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Celebration to Feature Museum’s First Turning of Point Conception Lighthouse Lens

lighthouse lens
The Point Conception Lighthouse's Fresnel lens is on display at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. (Santa Barbara Maritime Museum photo)

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum will honor and celebrate the 158th-year anniversary of the day the Point Conception Lighthouse First Order Fresnel lens was first lit, on Feb. 1, 1856.

The event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way. The cost is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. To register, click here or call 805.962.8404 x115.

Festivities will include a ceremonial lighting and turning of the Fresnel lens for the first time since its installation into the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in July 2013.

The Point Conception Lighthouse Lens exhibit also features four new videos about the transfer of the lens, the keepers of the light, shipwrecks along the “Cape Horn of the Pacific” and describing the cutting edge Fresnel technology.

The reception will also feature acknowledgement of the 100-plus donors who helped make the transfer of the lens possible, including the exhibit naming benefactors, Roger and Sarah Chrisman.

The Maritime Museum spent more than $350,000 to disassemble, transfer and reassemble the Fresnel lens from its remote location at Point Conception to the museum, including three weeks of restoration work on the 624 glass prisms, which had been neglected for thirteen years. This lens, a Registered National Landmark, is now on view to the public for the first time.

The reception will feature appetizers provided by Spices N Rice and wine from Deep Sea Winery.

— Dennis Schuett is the marketing coordinator for the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

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