Keepers of the Light: The Story of the Point Conception Lighthouse

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9780979755262: Keepers of the Light: The Story of the Point Conception Lighthouse
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In 1850, as California became a state, the U.S. Congress approved the building of 8 lighthouses along the Pacific Coast. Point Conception, where the California coast turns from a north/south to an east/west orientation was the most shipwreck-prone place on the coast, called the Cape Horn of the Pacific and the Graveyard of Ships. Mariners racing to San Francisco and the Gold Fields of the Sierra Nevada demanded a lighthouse on the Point. Keepers of the Light tells the story of the Point Conception lighthouse from its building in the early 1850s until the decommissioning of its gigantic first order Fresnel Lens by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1973. With historical records gathered from the National Archives and interviews with keepers of the light at Point Conception and their children and grandchildren, Keepers of the Light focuses a steady beam of history on the people who made this remote site a bustling village and beacon of safety for mariners approching the coast.

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About the Author:

Willard Thompson is an award-winning writer, lecturer and historian living in Montecito, California with his wife Jo. His two novels of historical fiction Dream Helper and Delfina’s Gold are part of his Chronicles of California trilogy. The Independent Publishers 2009 Book Awards selected Dream Helper for a gold medal as the best fiction in the Western/Pacific Region. He also wrote the Noticias, Montecito Adobes and the Settlers who Built Them for the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Other published non-fiction are: Walter Vail — Empire Builder; The Last Cattle Drive; Dividing the Waters; and Running the Big Ditch, an account of a commercial raft running the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

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