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Battery Point Light, in Crescent City, was one of the first lighthouses on the California coast. 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 entrance. The cannons, which were often fired during Fourth of July celebrations, resulted in the point being named Battery Point.
Before road travel was possible, rugged mountains and unbridged rivers meant coastal travel by ships was essential for the economic survival of this region. However, there are few safe harbors on this coast and the many reefs made navigation hazardous. The Battery Point Light was built in 1855 on a small islet connected to Battery Point by an isthmus that can be traversed on foot at low tide. The light was automated in 1953.
The 1964 Alaska earthquake caused a tsunami that killed 11 people, destroyed 21 boats in the Crescent City harbor, and damaged 91 homes. The total cost of all the destruction was in excess of seven million dollars. The lighthouse survived intact, but the following year the light was switched off. In 1982, the Battery Point Lighthouse became a private aid to navigation, operated by the Del Norte Historical Society as the Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum. Read more here and here. Explore more of Battery Point and Crescent City here: