Port Hueneme in Ventura County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Point Hueneme Lighthouse
Hueneme: “Resting Place”
As early as 1857, the need for a lighthouse at Point Hueneme to mark the eastern Santa Barbara Channel entrance was recognized. In March 1873 Congress appropriated funds for a light station and a 60-acre lighthouse reservation at Point Hueneme. In 1874, Victorian Swiss-Elizabethan style wood frame building (pictured below), combining a two-story residence and three-story light tower, was erected where the harbor entry is now located. In 1882, a fog signal was added and in 1899, the lighting apparatus was replaced with a revolving fourth-order Fresnel lens made in France in 1897 by Barrier and Barnard. (“Order” is a measure of lens size, ranging from first, the largest, to sixth). The French physicist, Augustin Fresnel, designed the lens with a system of crystal prisms that projected light for miles. Fresnel lenses are still used in most operating light houses.
In 1936, shoreline dredging commenced to create the deepwater Port of Hueneme. This forced the original Victorian structure to be moved across the harbor towards Silver Strand Beach. In less than three years, the lighthouse was demolished due to damage and
The original 1897 Fresnel lens can still be seen in operation revolving inside the Point Hueneme Lighthouse tower.
Hueneme “Resting Place”
Sailing under the Spanish flag in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese sailor, sighted the present day harbors of San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Monterey. Sailing up the coast from San Pedro, Cabrillo’s fleet is believed to have landed at Mugu Lagoon on October 10, 1542. Cabrillo named the place El Pueblo de las Canoas (the town of the Canoes) in honor of the large, skillfully crafted ocean canoes constructed by the local seafaring Chumash. When Cabrillo sailed by the small Chumash village near this site at Point Hueneme, he referred to it as Quelqueme, or Welweme, names likely learned from the Chumash at Mugu Lagoon. The phonetic spelling of Wene’mu was later Anglicized to Wyneme in 1869 and finally to Hueneme in 1872.
The name, Hueneme or Wene’mu, has been translated as “resting place” or possibly “half-way place” derived from the habit of the
Erected by City of Port Hueneme. (Marker Number 57.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses, and the Ventura County Historical Landmarks series lists.
Location. 34° 8.698′ N, 119° 12.614′ W. Marker is in Port Hueneme, California, in Ventura County. Marker can be reached from Surfside Drive, 0.6 miles west of Market Street, on the left when traveling west. Walk a half mile west from the intersection of Surfside Drive and Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Hueneme CA 93041, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "La Jenelle" (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bank of Hueneme (approx. 0.7 miles away); Women’s Improvement Club (approx. 0.8 miles away); Gerberding / Moranda House (approx. 0.9 miles away); Alaska Flight 261 Memorial (approx. Hueneme Slough (approx. 1.1 miles away); Bard Memorial (approx. 1.2 miles away); Olive (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Hueneme.
Regarding Point Hueneme Lighthouse. The lighthouse is open for tours monthly on the third Saturday from 10-3.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2019. This page has been viewed 146 times since then and 30 times this year. Last updated on September 7, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 4, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 4. submitted on July 21, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 5. submitted on July 4, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 6, 7. submitted on July 21, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 8. submitted on July 4, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 9. submitted on July 10, 2019. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.