Construction of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse began after the devastating earthquake that rocked the region in 1906. It was determined that a lighthouse was critical to the safety of ships sailing up and down the coast. The lighthouse was first illuminated in June, 1909. In addition to the lighthouse structure, Point Cabrillo included the buildings still visible today. There are three keeper's houses, carpentry and smithy shop, and several other smaller structures. The last civilian keeper of the lighthouse retired in 1963 and the Coast Guard manned the station until 1992. The Lighthouse Conservancy took possession of the lighthouse in 1992. The towering building's light has a visibility of up to 15 miles. The original light was powered by kerosene and rotated by a clockworks mechanism utilizing a heavy weight that passed through each floor in the tower. The keepers were required to crank up the weights every 2 hours. An electric motor and light bulb were installed in 1935. The lens rotates at a fixed speed producing a single flash every ten seconds. The "signature" or rotation configuration is printed on nautical charts and must never vary. The lighthouse is now often utilized for small wedding parties of up to 30 people. Larger wedding events can be held on the bluffs overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Visitors can tour the light keeper's home and museum daily. A small gift shop is located on the grounds offering souvenirs and gifts.