On February 15 of 1906, the Third Order Fresnel Lens at Mile Rocks Lighthouse was lit for the first time!
Unlike Point Cabrillo Light Station, Mile Rocks was a “stag station”, because of the limited space on the rock. There was barely enough room for the lightkeepers, so no wives or children were allowed on the island! In order to stay in contact, one keeper’s wife would walk out to Lands End in San Francisco to use a flashlight to signal a greeting to her husband.

In the 1960s, as plans were made to automate many of the country’s lighthouses, the Coast Guard decided to demolish the upper two tiers of the Mile Rocks Lighthouse tower, in order to convert it into a helicopter landing pad. While many of the people of San Francisco protested the plans, the top of the tower was demolished in 1966. The San Francisco Maritime Museum tried to acquire the top forty feet of the lighthouse for their displays, but the cost was too much, and Mile Rocks was decapitated.

Although the tower itself only stood for 60 years, the Fresnel lens from Mile Rocks can still be seen today at the Old Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego.
Second photo from @maydaze on Instagram.

San Francisco Maritime and Coastal History Club