Carmel Magazine

CM Winter 2016 Issue

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Page 153 of 227

E very Thursday, fair weath- er or foul, a group of men and women trek south on Highway 1 to tend to their shared labor of love. The destina- tion is a dramatic 361-foot chunk of rock jutting into the Pacific Ocean from the rugged Big Sur coast. At the landform's apex sits Point Sur Lightstation, comprised of a lighthouse and several support buildings initially operated by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. The lighthouse's lamp was first lit on August 1, 1889, and has been in continuous operation—in one form or another—ever since. That group is part of a 95-person strong team of volunteers who has done a magnificent job of restoring and maintaining this vital piece of Monterey County history—they call it "The Rock." "It's not easy," says Todd Bullman, chairman of volunteers, Point Sur Lightstation State Historic Park. "Everyone who works on it wants to be here." Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers (CCLK), a nonprofit organiza- tion founded in 1993, oversees volun- teer operations and also works to obtain funds for restoration and main- tenance of the lightstation's buildings and infrastructure. It's never been easy to be here. Before Highway 1 connected this region to the world by road, supplies had to be brought in by ship and winched up the sheer mountainside on rails, a dangerous under taking 152 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 Guided tours lead visitors 361 feet along a winding road to the peak of Point Sur, affording breathtaking views out to sea and up and down the coast. Photo: The Pat Hathaway Collection

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