Battery Point Light

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This article is about the lighthouse in California, USA. For the lighthouse in Portishead, England, see Portishead Point lighthouse.
Battery Point Light
Battery Point Lighthouse.JPG
Battery Point Light
Battery Point Light is located in California
Battery Point Light
Location Crescent City, California
Coordinates 41°44′38″N 124°12′12″W / 41.744°N 124.2032°W / 41.744; -124.2032Coordinates: 41°44′38″N 124°12′12″W / 41.744°N 124.2032°W / 41.744; -124.2032
Year first lit 1856
Automated 1953
Deactivated 1965-1982, continuously occupied
Foundation Natural Emplaced
Construction hand carved stone
Tower shape red cylindrical brick tower in white square granite Cape Cod style house
Height 45 feet (14 m), 45 feet (14 m) above sea level
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel lens
Range 12 nautical miles (14 mi)
Characteristic white flash 3 1/2 seconds on 21 1/2 seconds off
Admiralty number G4417.5
ARLHS number USA-043
USCG number 6-0555
Official name Crescent City Lighthouse
Reference no. 83001177[1]
Reference no. 951[2]

Battery Point Light is a lighthouse in Crescent City, California, United States. It is registered as a California Historical Landmark,[2] and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as "Crescent City Lighthouse".[1]


Battery Point Light was one of the first lighthouses on the California coast. Rugged mountains and unbridged rivers meant coastal travel was essential for the economic survival of this region. In 1855, Congress appropriated $15,000 for the construction of a lighthouse on the tiny islet, which is connected to Battery Point by an isthmus which is visible, and can be traversed on foot, at low tide. Although not included in the 1852 contract by the United States Lighthouse Service for the first eight west coast lighthouses, the Battery Point Lighthouse was actually lit ten days before the Humboldt Harbor Lighthouse, the last of the original eight to become operational. The fourth-order Fresnel lens was lit in 1856. The lighthouse was automated in 1953, and a modern 14.8-inch (375 mm) lens replaced the fourth-order Fresnel lens. Theophilis Magruder was the station's first keeper; Wayne Piland was its last before automation in 1953. The 1964 Alaska earthquake, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, caused a tsunami. The lighthouse survived. In the following year, the modern beacon that replaced the Fresnel lens in the tower was switched off, and a flashing light at the end of the nearby breakwater served as the harbor's navigational aid. In 1982, the light in the lighthouse tower was lit again, and the Battery Point Lighthouse was listed as a private aid to navigation.

Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum[edit]

Del Norte Historical Society operates the Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum. The lighthouse is open to the public only when low tide permits access, daily from April through September with tours between 10 AM and 4 PM.[3] October through March, the lighthouse is open for tours on weekends, from 10 AM to 4 PM. In both seasons, visits to the Battery Point Lighthouse and Island are only possible at low tides.[3] It is recommended that visitors research tide times before visiting, as the tide rises very quickly at the point and the land bridge to the lighthouse can disappear rapidly. The museum includes the lighthouse keeper's quarters with period furniture and artifacts left behind since the 1850s, as well as displays of maritime artifacts, photos and historical documents. Tours include a climb into the light tower.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

At least two novels have been set at Battery Point Light. Walk Across the Sea, by Susan Fletcher, is a 2001 historical fiction for teens. The Lightkeeper's Daughter, by Colleen Coble, is a 2010 inspirational romance for adults.

Also, the music video for the Tim McGraw song "Not a Moment Too Soon" has scenes of Tim next to the light on the lighthouse's top balcony and scenes of the Battery Point Light from a distance.



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b "California Historical Landmarks in Del Norte County". Office of Historical Preservation. California State Parks. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  3. ^ a b c "Battery Point (Crescent City), CA". Lighthouses of the United States. Lighthouse Friends. 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 

External links[edit]