The Point Arena Lighthouse Museum is housed in the historic Fog Signal Building. Built in 1890, the Fog Signal Building is the oldest structure on the Lighthouse property and also contains the Gift Store and Lodging Desk. Restored as part of the major renovation project in 2008 to 2010, the Museum was completely redesigned so that its centerpiece, the original 1908 First Order Fresnel lens that was removed from the Tower in 2009, would be surrounded by a fascinating display of Lighthouse history and artifacts. The Museum includes a fascinating array of well researched and informative displays that inform guests of a wide variety of both Lighthouse and area facts, including:
- The First Order Fresnel lens
- The mercury bath and drive
- The original Lighthouse
- Point Arena area history, including the 1906 earthquake and its affect on both Point Arena and the Lighthouse
- Construction of the current Lighthouse
- Maritime history and shipwrecks of the coast
- Foghorn history and equipment display
- The Lighthouse Keepers and their families
- Renovation of the Fog Signal Building and Lighthouse Tower 2008 – 2010
- Ongoing video show about the Lighthouse
- Historic Friendship Quilt
- Hollywood at the Lighthouse
In addition to being a prime whale watching spot, the Whale Watch room off of the main Museum area offers guests beautiful and educational displays:
- Interactive touchscreen display of marine mammals and other inhabitants of the ocean outside the Lighthouse, with information on each and sound samples
- Replica Killer Whale and Harbor Porpoise skulls
- Marine mammal skulls
- Posters of North Coast marine life and Whales of the World
- Display of shark, whale and elephant seal teeth and tusks
- History of the lumber industry surrounding the Lighthouse during its history
- Pomo Indian artifacts
- Abalone shell display
- Devil’s Punchbowl over the years
On most weekends the Point Arena Lighthouse Guides give a short presentation about the Museum to guests before taking them to the Tower for the “climb to the top.” Self guided tour pamphlets are also available that guests can use to explore the Museum at their own pace.
The Museum is open 10 am to 4:30 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day and 10 am to 3:30 pm from the day after Labor Day to Memorial Day. We are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. The Lighthouse will close early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve so that our staff can get home to their family and friends. Hours on December 24 and December 31, 2016 will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Admission to the Museum only is $5 for adults, $1 for children 5 – 12 years.
Admission to the Museum and a Tower tour is $7.50 for adults, $1 for children 5 – 12 years.
Admission to both the Museum and the Tower tours are always free to Lighthouse members. Become a member by clicking here.