The treacherous waters of the Golden Gate have claimed dozens of ships and hundreds of lives.
Beginning in 1852, the United States Government funded the construction of a chain of 59 light-houses along the California coast. The Fort Point light was one of 13 servicing San Francisco Bay.
The first Fort Point light was built and destroyed in 1853. Army engineers blasted away the bluff on which it stood to allow for the construction of Fort Point. A second lighthouse, built near the water in 1855, was removed to permit seawall construction. Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Robert S. Williamson, designed this third Fort Point light, finished in 1864.
In 1934, the U.S. Lighthouse Services keepers extinguished the Fort Point light for the last time due to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.
"There is nothing here to see. There is the ocean and the sand and the guns and the soldiers. That is all. It grows monotonous. Always the ocean and the sand and the guns and the soldiers. As for the ships, one grows tired of them too. I have my family and my pleasures."
Keeper James Rankin, ca, 1915