Mayo’s Beach and Point Montara Lighthouse Mystery Solved

mayo1881.jpg For years, local historians believed the 30-foot Lighthouse Tower at Mayo Beach in Wellfleet Harbor, Cape Cod was destroyed. Yet, recent research indicates the information from an archived photo revealed the Tower was stored in Coast Guard surplus and reused as the iron Tower of Point Montara Lighthouse in California.

Local historians were surprised by the new historical discovery. Briefly, they believed the lighthouse was erected in Wellfleet, Massachusetts in 1881, deactivated in 1922, sold at auction to a private party in 1923, and the lighthouse was razed in 1939.

mayo1927.jpg According to Bob Shanklin whose family began researching a 1927 photograph of the Lighthouse on Yerba Buena Island last summer, “Everyone in California thought the lighthouse was built at Yerba Buena and everyone on Cape Cod thought it was destroyed.”

Colleen MacNeney, the daughter of Bob and Sandra Shanklin who are also known as the “The Lighthouse People” online, was digitally archiving historic photographs from the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s office when she found a photograph of a lighthouse tower in Yerba Buena, Calif., dated 1927 with the inscription on the back: “This tower formerly used at Mayo Beach, 2d District.”

After extensive research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Colleen found documents which proved the lighthouse had been moved 3,000-miles from Wellfleet to Yerba Buena Island and eventually to Point Montara in 1928.

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Historian Robert Browning stated, “The facts kind of got lost in history. It’s just one of those things. Knowing the federal government and the Lighthouse Bureau, they were pretty frugal institutions and I’m guessing they saved the lighthouse because they knew they’d find use for it again somewhere.”

The Coast Guard summary of Lighthouses states that Mayo’s Beach lighthouse was destroyed and Coast Guard assistant historian Scott Price stated, “We have it down as being razed. We need to fix that, then.”

For more information about Mayo Beach Lighthouse, please click HERE.

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map Location of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of Mayo’s Beach Lighthouse

ptmontara.jpg Currently, the Keeper’s House at Point Montara Lighthouse is a 50-bed American youth hostel and Point Montara Lighthouse is a U.S. Coast Guard Active Aid to Navigation.

For more information about Point Montara Lighthouse, please click HERE.

blue_starMap Location:
For a Map Location of the Lighthouse, please visit the Google Map of Point Montara Lighthouse

Related News Source:
Cape lighthouse mystery solved, June 04, 2008

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About Debbie Dolphin

Lighthouse author and photographer living in New England

Posted on June 22, 2008, in History, Lodging, Preservation News, Relocation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Hi Kim of Laketrees Art Agency,

    Thank you, my son is recovering and doing well!

    Black and White Photography reminds me of time traveling into the past to capture the classical artwork of life!

    Is your secret award, the Peabody Award (for electronic media)? 😉 ~ 😉

  2. hi Debbie
    I hope all goes well with your son’s operation….
    I love the black and white photos in this post…….
    prepare yourself….as I will be giving you an award very soon too 😉 🙂

    laketrees’s last blog post..What Famous Work of Art Are You?

  3. Hi Linda,

    I’m temporarily speechless and honored by your prestigious award!

    Hopefully, I can write my acceptance speech in a few days after my son’s surgery which is scheduled for today.

  4. I saw this in the news the other day and thought perhaps I’d find a post about it here at some point. You didn’t disappoint me!

    Also, I have given you an award and hope you like it! Stop on by and pick it up here!

    Linda’s last blog post..I’ve Got a Question – You’ve Got an Answer

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