Molokai (Kalaupapa) Light

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Molokai (Kalaupapa) Light in 2011 - 54th trip
Molokai (Kalaupapa) Light in 2011 - 54th trip

Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii

Built: 1909

Automated: 1966

This 138 foot tall octagonal tower is made of reinforced concrete and has a focal plane of 213 feet. It housed a 2nd order Fresnel lens until 1985, when mercury was found to be leaking from the vat beneath the lens, and it was replaced with a rotating beacon. The National Park Service currently has the lens in storage on the island and plans to place it in a future museum, which will interpret the Kalaupapa settlement. This lighthouse is located on the northern shore of Molokai Island at the tip of the Kalaupapa Peninsula. This peninsula is the location of a leprosy settlement which was ministered to by Father Damien (Joseph de Veuster) who arrived in 1873 and remained there until his own death from leprosy in 1889. Over the years, roughly 8,000 people have been relocated to the peninsula to die. The Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement National Landmark District, which includes the lighthouse, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January of 1976. In 1980, President Carter signed Public Law 96-565, establishing Kalaupapa National Historic Park. The lighthouse received its own entry on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. This is still an active light.

Molokai (Kalaupapa) Light in 2011 – 54th trip
Molokai (Kalaupapa) Light in 2011 – 54th trip

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Photographs by Donald W. Carter
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This article was last modified on 12/5/2011.

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