Lighthouse construction virtually came to a halt during the Civil War, but efforts to procure a lighthouse for Santa Cruz were restarted in 1865. Congress allotted $10,000 for the lighthouse on March 2, 1867, and in April of 1868, a ruling by the California Supreme Court brought to an end the long-standing dispute over the property. The following month, ten acres on Point Santa Cruz were purchased from the now lawful owner for $2,400 in gold coin.
The construction plans used for the original Ediz Hook Lighthouse in Washington were recycled at Santa Cruz. The lighthouse was to be just that – a one-and-a-half story house with a pitched roof surmounted by a square light tower. Work on the wooden structure, which would rest on a brick foundation, began in the summer of 1869 and was completed in just a couple of months. Meanwhile, the octagonal lantern room was fabricated at the lighthouse depot on New York’s Staten Island and then shipped to California. A fifth-order Fresnel lens and a lard-oil lamp were installed in the lantern room after its delayed arrival, and the lighthouse was ready for its first lighting on January 1, 1870. The Santa Cruz Lighthouse entered service as the twelfth beacon along the California coast.
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