Shelter Cove in Humboldt County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Saving Lighthouse History
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
(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. Touch 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 Buildings • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 6, 2007, by Karen Key of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,519 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 6, 2007, by Karen Key of Sacramento, California. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.