Santa Cruz, located on the northern side of Monterey Bay, was home to a busy port in the mid 1800s, with ships dropping anchor in the harbor to take on loads of redwood, lime, and agricultural products. Authorities felt a lighthouse was needed to guide traffic into the harbor, and Congress set aside a sum of $30,000 on August 30, 1852 for the erection of the Santa Cruz Lighthouse. Point Santa Cruz, which forms the western boundary of Santa Cruz’s harbor was selected as the desired location for the beacon. However, years were spent trying to determine the rightful owner of the prized property, and the majority of the original $30,000 appropriation was returned to the U.S. Treasury.
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