There are many unique Pacific Grove properties. One of the most fascinating is Point Pinos Lighthouse. It has a great story behind it. TripAdvisor’s Web page on this unique structure lists it as No. 8 of 18 different and unique things to do in Pacific Grove. They have over 150 reviews on the Lighthouse, with an average rating of 4½ out of 5. There are lots of reasons to include this on your list of to dos.
That you can tour the West Coast’s oldest operating lighthouse is a story in itself. Inexpensively too: the price is only $2 for adults! Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this fully functional tourist attraction is open all other days from 1 – 4 p.m. Outside of those time slots, you can make special tour arrangements with the lighthouse’s organization.
The land that Point Pinos Lighthouse is built on was initially part of the 2,267 acre Rancho Punta de Pinos, originally granted to José Maria Armenta in 1933. Later re-granted and then following the Mexican-American War, became part of the American acquisition of Alta, California. Eventually, Congress, in looking to make seafaring journeys safer on the West Coast, ordered the building of eight lighthouses. One of those was built in the dangerous southern entrance to Monterey Bay at Point Pinos. Construction began in 1853, but due to difficulties in obtaining the lenses needed, wasn’t completed until 1855. That’s when the structure was first lit.
The lighthouse has a fascinating history of lightkeepers until it was automated in 1975. Its first lightkeeper was Charles Layton. He was killed while helping to track down the outlaw Anastacio Garcia! His widow Charlotte took over. All early lightkeepers had to undertake an arduous three-mile journey through forest and sand dunes to get to the structure. The author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about another lightkeeper, Allen Luce, who used to play piano, build ship models, and paint in oil. Emily Fish was the ‘Socialite Keeper’, most known for entertaining guests at the lighthouse.
This structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To get more information on the lighthouse, you can visit their main website at www.pointpinoslighthouse.org, or give them a call at (831) 648-5722.