Ballast Point, San Diego Bay

Ballast Point extends out from Point Loma into the entrance of San Diego Bay, California. The name was derived from the rocks collected here for use as ballast by merchant sailing ships returning to U.S. east coast cities by way of Cape Horn.

In 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed north from the Port of Navidad (now Acapulco) and was the first European to drop anchor inside the present Ballast Point. The bay was not visited again until 1602 when Sebastián Vizcaíno anchored and named the harbor San Diego in honor of that Saint's day. By 1769, Spain occupied the vast California territory and had well established cattle ranches and missions were converting the local natives to Catholicism. In 1795, a fort was built at Ballast Point, then known as Point Guijarros. A shore whaling station was also on the point, where whale blubber was rendered into oil.

In 1890, Ballast Point Lighthouse was constructed. The original lighthouse buildings at the station consisted of a two-story wooden bell tower, a boathouse, and two dwellings, one of which was attached to a square wooden light tower. On August 5, 1960, a modernized light was installed on top of the fog-signal house and old Ballast Point Lighthouse was torn down. Today, all that remains is an automated light and a day marker on a piling off the end of Ballast Point pier. Read more here and here. Explore more of Ballast Point and San Diego Bay here: