Official Web Site of the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society - Welcome



Picture By Bill Odonnell May 2005 

Keeping the Watch
St. George Reef Lighthouse
Preservation Society

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TOURS - Are still postpone but starting January 2017 we may have our first tour - details coming. We are still on a holding pattern. We have to build a helicopter landing pad (helipad) which will be a landing area for helicopters. If you would like to be on the waiting list, for a possible January 2017 tours, please go to our "Contact" page and call or E-mail in the section called “Tours and Booking Inquires Only”.



Welcome to the keepers of St. George Reef Lighthouse as we begin the second century of watches on the "Dragon Rocks". The keepers of the first watch, those who built the lighthouse and manned it under the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the Coast Guard, have left us a legacy of service which is part of the rich maritime heritage of our nation. We will never have to stand their watch, keeping the light burning through the freezing cold, monstrous waves, and mind-numbing loneliness. The duty for our watch is but to remember their service, be trustworthy custodians of this important lighthouse and in so doing to preserve the heritage of America's Greatest Lighthouse. Join us then, as we restore, preserve and interpret St. George Reef Lighthouse. May those of the "third watch" find our efforts as inspirational as those who have preceded us.


St. George Reef Lighthouse (Images of America) - Paperback May 18, 2015 by Guy Towers (Author) $21.99


Get your autograph copies of the book from St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society:


Write: Guy Towers/SGRLPS at PO BOX 577, Crescent City, CA 95531 Tel:707.464.8299


All profits go to SGRLPS


Cost: $21.99 plus taxes/shipping


Most every, except California, is $25.99 which includes the shipping charge of $4.00


All of California, except DelNorte County, is $27.63 which includes the shipping charge of $4.00 and Calif. Sales tax of $1.63


DelNorte County – only - is $27.64 which includes the shipping charge of $4.00 and Calif. Sales tax of $1.64


St. George Reef Lighthouse is Situated at the end of a reef six miles offshore of Crescent City, California, stands St. George Reef ighthouse. Constructed after the wreck of the coastal steamer Brother Jonathan in 1865, the beacon warned mariners of the dreaded Dragon Rocks of St. George Reef for nearly a century. This book chronicles the loss of the Jonathan, decades of efforts to make the light a reality, the 10-year construction period, manning of the station by keepers of the US Lighthouse Service and Coast Guard, and the struggles and accomplishments of dedicated volunteers to restore what many lighthouse historians refer to as Americas greatest lighthouse.


Guy Towers and his wife, Alice, founded the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society in 1986, and Guy has been president of the nonprofit group since. He has compiled extensive historical records that include material from the National Archives and personal interviews with keepers. He coordinates and oversees restoration activities of volunteers, who were first able to access the site by helicopter in 1996. Guy also acts as a docent for visitors whose paid tours are the group’s chief source of revenue.


Product Details


Series: Images of America Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (May 18, 2015) Language: English ISBN-10: 1467133175 ISBN-13: 978-1467133173 Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches


For more information about the SGRLPS please go to the “Contact” page Please call or E-mail the official contact information only for more information about SGRLPS.


Attention past lighthouse keepers or family and friends of even visitors from the late 1800's to mid-1975. We need your help on putting together the past of this lighthouse. If you have anything that can help us please go to our "Contact" page and E-mail or call the person given in the Wanted Photo's or Film's section. Thanks for your help on this project.

Bill Odonnell - Video Grapher, Web Master, and Research Asst.



Cut from the legend of the sentinel on the “Dragon Rocks”

St. George Reef Lighthouse Legacy Collection
PDF File


The St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society presents the Legacy Collection, beautifully crafted artifacts that preserve the legacy of pride in craftsmanship, courage and devotion to duty shown by the builders and keepers of the U.S. lighthouse service and Coast Guard at America’s most expensive, most dangerous lighthouse.


Immense gains have been made in the rehabilitation of St. George: a new light now serves as an official aid to navigation, shining from a completely restored lantern room; all utilities are functioning; new replica handrails provide safety on the lantern room and caisson perimeters; keeper’s rooms are being repainted returning the structure to its appearance when manned, 1891-1975.

