The original Santa Cruz Lighthouse was built in 1868 and first lit in 1869. Soon after it was installed, the color of the light was changed from white to red so that it wouldn't be confused with residential lights in the vicinity.In 1878 it was found that there were underground caves that could cause the lighthouse to cave, so it was placed in rollers and moved 300 feet inland. In 1941 a wooden tower with an automated light was moved near the site of the original lighthouse. During WWII, the lighthouse was used as a lookout tower and the 54th Coast Artillery was stationed at Lighthouse Point. By 1948 the lighthouse was deemed unnecessary and sold for salvage rights. The wooden tower remained in place.In 1965 a young man died while surfing in the Santa Cruz area. His parents built a brick lighthouse near the site. The Mark Abbott lighthouse was completed in 1967 and it replaced the wooden tower that remained at the Santa Cruz lighthouse. Attached to the lighthouse is the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum founded in 1985.
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