Chapter History

The History and Legend of Point Vicente Lighthouse

The Point Vicente Chapter took its name from the Point Vicente Lighthouse which is situated on a cliff 185 feet above the sea on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. The lighthouse is 67 feet tall and was built in 1926 after shipmasters petitioned the United States government, because navigators feared this dangerous stretch of coastal water.

The tower was made of reinforced concrete and equipped with a 1000-watt bulb which made the brightest beacon in Southern California. During World War II, the 1000-watt light was replaced by a tiny 25-watt bulb and special curtains were hung ready to block the light if necessary.

The lighthouse was manned until 1971 when automated equipment and remote control took over and removed the personal touch. It is still operated by the Coast Guard.

Almost since the day it was built, the lighthouse has been the subject of persistent ghost stories. Some people still claim that a female ghost in a long, flowing gown can be seen in the tower.

Near the lighthouse, visitors may gather at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center for a glimpse of the area’s history and perhaps to spot a passing whale.