Page 32 - SLO Visitors Guide Fall 2023
P. 32

Avila Beach
Visit Point San Luis Lighthouse, the Sentinel of the Sea
 The Point San Luis Lighthouse, sometimes called the San Luis Obispo Lighthouse, stands on a headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The need for a lighthouse in the area became obvious during the late 1800s when Port Harford had hundreds of ships coming in. The Central Coast fog made navigation along the rocky shoreline hazard- ous. The Prairie Victorian model lighthouse was completed in June of 1890.
The lighthouse fell into disrepair after the U.S. Coast Guard decom- missioned it in 1974. The non- profit, Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers was established in 1995 to restore the structure and repair the old wagon road. Today, the narrow, paved road is used for tours to the lighthouse.
pack rat – and is now on display with the lens.
Impressive lighthouse
After climbing the narrow twist- ing stairwell to the lamp house, visi- tors are treated to a 360-degree view. The head keeper and his family lived in the rooms connected to the lamp house tower. All of the rooms are restored with period furniture including a magnificent stove in the kitchen. The coal fireplaces in the parlor and bedrooms have slate sur- rounds finished to look like marble.
The San Luis Historical Society and the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Chapter of the Questers helped provide furniture from the 1890s and many local residents brought back items that had been removed from the home.
Take the tours
Van tours are every Wednes- day at Noon and 1 p.m. and on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Noon. Tickets are $27 for adults, $25 for seniors, $20 for kids, and $15 for an infant car seat. Visit pointsanluis- to purchase tickets. Proceeds go towards restoration efforts.
Hiking tours to the lighthouse along the Pecho Trail on private property are only led by Pecho Coast Trail Guides. One of the most scenic hikes in San Luis Obispo County, the Pecho Coast trail takes you from Port San Luis, through the gates of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, and onto the bluffs overlook- ing San Luis Bay. The hike ends at the lighthouse, where hikers can relax and enjoy the fine views. For an additional $10 fee, take a docent- led tour of the lighthouse. Visit for more information about making reserva- tions for the hike.
For more information about the lighthouse, tours, reserving a hike and parking, visit the website at or call (805) 540-5771.
—Ruth Ann Angus
 The Horn House
Before a fog horn was intro- duced to the lighthouse, a fog whistle was used that required a full head of steam in the boiler house
to blow it. The whistle was later replaced by a two-tone diaphone horn. The original foghorn is long gone but the two that replaced it are still in the building. The older one, dating from 1924, is refurbished and is on display.
Legends say that when the fog- horn blew every 30 seconds, it was so loud it shook the building and rattled the windows. Everyone who worked in that building stopped talking. When these same folks went into town, others noticed that they paused their speech every 30 seconds.
Also in the Horn House is the original fourth-order Fresnal lens that sent a white flashing light every 30 seconds followed by a red flashing light. The 132-year-old lens was lit by a kerosene lamp. Brought over from France in 1878, it cost $2000 to ship and keepers worked four-hour shifts keeping it lit. Dur- ing the restoration, an original wick was found in the walls – apparently stolen and hidden by an industrious
  Avila Beach • Pismo Beach • Grover Beach Morro Bay • San Luis Obispo
  Book Now!
 (805) 900-6000 •
    32 FALL 2023

   30   31   32   33   34