In 1939, the control of all U.S. lighthouses passed from the U.S. Lighthouse Service to the Coast Guard. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 the United States entered World War II, and with the possibility of attack or invasion, a blackout was instituted. All lights along the coast were turned off or covered and that included lighthouses. Barracks were constructed for a shore patrol that enforced the blackout and patrolled the shoreline. The 54th Coast Artillery was brought to Ford Ord (about 10 miles to the north) and a battery of four 155-millimeter guns was stationed at Point Pinos. The Beach Patrol had a command post in the lighthouse. Before the war in 1939, and after the war in 1959, additional houses were built on the lighthouse property but after the early 1960s no families lived in the lighthouse and by 1975 the lighthouse was totally automated.
In 1967, the Coast Guard and the City of Pacific Grove began the process that would give title of the property to the city. That transfer was completed in 2006, leaving the Coast Guard the obligation to maintain aids to navigation including lighthouse lights. The City of Pacific Grove accepted the responsibility of maintaining, showing, and restoring the Point Pinos lighthouse. The major task of restoration was taken on by the all-volunteer Pacific Grove Heritage Society. A group of docents show the lighthouse, while the City of Pacific Grove maintains the lighthouse.
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Point Pinos is the oldest "continuously operating" lighthouse anywhere on the Pacific. Technically, it was the second lighthouse ever built (after Alcatraz) but was never demolished or decommissioned. Although Alcatraz is slightly older, its lighthouse was demolished and later rebuilt outside the prison walls.
90 Asilomar Avenue (near Lighthouse Ave.) Pacific Grove, CA, 93950
The Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove, California, is maintained by an all-volunteer staff of restoration experts, docents, and historians. As with all active lighthouses and aids to navigation, the actual electric light itself is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.