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cape_mendo_signal_station_1888.jpg
Cape Mendocino Signal Station, 18881677 viewsWouldn't want to be the caretaker here, even with the beautiful ocean view. Note the heavy wooden shutter for the window, on rails so it can be quickly and easily slid into place for protection. And the braces on this building. Uh, wait, braces on the building? Are they because of the punishing gale force winds in this location or because the extremely active Mendocino Triple Junction, the northern end of the San Andreas earthquake fault, is located just a few miles away?
According to lighthousefriends.com:"Living conditions on the exposed hillside (over 500 feet above sea level) were most difficult. Violent windstorms would break windows, and earthquakes frequently rattled the station causing significant damage to the structures. In just over forty years, housing for the keepers had to be completely rebuilt three times. Due to the steep terrain surrounding the station, the land frequently settled and slid during the wet season. As a result, floors warped and ceilings cracked. In the late 1890s, an assistant keeper and his family were forced to live in the concrete oil house. Although the Lighthouse Board described the oil house as "almost uninhabitable on account of its bad and unsanitary conditions", it continued to be used as housing for several more years. It is not surprising that inspection reports during this time frequently listed the health of the occupants of the station as 'poor' or 'fair'." More views of the Cape Mendocino area.
     
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