Carmel Magazine

CM Winter 2016 Issue

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Page 155 of 227

even on a good day, due to the treacherous surrounding seas—the very same conditions that brought about the need for a lighthouse in the first place. Those supplies also included the materials needed to construct the lightstation buildings. Everything— including the multi-ton, 18-foot- high First Order Fresnel lighthouse lens and its attendant machinery— had to be laboriously lugged up to the top. Not surprisingly, life on Point Sur was spar tan. "I've heard that many who were assigned here almost immediately put in their paperwork for a transfer," Bullman says. Keeping the light continually lit involved a lot of labor and attention to detail. The clockwork mechanism that rotated the lens was powered just like a monster cuckoo clock. Weights attached to chains drove the gears as gravity pulled them down. And that meant someone had to crank the weights back up every four hours, day and night. Conditions, both living and working, steadily improved, especially after Highway 1 was com- pleted and a road to the top of the rock was blasted out of the sheer rock face. Technology eventually ended the necessity of full-time light- house tenders on site and the Fresnel lens went dark in the 1970s, replaced first by an aero-beacon mounted on the fog-horn building adjacent to the lighthouse. The lens itself was disassembled and removed in 1979, currently residing (and spinning) in the Museum of Monterey near Fisherman's Wharf. Plans to bring it back to the lightstation are high on the wish list of the CCLK. With nearly constant winds buffeting Point 154 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 This early-20th century photo shows the former livestock barn (in foreground). It has recently been fully and meticulously restored as has the mock-Tudor Head Lighthouse Keeper's quarters at far right. The imposing stone "Triplex" is currently undergoing extensive restoration work. Photo: The Pat Hathaway Collection 'But there's plenty more work to do. The stone "triplex" building once inhabited by assistant keepers and their families has a Gothic, haunted-mansion vibe.'

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