Battery Point Lighthouse

Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City, California

Battery Point LightEdit

Location: Crescent City, California

World Geodetic Location: 41.744°N 124.2032°W

Height: 45 feet (14 m), 45 feet (14 m) above sea level

Range: 12 nautical miles (14 mi)

Admiralty number: G4417.

5ARLHS number: USA-043

USCG number: 6-0555

Physiology: red cylindrical brick tower in white square granite lighthouse

History Edit

Battery Point was the lighthouse on the California coast.  Since the harsh terrain surrounding the area, the lighthouse helped maritime trade which was crucial for the economy and travel.  It was constructed on the tiny isthmus in 1856 by Congress for the sum of $15,000.  The fourth-order Fresnel lens was lit in 1856. The lighthouse was automated in 1953, and a modern 14.8-inch (375 mm) lens replaced the fourth-order Fresnel lens. Theophilis Magruder was the station's first keeper; a socialite from Washington D.C. whose parents were friends of James Madison. Magruder came to Oregon to search for gold with Jon Marshall. They were unsuccessful and broke up in 1845. Magruder resigned as keeper in 1859 when the U.S. Lighthouse Service reduced California keepers’ salaries from $1000 to $600 per year. Wayne Piland served from 1946 to 1953.  He was once entertaining overnight guests, an elderly couple. When a woman slipped and broke both wrists. At 11:00 p.m. Piland had to find a doctor willing to risk the crossing in a raft, which ultimately leaked and soaked both men. Another time while taking his daughter to the mainland. He saved both of them by boosting his daughter on a boulder while heavy seas swirled by. There are also stories about a ferocious storm of 1951. He was the last government appointed keeper until automation in 1953.

Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City

The front exterior of the lighthouse.

March 27, 1964, a tidal wave hit Crescent City. Resulting from an earthquake in Alaska, four (or five -- in other accounts) Tsunami waves swept far inland and destroyed most of the city’s commercial area and homes. Eleven people were killed and twenty-nine blocks were demolished. Curators Peggy and Clarence Coons were in the lighthouse at the time.  The lighthouse survived and is still in use to today but usually only for private aid to navigation.

The lighthouse is open to the public only when low tide permits access, daily from April through September with tours between 10 AM and 4 PM.  October through March, the lighthouse is open for tours on weekends, from 10 AM to 4 PM. In both seasons, visits to the Battery Point Lighthouse and Island are only possible at low tides.  It is recommended that visitors research tide times before visiting, as the tide rises very quickly at the point and the land bridge to the lighthouse can disappear rapidly.


Jerry and Nadine Tugel, the last resident curators, experienced ghosts. Mr. Tugel used to keep his cat at the edge of the bed, and for several nights in a row, his cat was mysteriously bothered. On the fourth night, he heard noises going on upstairs in the tower, upon investigating there was no one. However, the light had gone out and the alarm that should have alerted them had not activated. Also, their cats were terrified of something. The cats would only enter certain rooms, and in one room, they wouldn’t walk on the floors, only the furniture. A local college did a reading in the sixties and determined the presence of two adults and one child.


Other than rumors and the investigation during the 60's there is no substantial evidence as of yet.

Possibility of ExistenceEdit

1. Not probable


  1. Battery Point Light From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. PBS Legendary Lighthouses: Great lighthouses: California

External LinksEdit