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The lighthouse in Montara, a cast iron tower 30 feet tall, once illuminated the Atlantic at Wellfleet Harbor. (Click any photo to enlarge).
On the main maritime route to San Francisco, the Colorado Reef stretches from Montara to the Mavericks surf break.It’s named after a Pacific Mail steamship that ran aground in 1888.There were over 90 accidents in the mid 1800s.The fog station was established in 1875 by an act of Congress.At first, it consisted of a 12-inch steam whistle that went through 200,000 lbs of coal each year.A kerosene lantern was added in 1900In 1914, a 4th-order Fresnel lens was placed on a wooden platform.The current, 30-ft iron tower was put in place in 1928.It was first built in a foundry in Chelsea, north of Boston.It served as the Mayo Beach Lighthouse in Wellfleet Harbor, MA, from 1881 until 1922.After de-comissioning, the tower was shipped west for storage.The tower was found in storage on Yerba Buena Island in SF BayThe low height of the tower lets the beam shine beneath the prevalent fog.Point Montara StationOther structures were also built on the site.Buildings were added to operate the lighthouse as a family unit.They housed artillery and K9 units and an anti-aircraft training center during World War II.The site is now run in partnership with International HostelingMontara Light HostelThe renovated buildings comprise a 50-bed hostel.