AÑO NUEVO ISLAND TIMELINE

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AÑO ISLAND TIMELINE OF EVENTS


  • 1850 California statehood.


  • 1851 Isaac Graham acquired Rancho Punta de Año Nuevo north of Santa Cruz from the heirs of the original owners (the Castro family). Although he did not live on the rancho, he leased much of the land out for cattle ranching.


  • 1852 A 9 member Lighthouse Board was created in the Department of the Treasury by an act of August 31, 1852. Oversight of the nation’s lighthouses was transferred, October 9, 1852, to this board. 1855 USCGS Maps Farallones; Lighthouse built.


  • 1862 Rancho Punta de Año Nuevo sold at public auction to John H. Baird, for $20,000. Baird quickly flipped the ranch property to Loren Coburn for $30,000. Coburn then leased much of the land to a northern California dairy enterprise operated by the Steele Brothers. Steeles gave William W. Waddell a right-of-way across the land in order to build a landing and wharf. Coburn claimed ownership of Año Nuevo Island.


  • 1864 Waddell had completed the 700-foot wharf, complete with swinging chute at the end to serve deep water schooners. It became known at Waddell's Landing.


  • 1870 The government acquired Año Nuevo Island by deed on May 18, 1870. The government paid Loren Coburn and Jeremiah Clarke (Coburn's brother-in-law who retained an interest in part of the property) $10,000 for the land, which included two tracts of land at Pigeon Point as well. The deed also provided for a 40-foot right-of-way to the point from the main road, providing the government with access to the island from the mainland. Appropriations were made to establish a light at Año Nuevo. Because of delays, the appropriations reverted to the treasury in July of that same year.


  • 1871 The government leased the island to Joseph King for $100 per year, to be used for seal hunting only.


  • 1872 Funds came through and a steam fog whistle and a keeper’s dwelling were built on the island. The station became operational on May 29 under the U.S. Lighthouse Board. Two keepers were initially installed on the island, living in a 36 by 28 foot, one and a half story building,


  • 1880 A second fog signal whistle, together with boiler and engine was installed. The existing fog signal building was enlarged.


  • 1903 The Lighthouse Board was transferred to Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903. The board was re-organized and re-designated the Bureau of Lighthouses by an act of July 27, 1910.


  • 1913 The Bureau of Lighthouses was assigned to the Department of Commerce when the latter was separated from the Department of Labor on March 4, 1913.


  • 1939 The Bureau of Lighthouses was abolished on July 1, 1939, with its functions transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.