Project Description

Battery Point Lighthouse & Museum

Battery Point Lighthouse & Museum is perhaps the most visited structure in all of Del Norte County although it is only accessible at low tide. The rest of the day it is an island located just offshore of Crescent City at the foot of ‘A’ Street. Be sure to plan your visit to the Lighthouse while in Crescent City while the tides are out. The Island is open to the public whenever the tide permits, however Battery Point Lighthouse is only open for tours to the public as announced each year during the months of April through September, and again, only during certain hours, tide permitting. Generally the days Battery Point Lighthouse is open will be Wednesday through Sunday. Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum are located at the foot of A Street in Crescent City, California. This is an active lighthouse that serves as a private aid to navigation.

Battery Point Lighthouse

History of Battery Point (Crescent City) Lighthouse
In 1855, the ship America burned in the harbor at Crescent City. Three cannons were salvaged from the wreckage and mounted nearby on the point at the northern side of the harbor’s entrance. The cannons, which were often fired during Fourth of July celebrations, resulted in the point being named Battery Point, and although the cannons have since disappeared, the name remains affixed to the point.

A second event occurred that same year that would result in another addition to the point. In May 1855, Congress appropriated $15,000 for the construction of a lighthouse on the tiny islet that is connected to Battery Point at low tide by an isthmus. Although not included in the 1852 contract for the first eight west coast lighthouses, Battery Point Lighthouse was actually lit ten days before Humboldt Harbor Lighthouse, the last of the original eight to become operational. Battery Point Lighthouse, like most of the original eight, was built in a Cape Cod style, with a central brick tower protruding from the roof of a one-and-a-half-story stone keeper’s dwelling. The fourth-order Fresnel lens in the lantern room first illuminated the night sky at Crescent City on December 10, 1856.

In 1879 a giant wave struck the wooden, lean-to kitchen that had been added to the west side of the Battery Point Lighthouse. The addition’s chimney was toppled, and the kitchen stove fell to the floor, starting a fire that was ultimately extinguished by a second wave, sending enough water down through the chimney hole to douse the flames.

The lighthouse was not always white. The color of the dwelling was changed from a stone-color to a light buff in 1880, and the tower was painted white. In 1887, the lighthouse was painted white, the daymark it has since retained. In May 1907, a new fourth-order lens was installed in the lantern room, changing the station’s light characteristic from a white flash every ninety seconds to a white flash every fifteen seconds.

Crescent City Lighthouse was automated in 1953, and a modern 375mm lens replaced the fourth-order Fresnel lens. After automation, the Del Norte Historical Society leased the lighthouse, and the lighthouse eventually became home to a museum and curators.

1964 Tsunami Hits Crescent Beach
Remarkably, the lighthouse was not harmed when Crescent City received the worst tsunami damage ever suffered along the west coast of the lower forty-eight states. On March 27, 1964, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the northern hemisphere struck Alaska near Prince William Sound, generating a series of waves that raced south at a speed of nearly 600 mph. The waves reached Crescent City around midnight with crests of up to twenty feet. Eleven people in Crescent City were killed by the tsunami. Twenty-one boats were destroyed in the harbor, and ninety-one homes in town were damaged. The total cost of all the destruction was in excess of seven million dollars. The lighthouse survived the ordeal intact, but 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. On December 10, 1982, the light in the lighthouse tower was lit again, as Battery Point Lighthouse became a private aid to navigation.

Today, caretakers live in the lighthouse and conduct tours of the premises. The fourth-order Fresnel lens used in the lighthouse is on display along with historic photos and other lighthouse memorabilia.

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Location: at the foot of A Street in Crescent City, California. | 707-464-3089 | Website |1.8 mi from Hotel

Crescent City California Major Attractions

There is more to California than LA and San Francisco. The state is extremely large and home to some of the most interesting little towns and natural scenery in the United States. Nestled in the Redwood forests not far from the Oregon border, you will find Crescent City. It is a quaint little town that brings in a large number of visitors every year.

Breathtaking natural California beauty can be found close in nearby redwood forests, rivers, lakes, and beaches. Fun natural attractions include Trees of Mystery, Ocean World, and the Drive-Thru Tree. Come and experience the rugged outdoors while you take on white water rafting on the Smith River, kayaking, camping, and fishing are some of the many fun things to do in our area.

View Crescent City Major Attractions guide.

Anchor Beach Inn - Crescent City California Hotel

Hotels In Crescent City California: Anchor Beach Inn

Anchor Beach Inn in Crescent City, California - As our name implies, we’re situated just next to the beach (0.1 mi), separated by a small side road. You can see the beach from most of the rooms in our cozy hotel, especially from the second floor. Contemporary, amenity-rich lodging features one, two, or three queen beds as well as king beds available for your comfort. Outstanding service keeps us in good standing with our guests. Our Crescent City motel is wihtin a 15-minute walk of Crescent City Harbor and Ocean World. Beachfront Park and Del Norte County Historical Society are also within 2 miles.

Rooms feature free Wi-Fi and wired internet; flat-screen TVs with extended channels. Rooms are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers. Dogs are welcome for an extra fee in specific rooms only and restrictions apply.

Our Guests Love Us, nut don’t take our word for it! TripAdvisor is the leading online travel review website. You won’t find many hotels that provide a direct link to their reviews (for obvious reasons). We do, however, because we know how hard we work to provide the best stay possible for our guests. Take a few moments to read our Guest Reviews and see what others have to say.