April 7, 2014

Trinidad Head Lighthouse is an historic lighthouse in Trinidad, California. It is 20 miles (32 km) north of Eureka, California, built in 1871.



The low, square, brick tower, painted white, was built in 1871. The light is only 20 feet (6.1 m) above ground, but the headland on which it stands gives it an elevation of 196 feet (60 m) above the sea. Despite the great height above the sea, heavy seas have been known to reach it. In 1913, the keeper made the following report:

“At 4:40 p. m. I observed a sea of unusual height. When it struck the bluff the jar was very heavy. The lens immediately stopped revolving. The sea shot up the face of the bluff and over it, until the solid sea seemed to me to be on a level with where I stood in the lantern. The sea itself fell over onto the top of the bluff and struck the tower about on a level with the balcony. The whole point between the tower and the bluff was buried in water.”

The wave he described was the highest recorded wave on the coast. After the sea struck the lighthouse and extinguished the light, service was restored in four hours by Lightkeeper F.L. Harrington, the keeper from 1888 to 1916.

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