Southampton Shoal, a two-mile-long navigational hazard, lies along the eastern side of the shipping channel that runs between Berkeley on the east, and Angel Island and the Tiburon Peninsula on the west. When the Santa Fe Railroad commenced ferry service between Point Richmond and San Francisco around 1900, its ferries often passed dangerously close to the southeast portion of the shoal. The Lighthouse Board realized that vessel traffic to and from the Mare Island Shipyard and points farther inland would also benefit from a navigational aid on the shoal, and so a petition was soon sent to Congress requesting $30,000 for the project. The resulting Southampton Shoal Lighthouse was completed in 1905, adding another beacon to the string of lights that safely led mariners through San Francisco Bay.
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