Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Historic photos

Carole Adams and John Bogacki have compiled historic photos of the Piedras Blancas Light Station into an Arcadia Images of America book, Point Piedras Blancas. It makes available photos that otherwise would have been limited to those who were able to visit the Light Station and explore its archives.

Shipwrecks figure significantly -- what's a lighthouse for? The people who sailed the ships and those who maintained the light station are all documented here. The Fresnel lens, now on display in Cambria, is diagrammed as well as presented in photos, providing technical detail that is helpful in understanding how the lighthouse functioned.

And what tales the photos tell! Captain Thorndyke, second head lighthouse keeper (1879-1906) and his third wife, Margaret are pictured on their wedding day, after second wife ran off to San Francisco. Presumably, the sprightly Margaret knew what she was getting into -- she was the younger sister of his first wife. She stayed -- another photo shows her in front of Thorndyke's Store. She and the captain moved into a cottage behind the store after he retired at age 75 in 1906.

Thanks for making this treasure trove of local history available to us, Carole and John!

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