have come and gone over the years for a variety of reasons. Some
have been worn away by the elements or consumed by storms, others
shaken down by earthquakes, and still others have collapsed from
erosion. Sadly, many have also been purposely burned to the ground
to make room for modern replacements, which usually consist of automated
towers that utilize the most current technological navigational
The Great Point
Light on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, has a long history of
tragic destruction. The original wooden structure was destroyed
by fire and rebuilt in stone. But because both the Great Point Light
and the nearby Cross Rip lightship utilized fixed-light lenses,
confusion between the two lead to frequent shipwrecks in the area
during the second half of the 19th century. Red panels were then
added to the Great Point Light’s lens to help remedy the shipwreck
problem. The Great Point Light endured for many years until it was
eventually destroyed again, this time by a storm in the 1980s. A
replica of the last version now stands nearby.
Some more creative
uses of lighthouses have also been employed to help support their
preservation. The Point Montara Lighthouse, on the California coast
just south of San Francisco, has been turned into a youth hostel,
though the lighthouse is still active. Many others in the U.S. have
been converted into bed and breakfast inns, as well.
Learn about the relocation of lighthouses...