Point Conception Lighthouse

Near Gaviota, California
First lit: February 1, 1856

On February 1, 1856, the Point Conception Lighthouse was lit for the first time, exactly one year after Point Pinos Light was lit. It was the seventh operating lighthouse on the West Coast.

The first lightkeeper at Point Conception, George Parkinson was alone at this desolate light station, over 65 miles away from the nearest town of Santa Barbara. George ended up serving less than a year at the lighthouse, he left six months after the light was activated.

The original tower at Point Conception turned out to be a little too high above the fog line, so a new tower was erected in 1882, and that is the one that stands there today.

The first order Fresnel lens at Point Conception was lit with oil and kerosene until 1948, when they finally received electricity. It was the last lighthouse on the west coast to be electrified. After the lighthouse was automated in the 70’s, the Fresnel Lens was moved to its final home at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, where it can still be viewed today.

The lighthouse itself is surrounded by private property, and is only able to be visited during private scheduled tours.