Point Sur Lighthouse to get back original lens

Point Sur Lighthouse to get back original lens

BIG SUR, Calif. - An original piece of the Central Coast making its way back to it's roots. 

The Point Sur Lighthouse has been around for well over a century, but soon, all of it's original pieces will be home again.

"The first order Fresnel lens is being loaned to California State Parks to be put back at Point Sur light station. That's where the lens was originally placed in 1889," said California State Parks District Museum Curator, Kris Quist.

In 1978, the lighthouse became automated, so in 1992 after a few years in storage, the original lens and all of it's parts were kept safely at the Monterey Maritime Museum. That all changed when the museum became the new Dali 17.

"It gave us a great opportunity to contact the coast guard saying we'd like to borrow this from the site it came from," said Quist.

Today began the process of disassembling the lens from the Dali 17 to move back to it's original place at Point Sur.

"It will be crated up, it'll be put in secure storage while certain pieces are stored and repaired a little bit, and then it will be taken down to point sur and reinstalled piece by piece. We're hoping to do that sometime next year," said Quist.

It's living history that will retake it's place in the modern era. 

"I mean, this is the lens in 1889 that could throw light 20 miles where everybody was just using candles and lantern so this was, at the time, high technology," said Quist.

Everyone involved believes restoring history, especially in this case, is important.

"I'm here helping a great organization like the Point Sur Light Station to continue their history, continue the restoration of the lighthouse. They've done such a great job up to this point and that's part of the reason why the coast guard has agreed to let them take the lens back to the lighthouse," said Lampist, Chad Kaiser.

And locals and tourists alike will see what their ancestors saw generations ago. 

"I think it's absolutely fantastic. It's finally going back to where it came from. I'm a big believer that things should be where they should be and that's where it really needs to go and i'm so ecstatic about it moving back to point sur light station," said former Historian/Curator of the Monterey Maritime Museum, Tim Thomas.

"Thousands of thousands of people have seen this light flashing over the last hundred years, and to be involved with being able to maintain that and share it and then have folks understand why, this is an important object to the people of California. I think it's a great opportunity," said Quist.

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