Point Piedras Blancas

Point Piedras Blancas was put together by Carole Adams and John Bogacki. Carole Adams is a volunteer who has spearheaded the native plant restoration project at the light station and has coordinated the volunteer effort since 2001. When the Bureau of Land Management acquired the site in that year, John Bogacki became the first Site Manager and it was John who created the management plan for restoring Piedras Blancas Light Station to its former glory. Both Carole and John have been major contributors to the ongoing effort to develop a complete and accurate history of the lighthouse, its associated buildings and the surrounding landscape.

Point Piedras Blancas is one of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series of books, commonly known as simply “Arcadia Books”. Each of these books follows a standard format and this one is no different.

This book consists of over 200 images including historic (and not so historic) maps, drawings and photos of buildings, people, animals, plants and objects important to the history of Piedras Blancas Light Station. The images are arranged in chronological order and are grouped into seven chapters entitled, “Before the Light”, “Lighthouse Service: 1875-1939″, “U. S. Coast Guard: 1939-2001″, “Bureau of Land Management: 2001-present”, “Plans for the Future”, “Native Plant Restoration”, and “Wildlife”. Each image is accompanied by a concise caption. Taken together, the images and their captions present the complete history of the light station, from Native American occupation to the present, in a very clear and readable form.

Photograph of Piedras Blancas Light Station taken by Herbert Bamber in 1894

Piedras Blancas Light Station is fortunate to have in its possession a vast collection of historic photographs dating to even before the building of the lighthouse in 1875. These images have been donated by organizations including the U. S. Lighthouse Society and the U. S. Coast Guard and by individuals many of whom lived or worked at Point Piedras Blancas. Some of the images were created by Herbert Bamber, a construction engineer employed by the U. S. Lighthouse Service in the nineteenth century, who later rose to District Superintendent of Construction for lighthouses along the south Atlantic coast.This book includes the very best images in this collection.

Point Piedras Blancas is available at the Piedras Blancas Light Station gift shop during public tours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings and at many shops and stores in Cambria.

2 Responses to “Point Piedras Blancas”

  1. B&J says:

    Theresa and Ryan:

    Here’s what we know about Clifford E. McBeth. He was second assistant keeper at Piedras Blancas Light Station from 1938 until 1944. He was born on May 30, 1899 and was married to Theresa Lind. We assume that you, Theresa were names after Clifford’s wife. They had two sons. Perry McBeth was born in Eureka, California on March 18, 1926 and Lind was born in Crescent City on August 18, 1927.

    In 2003, we interviewed Jim Lily who worked at the station from 1945 to 1947. Here’s what he had to say about Clifford McBeth:

    “Before I got there – I never met the man – there was a man named McBeth. He was also a civilian lighthouse keeper, I believe. His wife was still living there in one third of this triplex. She lived in the western end, Mr. and Mrs. Davis had the center and Larry Wagner and I had the eastern end. It was three separate apartments. It was two stories on each end and three stories in the middle. And Mr. Davis’ children lived there with the Davises. They told me that MacBeth was in the hospital in San Luis Obispo and the rumor was that he had shingles pretty bad and within a week or two after we got there Mrs. MacBeth moved out and went, I guess, to San Luis to be with him.”

    “I never knew what became of Mrs. MacBeth. After she disappeared, his quarters stayed empty for the rest of the time that I was there. They never put anyone in his place.”

    We hope this is useful to you.

    B&J

  2. Theresa McBeth, and her son Ryan Dunagan says:

    My grandfather (Clifford Edwin McBeth) was a lighthouse keeper at Piedras Blancas in the early 1900s and my father was raised there with his brother.
    I appreciated seeing those photos of where my father grew up.
    I would be interested in any other information you might have. You can reach us at the email address given.

    Thanks Again,

    Theresa McBeth and Ryan Dunagan

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