Est. 1890 Re. Est. 1984 – The Quinn's building was constructed in 1903 as the Oakland Harbor Entrance Lighthouse by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. It cost $19,000 and replaced the original 1890 structure, which had been badly damaged by marine borers. The building, which was located on the north side of the entrance to the Oakland Estuary, served as a house for two lighthouse keepers and their families until the lighthouse service became part of the Coast Guard in 1939. From 1939, until the structure was moved to this location in 1965, the families of the keepers lived ashore.
Originally, the lanternroom contained a 5TH Order Fresnel lens, which produced a flashing white light every 5 seconds that could be seen for 14 miles. A giant 3,500 lb. fog bell was located on the porch and struck every 5 seconds during periods of fog. In 1918, the fog signal was changed from a bell to an air powered diaphone for a signal which sounded a 2 second blast every 15 seconds.
As we approach the end of the Twentieth Century, we are at the end of an era. The era of the lighthouse, after two thousand years, is over. No more will man construct soaring towers of brick of lovely Victorian lades laced with "gingerbread". Todays modern navigation aids are comprised of rotating aero-beacons surrounding nonopoles, controlled and monitored by unseeing hands at some remote station. The days of the lighthouse as a structure to house the keeper and his family are over. Several lighthouses, however, have been preserved as museums, or in the case of L.J. QUINN's, a restaurant, as a reminder of our maritime heritage and as a tribute to those faithful "wickies" (affectionate term for the keepers), who served the mariner and humanity with such dedication for so many years.