Point Reyes Light, Point Reyes National Seashore

The Point Reyes Headlands extend 10 miles (16 km) out to sea and pose a threat to ships traveling along the coast. Point Reyes was named by Sebastian Vizcaino, who sailed along the California coast in 1603. In 1595, the Spanish galleon San Agustin sought shelter from a storm here, but the captain mistakenly ran the ship aground in Drakes Bay thinking that Point Reyes was an island. Despite many subsequent shipwrecks, the point would remain unmarked for 275 years. A lighthouse was authorized for Point Reyes in 1855, but construction was delayed for fifteen years while the Lighthouse Board wrangled with landowners over a fair price for the land. Fourteen shipwrecks occurred in the years the price was under dispute. The light at Point Reyes was built in 1870 to warn mariners of this navigational hazard and was active for 105 years. In 1975, the U.S. Coast Guard transferred ownership of the lighthouse to the National Park Service. Read more about the Point Reyes Light here and here. Click here to explore more of Point Reyes Headlands and the Point Reyes National Seashore.