Walton Lighthouse at sunset. Some cities would enjoy claiming rights to a single lighthouse. Santa Cruz enjoys two beautiful structures and though the Walton Lighthouse is less known than its counterpart Santa Cruz Lighthouse and Surfing Museum, it is noteworthy in its own right. Looking down from above Seabright Beach, you can see the beautiful, tall, white Walton Lighthouse on a man-made jetty.
Designed by Mark Mesiti-Miller and constructed by Devcon Construction, Inc. in 2002, this structure stands over 40 feet tall and weighs 350,000 pounds. Built to withstand a quarter million pounds of wave energy, the lighthouse was designed by an engineer with experience in large commercial structures along the coast.
Located at the far north end of Monterey Bay, a lighthouse has protected the entrance to Santa Cruz Harbor for over fifty years. Beginning in 1964, a box light structure stood on the west jetty. It was replaced by a cylindrical structure nicknamed “the water heater” from 1996 to 1999. Fundraising efforts to build something more elegant in appearance were met with success and construction began with an inner core which houses electrical equipment and a circular staircase that climbs to the top of the lighthouse.
The lightstation was dedicated on June 9, 2002 and was officially named the Walton Lighthouse in honor of Charles Walton’s late brother, Derek, who served in the merchant marines. Charles Walton is a benefactor from Los Gatos whose contributions helped make the project a reality.
To find the Walton Lighthouse, drive south on Seabright Ave then turn left Atlantic Avenue and park near the end of the street. A trail that begins next to Aldo’s Harbor Restaurant leads to the beach and the lighthouse.
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