Lighthouses of Humboldt County

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The impenetrable coast of Humboldt County has been a historic navigational conundrum for sea captains since the 16th century. The Humboldt bar crossing, the lack of safe harbors, the storms, the unpredictable seas, and the rocky shores caused tragic shipwrecks, drownings, and maritime disasters. Beginning in 1850, the Department of the Treasury funded the construction of 11 lighthouses in California, including the Humboldt Harbor Lighthouse, the first one in Humboldt County. Due to its poor location in the sand dunes, the lighthouse was abandoned in 1892. New lighthouses were built in more appropriate locations such as Table Bluff, Cape Mendocino, Trinidad, and Punta Gorda. An increase in population on the north coast resulted in the reliance on passenger schooners and freight vessels, making these lighthouses critical to Humboldt County’s economic stability and success. The Trinidad Head Lighthouse is the only one in operation today, yet the lighthouses of Humboldt County and their keepers remain integral to California’s maritime history.
ISBN: 9781467107587
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: California
Series: Images of America
Images: 175
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Julie Clark works for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a park ranger and is the author of Falk: Company Lumber Town of the American West in the Images of America series. The BLM currently manages the land where these lighthouses once stood and, in partnership with the Trinidad Museum and the Trinidad Rancheria, provides public and educational tours to the Trinidad Head Lighthouse. Images come from a variety of sources, including the Humboldt County Historical Society, Trinidad Museum, and Humboldt State University.
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