Battery Point Lighthouse

Crescent City Harbor

Smith River

Visit the Museum Shop

Home of the Tolowa and Yurok

Brother Jonathan

Del Norte County Historical Society

Del Norte History, More Precious than Gold.

The Del Norte County Historical Society welcomes you to Del Norte County’s history. Established in 1951, the Society manages both the Main Museum at 6th and H Street and the Battery Point Lighthouse at the foot of Lighthouse Way in Crescent City, California.

Our mission is to discover, collect, preserve and present the documents, structures, artifacts and ideas pertaining to Del Norte County, and to provide suitable museums or homes for such items in order to maintain them as public educational resources. The Del Norte County Historical Society is staffed mainly by volunteers and supported by the general membership through annual dues, contributions, and special events.

The general public supports the Society through their donations, admissions, research, and reproduction fees and by purchases made at our gift shops at both the Main Museum and Battery Point Lighthouse. The Society is also supported by bequests, gifts and donations made in honor of loved ones and friends remembered in our “Book of Memories.”

Members receive a quarterly publication of the Society called “Reflections”, our newsletter packed with stories and events of the past along with information of upcoming events and happenings. Members are also entitled to receive discounts in both of our gift shops, free admission to both the Main Museum and Battery Point Lighthouse as well as special invitations to Society events and educational programs.

The Society’s extensive research archives include books, newspapers, obituaries, and other reference materials and are housed in the Main Museum. Research requests can be made in person, by telephone at 707-464-3922 or by email at

The Historical Society is a charitable, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. All contributions are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by IRS Codes.


The Tribes

The Main Museum hosts one of the finest collections of basketry by the Tolowa and Yurok including artifacts from other tribes and nations.



Del Norte County can boast of not just one lighthouse, but two! Battery Point Lighthouse is an active lighthouse that serves as a private aid to navigation. The Lighthouse was first lit with oil lamps on December 10, 1856. St. George Reef is also an active light, 7 miles off-shore from Point St. George, and dates from October 1891.


The Brother Jonathan

The wreck of the ship Brother Jonathan, and loss of over 200 lives in rock-strewn storm-tossed waters off Point St. George in 1865, created a defining moment in maritime history, and led to the establishment of America’s most expensive lighthouse




On March 27, 1964, sea waves generated by a 9.2-magnitude earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska, raced more than 1400 miles southward at jetliner speeds. Multiple waves roiled into Crescent City in the middle of the night bringing death and destruction, but in their aftermath, a community-led determination to rebuild and think to the future.