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Diamond Head Lighthouse Turns 100

The 14th District of the US Coast Guard has been commemorating the 100th anniversary of Oahu’s Diamond Head Lighthouse, "a cultural icon and landmark," this summer. Diamond Head, which is featured on the cover of Latitude 38’s August issue, has been welcoming mariners to Oahu for centuries; the light has made the welcome safer. For Transpac racers sailing into Waikiki through the Molokai Channel at night, the light has been a beacon heralding the approach to the finish line.

Steve Meheen’s San Diego-based R/P 63 Aszhou at the finish of the 2017 Transpac. The Diamond Head Lighthouse is on the shore just above the buoy.

© 2017 Sharon Green

As part of the centennial celebration, an art contest was held during the school year. More than 70 students from around Oahu entered the contest. During the ceremony, Rear Admiral Vince Atkins, commander of the 14th District, announced the winner, Logan Erickson, an 8th-grader from Kailua Intermediate School. Logan’s painting will be hung in the lighthouse for years to come. 

"Standing the watch for over 100 years," reads the winning artwork.

© US Coast Guard

In 1878, a lookout was established on the slopes of Diamond Head. It was later determined that a more substantial structure should be built to warn mariners of the dangers of the reefs. The original ironwork structure built in 1899 was replaced in 1917, and has since been further modernized to use LED lighting burning at 60,000 candlepower and shining 18 miles out to sea. The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and was featured on a US postage stamp in June 2007.

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