California Lighthouses


Southampton Shoal Lighthouse, California

Southhampton Shoals Lighthouse in Stockton, CA

Southhampton Shoals (also referred to in singular as Southhampton Shoal) Lighthouse was established in the water and built on 11 steel cylinders pilings as a floating House on the Bay, some called it.

The lighthouse Keepers Quarters is a two-story, spacious building with the architectural style described as Integral. Wood was used as a building material in this 1905 structure that first contained a lighthouse tower with a Fifth Order Fresnel lens made in 1886. The focal plane of the original lens is 52 feet high feet, and you can see this lens at Angel Island Interpretive Center.

The Southhampton Shoals Lighthouse was relocated to Tinsley Island is now privately owned. Pictured is its original location in a shoal.

The Fresnel lens no longer exists in the relocated lighthouse which now serves as the summer escape for the prestigious San Francisco based St. Francis Yacht Club. Parties and events are held on the grounds and some rooms inside the lighthouse serve as accommodations for club members to rent. The lighthouse on Tinsley Island is approx. 90 miles from San Francisco in Stockton.

When the lighthouse was in service, the bottom floor had davits where the station boat was suspended above the water. The top two stories, divided into a pair of two-level apartments, were home to the keepers and their families, while the bottom floor was used for storage.

A 3,500-pound brass fog bell also was housed on the upper floor. It was the first type of fog signal used, but was replaced by an electric horn. A unique roof with four sides slopes upwards to the tower and lantern room where the lighthouse beacon shown. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1960 due to automation.

The lighthouse is not open to the public except by special appointment.

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