“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shelter Cove in Humboldt County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Saving Lighthouse History

Saving Lighthouse History image. Click for full size.
By Karen Key, April 28, 2007
1. Saving Lighthouse History
Inscription. A new home in Shelter Cove. Shelter Cove is not the original home of the Cape Mendocino lighthouse. The lighthouse operated at Cape Mendocino, 35 miles north of here. The compact metal tower was installed on a cliff at the cape in 1868 to warn ships away from the hazards of the rocky coast.

After it was deactivated and replaced by a pole beacon in 1971, the lighthouse began to deteriorate. Earthquakes and landslides threatened to send it over the cliff. In 1994, the US Coast Guard declared the lighthouse surplus property and made it available to organizations that were willing to relocate, restore, and protect it. A coalition of Southern Humboldt County citizens organized the Cape Mendocino lighthouse Preservation Society (CMLPS) to act as the caretakers, and in 1997, Humboldt County was awarded custody of the lighthouse.

The next challenge was to move the 91,000-pound structure. The building had to be disassembled before it could be trucked to a nearby construction yard for renovation. Volunteers numbered the pieces, removed the old square-headed bolts and took it apart. The lantern room was eased off and helicoptered by the National Guard directly to Shelter Cove.

At the construction yard, repairs were completed and over 100 years’ worth of paint and rust was painstakingly removed
Cape Mendocino Lighthouse, Now in Shelter Cove image. Click for full size.
By Karen Key, May 28, 2007
2. Cape Mendocino Lighthouse, Now in Shelter Cove
This marker is in the foreground.
by volunteers. The pieces were, once again loaded on a truck, and taken to Shelter Cove for reassembiy during the summer of 1999.

(Photo Captions) Cape Mendocino Lighthouse in its dilapidated state, 1998 • Volunteers work to secure the lantern room for transport • Beginning with the center column, the lighthouse was reassembled and repaired to last at its new home in Shelter Cove • Volunteers assembling the lighthouse at Shelter Cove. Among the volunteers are CMLPS President, Roy Heider, driving the forklift and a new lighthouse keeper, Hank Brimhall, standing on top of the lighthouse • The latern room was helicoptered to its new home at Shelter Cove.
Erected by The Lost Coast King Range National Conservation Area.
Location. 40° 1.342′ N, 124° 4.164′ W. Marker is in Shelter Cove, California, in Humboldt County. Marker is on Lower Pacific Drive, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Whitethorn CA 95589, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cape Mendocino Lighthouse (a few steps from this marker); In Memory of Our Shipmates (a few steps from this marker); Built to Last (a few steps from this marker); Mario Machi (within shouting distance of this marker).
Categories. Notable BuildingsWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Karen Key of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,477 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Karen Key of Sacramento, California. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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