The United States is still a new country at just 238 years old, so when something has been around for 158 calendar turns — especially on the younger left coast — it is something to celebrate. And that is exactly what the S.B. Maritime Museum is doing for the Point Conception Lighthouse lens, which more than a century ago began illuminating the treacherous coastal pointy elbow of California. Retired from service, the Fresnel lens was installed as a permanent exhibit in the comfy confines of the Maritime Museum in July 2013. It was a costly ($350,000) and delicate procedure that included weeks of restoration work on the 624-piece glass prism, which sat untended for 13 years. A registered national landmark, the lens is finally making its viewing debut. The celebration includes a ceremonial lighting and turning of the lens and videos about the lens’s transfer, the light keepers of the past, and shipwrecks along the Cape Horn of the Pacific. The event will also include appetizers and wine. The celebration takes place Saturday, February 1, 5:30-7 p.m. at S.B. Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way. Cost: free (members), $10 (nonmembers). For reservations, call 962-8404 x115 or visit sbmm.org.
For a complete story on the history of the Point Conception Lighthouse and the Fresnel Lens removal, visit independent.com/news/2013/jun/12/preserving-point-conceptions-lens