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Point Sur State Historic Park

Point Sur State Historic Park
Point Sur from California State Route 1
Map showing the location of Point Sur State Historic Park
Map showing the location of Point Sur State Historic Park
Location Monterey County, California, USA
Nearest city Big Sur, California
Area 92 acres (37 ha)
Established 1986
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Point Sur State Historic Park is a state park unit of California, United States, preserving the 1889 Point Sur Lighthouse. The park is located on the Big Sur coastline of Monterey County, 19 miles (31 km) south of Rio Road in Carmel. It is both a California State Park and a property on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]


  • History 1
  • Tourism 2
  • Marine Protected Areas 3
  • Government 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Point Sur was a notorious hazard to navigation, and the site of many shipwrecks. After the sinking of the USS Ventura in 1875, it was determined that a lightstation was needed in this remote area.[2]

Point Sur Lighthouse opened on August 1, 1889. This very remote station was required to be self-sufficient, as most supplies had to be brought in by ship. Lighthouse employees and their families had their own vegetable gardens. Children stayed with local ranchers during the week in order to attend school, returning home on weekends, or stayed with distant relatives. In 1927, a schoolteacher was assigned to the Lightstation to teach the six children who resided there. Easy access to the lightstation came in 1937, when Highway One through Big Sur was completed. In the 1940s, children from the Lightstation were assimilated into Big Sur's larger school.[3]

The Lighthouse Service was absorbed into the Coast Guard in 1939, and Point Sur Lighthouse became the property of the Coast Guard. The Lightstation was automated in the late 1960s, and in 1974 [4] ceased to have a light keeper.

The coast off Point Sur Lighthouse was the location of the sinking of the United States Navy airship USS Macon (ZRS-5) in 1935.

Point Sur State Historic Park was established in 1986.


The park contains California's only complete turn-of-the-20th-century lighthouse open to the public. (The nearby Point Pinos Lighthouse is also open to the public, but is significantly older.) Walking tours are held year-round on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, and also on Thursdays during July and August. Tours are first-come, first-served; visitors are advised to arrive a half hour before the tour.

Marine Protected Areas

Point Sur State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area are marine protected areas offshore from Point Sur Lighthouse. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.


At the county level, Point Sur State Historic Park is represented on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors by Supervisor Dave Potter .[5] In the California State Assembly, Point Sur State Historic Park is represented by Bill Monning as part of the 27th Assembly district.[6] In the State Senate, Point Sur State Historic Park is represented by Sam Blakeslee as part of the 15th State Senate district.[7] In the U.S. House of Representatives, Point Sur State Historic Park is part of California's 17th congressional district, represented by Sam Farr.[8]


  1. ^ "Point Sur Lighthouse and State Historic Park". Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved May 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ Point Sur State Historic Park
  3. ^ Point Sur State Historic Park
  4. ^ Fodor's2010
  5. ^ "Monterey County Supervisorial District 5 Map (North District 5)". County of Monterey. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bill Monning - Biography". Bill Monning, California State Assemblyman, 27th District. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "District Map". Sam Blakeslee, California State Senator, 15th District. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "The 17th District: About the 17th District of California". Sam Farr, United States Congressman, California's 17th District. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 

External links

  • websitePoint Sur State Historic ParkCalifornia State Parks: Official
  • Point Sur Lighthouse and State Historic Park

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