California Lighthouses


Carquinez Strait Lighthouse, California

Carquinez Strait Lighthouse

Glen Cove Marina, 2000 Glen Cove Marina Rd., Vallejo, CA.

Located near the city of Vallejo in Solano County, Carquinez Strait Lighthouse was established in 1908. The first lighthouse to mark the entrance to Carquinez Strait was built in 1873. Not long after constructing the Mare Island Lighthouse, the Lighthouse Board realized that a beacon positioned offshore near the junction of Carquinez Strait and the Napa River would better serve the area.

First lit in 1910, the square-shaped Carquinez Strait Lighthouse was made of wood and included a wood pier. An attached lighthouse tower included a Fourth Order Fresnel lens with a 56 foot high focal plane. The light was deactivated in 1951 and automation began in 1963.

There is no existing sound signal building, though it originally had a fog signal, which was first a horn, siren and then a bell.

There are Keepers Quarters at this lighthouse are the relocated portion which was constructed in 1909, and included 2.5 stories, built out of wood in the architectural style of Victorian. Today the Keepers Quarters serve as a marina office in Glen Cove Marina in Vallejo. Starting in 1908, hundreds of wooden piles were driven into the strait's muddy bottom to create a long pier extending out into the water over a mile from Carquinez Heights. At the very end of the pier, a dock and causeway led to a platform which supported the lighthouse. The 28-room, 3 story dwelling had a veranda which wrapped around the northern side. It housed 3 keepers and their families.

Carquinez Strait Lighthouse was replaced by a smaller automated beacon and fog signal in 1951, and put up for sale four years later. Moved to its current location in Elliot Cove next to Glen Cove, a marina office and cafe are located on the veranda, which was enclosed with large windows providing views of the marina and Carquinez Strait.

The lighthouse was originally one of a chain of 17 stations at the entrance to San Francisco Bay (Point Bonita) and extending to Roe Island in Suisun Bay. Only two of the 17 stations remain-- St. Francis Yacht Club on Tinsley Island, and the East Brothers lighthouse in San Pablo Bay (now a bed and breakfast establishment).

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info

Near Vallejo