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New Santa Barbara Lighthouse - Santa Barbara Ca
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© CT-Graphics - Christine Till
On June 29, 1925, a severe earthquake jolted the Santa Barbara Lighthouse area. The lighthouse keeper, Albert Weeks, rudely awakened when he was thrown from his makeshift bed in a storage building. He ran to the lighthouse and ushered everyone outside. Moments later, the lighthouse tower and lantern came crashing down, followed by the walls of the small dwelling. The Fresnel lens was shattered, the structure was a total loss.
A temporary light, exhibited from a frame tower, replaced the old Santa Barbara light station and served until the permanent tower, seen today at the station on the mesa in Santa Barbara, was put into service in 1935.
The new Santa Barbara Light Station isn't exactly a picturescque lighthouse and doesn't attract a lot of attention. Historian Dr. Robert Browning writes, "The evolution of lighthouses has taken centuries and is profoundly influenced by the development of technology." And so it is with the Santa Barbara Lighthouse, which reached its current form in 1935 as an unmanned tower with an automatically operated light.
March 16th, 2011
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