In Richmond, California, sits a lighthouse on East Brother Island that marks the entrance to the San Pablo Bay from the San Francisco Bay. Designed by Paul J. Pelz in the American Stick style, the East Brother Island Lighthouse was built in 1874 and was first lit on March 1, 1874. In 1969, the lighthouse was automated, and the building that served as the keeper’s house was turned into a bed-and-breakfast in 1980.
Notable former keepers of the lighthouse include John Stenmark and Willward Miller, both of whom logged more than twenty years of service along with their families. The United States Lighthouse Service operated the lighthouse until 1939, when it merged with the United States Coast Guard.
When the lighthouse was automated in 1969, the government made plans to raze the keeper’s house and other buildings, but local residents protested, preventing the demolition. In 1971, the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places. After the lighthouse experienced several years of neglect, the East Brother Light Station, Inc., was founded in 1979 to restore it. A combination of private donations, volunteer work and government grants resulted in the restoration of the buildings on the island, which are now used for the East Brother Light Station Victorian Bed & Breakfast.