May 3, 1865 The French government formally authorized the start of construction on the Phare des Pierres Noires (Black Rocks Lighthouse) on the northwest coast of France.  This conical structure is specifically located at Le Conquet, which is a commune in the department of Finistère (an administrative division of France’s Brittany region). Le Conquet is... Continue Reading →

April 26, 1838 On Europa Point -- the southernmost tip of the British crown colony (now overseas territory) of Gibraltar -- efforts officially began on the construction of a lighthouse at the Atlantic Ocean’s entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Sir Alexander George Woodford, the colony’s governor and commander-in-chief, laid the foundation stone for the lighthouse with... Continue Reading →

January 31, 1890 Not far from Long Island’s north shore, a lighthouse built on a shoal at the entrance to Cold Spring Harbor was first lit. Construction on Cold Spring Harbor Light had begun the previous year.   The first keeper for this lighthouse was William S. Keene, who had been selected from a pool... Continue Reading →

January 21, 1881 On northwestern Oregon’s Pacific coast, Tillamook Rock Light – located about 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) offshore from Tillamook Head and 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the mouth of the Columbia River -- was first officially lit at 7:15 p.m.  “The signaling is a success,” reported Joel W. Munson, who observed Tillamook... Continue Reading →

December 28, 1975 After nearly 96 years of being maintained and operated by resident keepers, a lighthouse off the coast of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) became officially unmanned. This lighthouse is located on South Solitary Island, which is about 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) northeast of the city of Coffs Harbour on... Continue Reading →

November 16, 1860 The first permanent lighthouse on the western coast of Canada made its debut just off Vancouver Island, which was a separate British colony at the time and not yet integrated with British Columbia as a single government unit. Fisgard Lighthouse, located at the narrow entrance to Esquimalt Harbor on the island’s southern... Continue Reading →

October 5, 1849 On the coast of Scotland’s Western Highlands, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse made its formal debut when an oil light there was first illuminated to help guide ships sailing through the portion of the North Atlantic Ocean in that area. This lighthouse was built on the furthest western reach of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, which in turn... Continue Reading →

September 21, 1888 Construction began on the Cape Engaño Lighthouse in the present-day Republic of the Philippines. (At the time during which the Cape Engaño Lighthouse was built, the Philippines was a colony of Spain.) This lighthouse can be found at Cape Engaño on Palaui Island, which is located off the northeastern extremity of Luzon... Continue Reading →

Alfonso Sanchez Bermudez, head keeper of the Isla Caja de Muertos Lighthouse (located just off the coast of southern Puerto Rico), performed a lifesaving action in September 1916 that would earn him a formal commendation. This action involved rescuing a man who, while sailing in the vicinity of the lighthouse, found himself in danger of... Continue Reading →

August 20, 1873 A lighthouse built at Yaquina Head on the Oregon coast first went into service. (Yaquina Head is a headland extending into the Pacific Ocean, and it is situated just north of the city of Newport.) Fayette Crosby was this lighthouse’s first head keeper. His previous assignments included serving at the Umpqua River... Continue Reading →

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