Please join the effort to keep the light burning! A returning contribution of any size is welcome and may be sent to P.O. Box 577, Crescent City C.A. 95531 or we will speedily fill your gift item orders. You may call Tel: 707-464-8299 0r


St. George Reef Lighthouse, located six miles off the coast near Crescent City California was built as the result of the sinking of the coastal steamer Brother Jonathan in July, 1865 which took the lives of hundreds of people. Constructed between 1881-1891 it is composed of massive slabs of granite cut on Humboldt Bay, 60 miles south, and transported to the small, exposed rocks at the western end of St. George Reef or the “Dragon Rocks”.


Rising nearly sixteen stories above the sea, it was crowned with a giant first order lens which exhibited first light the night if October 20, 1891. First manned by keepers of the U.S. Service (1891-1939) and then by the Coast Guard (1939-1975) it was considered to be the most dangerous station in the service; 5 keepers lost their lives while on duty there.


Left to the elements for many years, the Fresnel lens was removed in 1983 by the Del Norte County Historical Society and placed in a museum in Crescent City, and then in 1986 the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society was formed, ultimately flying restoration crews out by helicopter and offering tours of the facility.


VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE: We have been flying out to St. George Reef Lighthouse for 16 plus years, except for about the five years or so when we were waiting for the Take Permit. We have been shut down by the State of California, Department of Transportation, and Division of Aeronautics.

All the people who have paid for or reserved a spot will be the first to go out, once we have this permit in hand. Thanks again to all those who are interested in this very unique lighthouse.


Also of note: St George Reef Lighthouse is now able, once again, to guide the many ships with the light that St. George Reef Lighthouse now shines at night or when the fog rolls in. The light was turned back on March 10, 2012.



The St. George Reef lighthouse Preservation Society is sending an urgent message to its friends in the lighthouse community: tours of the lighthouse, primary source of revenue to continue with restoration of the historic north coast beacon, have been halted by the California Department of Transportation (CDOT).


Helicopter flights on to St. George reef Lighthouse are the only way to access the remote rock. Located six miles at sea off Crescent City, have been ongoing since 1996 when the society gained jurisdiction of the site. The project has received worldwide attention and covered in all the media but no notice was ever given that the helicopter operation was in violation of any regulations. However, in March '12, just after the light was relit, a cease and desist order was received from COOT, stating that the landing area for the helicopter, which is on the caisson supporting the tower, was' not large enough to meet federal aviation rules governing commercial heliports. Visitors paying a fee for the lighthouse tour made it a commercial operation; therefore tours must cease, but fortunately restoration activities could continue, pending obtaining a COOT permit. One hope remained that building an extension off the caisson would violate the historical status of the lighthouse but further inquiries revealed that being on the National Register of Historical Places did not qualify the site for an exemption.


Although hampered by weather, finances and other federal regulations providing protection for marine mammals which seasonably occupy the rocky reef, tremendous gains have been made toward the society's goals restoring and preserving the guardian of the "Dragon Rocks". Against all odds the lantern room has been rebuilt and, for the second time, a fully automated light now cheers coastal watchers and local fishermen. In addition, all utilities are functional, a new stainless steel replica handrail provides safe access outside the lantern room, watch room and caisson; old paint and plaster removed throughout; keeper’s rooms repainted and awaiting final touches to return them to their appearance when manned by the U.S. Lighthouse Service and Coast Guard.


St. George is an icon of the west coast, the most expensive lighthouse constructed in 19th Century America, a memorial to five keepers who died on duty there. Thousands of hours of volunteer labor and untold personal sacrifices have gone into preserving this legacy. We now invite you to join us in insuring that these efforts have not been in vain.


Donations of any size are welcome and in the near future you will have an opportunity to purchase a truly unique set of gifts that we are calling the "Legacy Collection"; jewelry and other items made from original lantern room glass which was removed and replaced as part of restoration, from pieces of the 80 year old metal boom that was so vital in transferring men and supplies from the sea, or from fragments of the hundreds of granite slabs used to construct the lighthouse.


To follow developments keep checking back to


To own a part of history go to our products page 



Last updated November 11, 2016

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Contents Copyright © 2003-2016 SGRLPS, Adventures of Shadow® and Odonnell Entertainment® are both registered trademarks and are owned by William Odonnell and are being used with my business which is now officially called "Odonnell Entertainment Adventures of Shadow, LLC" All Rights Reserved. All Rights Reserved.