Point Fermin, San Pedro

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Point Fermin, San Pedro

by | Aug 13, 2020

Point Fermin is a headland in San Pedro, about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Santa Monica and 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Long Beach, California. The point is named after Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen who in 1792, met British explorer George Vancouver at the Carmel Mission near Monterey. When Vancouver sailed into San Pedro Bay the following year, he named Point Fermin and Point Lasuen in honor of the Franciscan Father.

The lighthouse was designed by Paul J. Pelz and built in 1874 to mark the harbor at San Pedro. The harbor served the rapidly growing Los Angeles area that in 1869 was connected to the bay by the Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad. The redwood and fir needed for the project were delivered by ship, and by late fall of 1874, Point Fermin Lighthouse was finished. The ornate Victorian lighthouse is similar in design to the original Port Hueneme Lighthouse and the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in New Jersey. Between the years of 1927 and 1941, the light was electrified and managed by the City of Los Angeles. Point Fermin Lighthouse remained active until December 9, 1941, two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when most lights on the west coast were extinguished to avoid aiding Japanese submarines. 

The lighthouse was saved from demolition in 1972 and refurbished in 1974, and a new lantern room and gallery were built by local preservationists. In 1972, the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2002, the lighthouse was restored, retrofitted, and rehabilitated for public access with funds from the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles, and the State of California. The lighthouse was opened to the public on November 1, 2003, under the management of the Department of Recreation and Parks for the City of Los Angeles. Volunteers from the Point Fermin Lighthouse Society serve as tour guides and help to keep the lighthouse open to the public. Read more here and here. Explore more of Point Fermin here:

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