yes, I know that not all lighthouses have ghosts. They are, however, old structures with plenty of history, another subject that tends to reel me in. This is how we ended up at a lighthouse in San Diego.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse stands in a prime location 422 feet above San Diego harbor and was first lit up in November of 1855. However, the location turned out to not be quite as perfect as originally thought thanks to low clouds and fog. The light would be obscured thanks to mother nature and the keeper would actually have to fire a shotgun to warn off ships because there was no fog horn. The Old Point Loma lighthouse would stay in service for only thirty six years before it was replaced by the "New" Point Loma lighthouse but today it serves as a memory of the past for today's generations to enjoy.
The lighthouse has been restored to represent it's glory days during the 1880's. The small, humble living quarters probably seem claustrophobic to many of today's kids but I could imagine living there comfortably. You would have unobstructed views of sunrises and sunsets from here and looking down on the ships cruising into the harbor may never get old. The commute into town would be a pain though.
|Old Point Loma Lighthouse stands over the harbor.|
|A Fresnel lens helps amplify it's light source.|