The lighthouse was built in 1874 and designed by Paul J. Pelz, who also designed Point Fermin's sister stations, East Brother Island Light in Richmond, California, Mare Island Light, in Carquinez Strait, California (demolished in the 1930s), Point Hueneme Light in California (replaced in 1940), Hereford Inlet Light in North Wildwood, New Jersey, and Point Adams Light in Washington State (burned down by the Lighthouse Service in 1912), all in essentially the same style. The original fourth order Fresnel lens was removed in 1942 and a wood replica lantern was installed in 1974. The lighthouse was saved from demolition in 1972 and refurbished in 1974, and a new lantern room and gallery were built by local preservationists. In 1972, the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Historical Information from Coast Guard web site:
Point Fermin Light was built in 1874 with lumber from California redwoods.
In 1941 the light was extinguished due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There was fear that the light would serve as a beacon for enemy planes and ships. Later, the lantern room and gallery were removed. They were replaced by a lookout shack that remained for the next 30 years, and was referred to as "the chicken coop" by locals.
In 1972 the light was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The light fell into disuse and disrepair. A new lantern room and gallery were built in 1974.
The building has now been restored to its original state and is open to the public as the Point Fermin Lighthouse Historic Site and Museum.
The original Fresnel lens from the lighthouse, removed in the 1940s, had been missing for decades. After being found and positively identified, on November 13, 2006 the lens was relocated to a display in the restored lighthouse museum from the real estate office of Louis Busch in Malibu, California where it had been on display.
The lighthouse is open daily except Monday and holidays.