Happy birthday! Diamond Head Lighthouse turns 100

The Diamond Head Lighthouse has been a beacon for canoe paddlers, kayakers, surfers, and mariners, keeping them safe for 100 years.

The U.S. Coast Guard held a centennial celebration for the lighthouse Saturday night.

This is technically the second such structure at Diamond Head, replacing an ironwork tower that was established in 1899 under the Hawaiian kingdom to guide trade ships and keep them safe.

No one stays in the lighthouse to keep the light burning anymore. Instead, its keeper is a five-member unit of the Coast Guard that takes care of this and a hundred other so-called “navigation aids” across the state.

“You think of the countless ships that have gone by, the number of surfers who are out there even now who guide on the light, and so I would just tell you it’s a special place and we are honored to serve in keeping this light burning day in and day out,” said Radm. Vincent B. Atkins, U.S. Coast Guard District 14 commander.

“This light can be seen 18 miles out at sea. It’s important for mariners to see, and when they come in at night, they know they can rely on this lighthouse. They’ve been relying on it for a hundred years,” said Chief Joshua Williams, U.S. Coast Guard boatswain’s mate.

In honor of the lighthouse’s 100th birthday, the Coast Guard commissioned an art contest for school students.

The three finalists were recognized Saturday and the winner, Logan Erickson, will have her artwork displayed at the lighthouse indefinitely.

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