The Anacapa Light Station, off southern California, was one of the last classical light stations constructed on the west coast. In 1854, members of the U. S. Coast Survey visited the island and reported that it was an ideal, but impossible site, on which to construct a light station, “It is inconceivable for a lighthouse to be constructed on this mass of volcanic rock...perpendicular on every face, with an ascent inaccessible by any natural means...”
With the exception of the approaches to New Orleans, lighthouse construction along the Gulf Coast lagged behind other areas of the country and certainly didn’t keep pace with the increasing maritime trade in the area.
Over the years, two dates have been mentioned regarding the establishment of the Ashtabula Harbor Light tation, originally known as the Ashtabula Beacon Light Station. One document states the light station was constructed prior to 1821, while other documents say it was constructed in 1836. The author believes the correct date is 1836, when the light station was built on a wooden crib approximately 40 feet square and just off Ashtabula's eastern pier at the entrance to the Ashtabula River. The hexagon-shaped tower was short in statute for its time.
The most revolutionary improvement to the science of Pharology (study of optics and lighthouses) was the development of the lenticular lens by Augustine-Jean Fresnel (pronounced Frey nel). A man of extraordinary talent he was to discover, correct and refine every fact we know about the nature of light.
In 1928 the U.S. Government purchased 4 acres of land from Preson Watson and his wife for $100. The site is located at the confluence of Chesapeake Bay and Back River, about six miles north of the Old Point Comfort Light Station. Soon after the land was acquired, the goverment realized a need for a drainage ditch. A second parcel of land 3 feet by 1200 feet was purchased from the Watsons for $10.
In 1855 the Lighthouse Service constructed the first Point Loma Light Station high on a bluff to mark the entrance to San Diego Harbor. The location was thought to serve two purposes: 1) show the entrance to San Diego Harbor, and 2) act as a seacoast light to help vessels fix their position. In actuality, it served neither. It was too far from the channel into San Diego Harbor to help vessels navigate the narrow channel and it was too high to be of use to vessels sailing offshore as layers of low coastal fog obscured the light.
Cape of Storms. Skeleton Coast. That was how mariners thought of certain stretches of coastline of southern Africa through the ages. Numerous shipwrecks bear silent witness to shifting sandbanks, variable and stormy natural elements and human error. It is thanks to the lighthouses and dedicated lighthouse keepers that many more ships were not lost.
The year 2006 marked the beginning an important anniversary in the history of famous lighthouses. Two hundred years ago, in 1806, the design, development plans and construction authorization for the Bell Rock Lighthouse in Scotland were approved. This story covers the developments during 1806 and the early history of the Bell Rock. Future stories are planned for each of the years of 2008 through 2012, which will describe the happenings at the Bell Rock two hundred years previously as this famous lighthouse was built.
Scandinavia's tallest lighthouse, Bengtskar, is the Finnish archipelago's most imposing and magnificent monumnet. Surviving Wars, Finland's 'Statue of Liberty' has recently been renovated for future generations to visit and admire. The treacherous waters of the Finland was the site of many shipwrecks until the Imperial Senate granted the materials to build the Bengtskar Lighthouse in 1906. A barren rock, fifteen miles out from the mainland of Finland, became the home of Scandinavia's tallest lighthouse. The granite for the massive lighthouse was quarried on the island.
In this article I have considered four lighthouse designs by Benjamin Latrobe in an effort to recreate his design process. This examination provides insights into his thinking about structure and form and their interrelationship during the final phase of his career in and around New Orleans. A lighthouse was eventually constructed, but it collapsed.