After being extensively restored for the first time, the Mt. Diablo beacon was returned to its seat on the summit of Mt. Diablo Oct. 22.
At 85 years old, the Mount Diablo beacon is lit on Dec. 7 every year in honor of Pearl Harbor Day and its light must be pushed by hand in order to begin rotation for the annual ceremony. While retired ranger Burt Bogardus made sure the beacon worked each year, proper care and maintenance were not undertaken.
Local organizations and individuals donated $100,000 to pay for restorations on the"Eye of Diablo" in a process spearheaded by nonprofit Save Mount Diablo. The 1,500 pound beacon required a variety of services including treatment for remediation of lead and asbestos as well as a cracked front lens. The bearings at the base of the beacon had never been serviced, and electrical connections and wiring was repaired.
The beacon was removed for repairs in June and was re-situated in a media-only event. The beacon was hauled up Mt. Diablo on a specially designed trailer before being returned to the summit building.
Legislation adopted in July 2012 waived the typical contracting requirements used for state park projects and allowed Save Mount Diablo to provide volunteers and donations to make long-needed repairs under state supervision.
Originally installed and illuminated in 1928 to aid in trans-continental aviation, the beacon was shut off following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Since 1964, the beacon has been a commemorative symbol for those who lost their lives in the attack and is relit once a year by the local Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors in a ceremony atop the mountain.