When Was the Land Purchased?
How much did it cost to purchase the property, and build the structures, for the Año Nuevo and Pigeon Point Light Stations?
According to the book, The History of Pigeon Point Lighthouse, by Frank Perry, the government of the United States paid $10,000 to purchase 19.5 acres from Loren Coburn and his brother-in-law, Jeremiah Clarke on May 18, 1870. The 19.5 acres were comprised of the following tracks:
1.5 acres at the tip of Pigeon Point
9 acres located about 500 yards inland from the point for "water privileges"
The 9 acre Año Nuevo Island
On March 3, 1871 Congress reappropriated $90,000 to fund the construction of the Pigeon Point and Año Nuevo Light Stations. Congress had to reappropriate the $90,000 because on July 20, 1868 Congress had, due to the efforts of US Senator Cornelius Cole, provided $90,000 for the establishment of a first-order lighthouse at "Point Año Nuevo or vicinity." There had been some differences of opinion as to where the light should be constructed, Pigeon Point or Año Nuevo Island, as well as disputes over who held the rights to Año Nuevo Island (the government or private owners), and over the purchase price of the land at Pigeon Point and Año Nuevo.
By the time the price for the 19.5 acres was settled, most of the original $90,000 appropriation (except for the amount spent to purchase the land) had reverted to the US Treasury, thus requiring the additional $90,000. Construction on Pigeon Point began soon after the 1871 reappropriation.