The Palos Verdes Peninsula is the most prominent coastal feature between Point Loma to the south and Point Conception to the north. When Captain George Vancouver sailed along its shores in 1793, he named the southwest tip of the peninsula Point Vicente, in honor of his friend, Friar Vicente of the Mission San Buenaventura.
Despite the point's prominence, funding for a lighthouse to mark this turning point into the harbors of San Pedro and Long Beach was not approved until 1916, when Congress appropriated $80,000 for a light and fog signal. Delays in acquiring the eight-acre parcel of land postponed construction until 1925. A United States district attorney had prepared data for a condemnation suit for the desired parcel before the land company made a satisfactory offer to the government.
The site on the point was fully acquire in 1922, but the fog signal was not activated until June 20, 1925, and the light atop the 67-foot cylindrical Point Vicente Lighthouse was not exhibited until April 14, 1926.
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