A one story keeper's dwelling was built adjacent to the bell house. The station was
accessed by a long wooden stairway down the face of a steep cliff facing the bay. The
first keeper John Ross had served aboard the lighthouse tender Shubrick until he lost a
leg in an accident. Ross, along with his wife and two children, faithfully tended the bell
at Point Knox for years. In 1900, his workload was augmented when a lens lantern was
added to the station. Each night, the lantern was hung near the bell to serve as a minor
aid to navigation. He also served at Yerba Buena and Fort Point before serving at Point
Knox for 16 years.

Point Knox was modest by lighthouse standards. A red, fifth order lens (added in 1900)
was displayed at night and drawn by pulley back into the bell house by day. The
clockwork machinery which controlled the fog bell was wound by the keeper every
few hours.
Aunt Emily, who was visiting at the time, married her brother-in-law and helped raise
Juliet. The Fish family eventually settled in Oakland, where Juliet married Henry
Nichols, an inspector for the 12th lighthouse district.

During his service, Nichols helped Emily Fish, whose husband had recently passed
away, obtain the position of keeper at Point Piños in 1893. Nichols died in the
Philippines during the Spanish-American war, and his widowed wife, Juliet, was
offered the position of keeper at Point Knox. Juliet and her mother served concurrently
as keepers for twelve years, until they both retired in 1914.

The fog bell played a key role in the most famous occurrence at Point Knox. Juliet Fish
Nichols (whose stepmother Emily Fish was keeper of Point Piños) served as sole
keeper from 1902 to 1914. Juliet recorded at least eight failures of the striking
mechanism in her logbook. On July 2, 1906, a thick fog settled in over San Francisco
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Quiz #131 Results
1. Point Knox Lighthouse
2. Southwest corner of Angel Island in San Francisco Bay
3. Bell to help ships navigate waterway in and out of Sausalito
Many thanks to Mike Dalton for submitting this photo.
Answer to Quiz #131 - October 21, 2007
1.  What is the name of this building?
2.  Where is it located?
3. What purpose did it serve?
As a Bay Area resident, I recognized the bridge, and
I recognized that the view had to be from inside the
Bay, because Fort Point is on the left side of the
bridge. But I couldn't figure out where in the Bay
you'd have to be for that photo, because there's no
Alcatraz in the view, and you're too far to be on
Alcatraz itself.

I wondered if you could be on Angel Island, so I
fired up Google Earth and tilted the map so that I
could see how far away the Golden Gate bridge
would be.

That looked about right, but it took a bit of work to
find a photo of this building. The building that's
there now is nowhere near as nice. When I found
this photo.
, I knew I had it.

Derrick Schneider
Pictures of the bell from space.
For all kinds of cool information about lighthouses

Read about Angel Island Immigration Station

Read Poetry Written on the Walls of Angel Island Immigration Station
by Chinese Immigrants 1910-1940

For photos of Japanese picture brides immigrating through Angel Island
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Bob Craig                Karen Kay Bunting
Marilyn Hamill                James Hrubesky
Ruth Govorchin                Linda LaValley
Dan Carlile                Erica Augustine
Tim Brixius                Mark Ream
Barbara Battles                Jen Paolilli
Pamela Hoffman        Rhonda Taylor
Kelly Fetherlin                Stan Read
Suzan Farris                Jim Kiser
Sheri Fenley                Mary Fraser
Chris Gotovac                Alison Lillie
Chris Brixius                Eric McElroy
Bob McKenna                Mary South
Diane Burkett                Carl Blessing
Barbara Battles                Anna Farris
Mike Swierczewski                Derrick Schneider
Michael Park                Mark Ream
James Hrubesky                Dawn Carlile
Brian Kemp                Mark Browning
Evan Hindman                Judy Pfaff
Sandy Thompson                Mary Osmar
Bay. Keeper Nichols found the bell's clockwork
had broken down, and proceeded to strike the
bell using a hammer. The next day the
mechanism was repaired.

On July 4, the mechanism failed again as a thick
fog again settled over the bay. She recorded that
at 8:00pm the "machine went to pieces - great
tension bar broke in two - dense fog - fresh SW
with heavy mist - bell struck with a nail hammer,
standing out on the platform until 4pm". Keeper
Nichols struck the bell by hand until the fog
finally cleared on July 5, and the mechanism was
again repaired.  Juliet later received special
commendation for manually striking the
prescribed characteristic of two blows every
fifteen seconds for twenty hours and thirty-five

In 1915, a second light was added to Angel
Island at Point Stuart. This new light was served
from Point Knox, so a second keeper was
assigned to the station, and the keeper's dwelling
grew to two stories.

In 1960, a third signal was established by the
Coast Guard at Point Blunt. The Point Knox site
became unnecessary, and was burned down in
1963. Point Blunt remained a manned station
until it was automated in 1970.  The lantern was
removed and the structure torn down. An
automated lantern was placed aboard the watch

Over the years, Angel Island was used for more
purposes than just aiding maritime navigation. An
immigration station was established on the
eastern side of the island in 1910 with the
anticipation that it would become the "Ellis Island
of the West". In its thirty years of operation, the
station processed tens of thousands of
immigrants, primarily from Asia. One of the
barracks from the station now serves as an
immigration museum.

The Army also made good use of the island. Fort
I thought this quiz was very difficult, but it is the type that gives real satisfaction when
successfully solved. The photographer probably was a short distance up the hillside
path with the camera pointed southwest.                                                
Stan Read

This was the hardest puzzle I have ever solved.  I eventually had to go back to basics
and look at map and figure out the direction from the view of the bridge. After I got the
bridge oriented I first considered a building on Alcatraz but could not figure that one out
so I went to Treasure Island and explored all about that Worlds Fair that was there.  I
also looked at tons of Landmark Photos for the entire area.

The difficulty was compounded by the fact that so few photos remain of the old
structure.  After I found the first one ( the one with the link) I submitted my answer
and then continued to search and only found one other photo which is at the Angel
Island museum along with the lantern and the story about the female keeper who rang
the bell with a hammer for 20 hours when the mechanism broke.              
Jim Kiser

Google Earth is particularly good in this case because someone's made a 3D Rendering
of the GG Bridge, so that when you zoom in to Angel Island and tilt around, you can
actually see the bridge off in the distance, and it looks about right. (I assume it was
done with the right dimensions.)                                                  
Derrick Schneider

I actually used Google Earth to find Angel Island then moved the camera around to find
the position the photographer was in. Then just went from there. I loved reading about
Juliet Fish Nichols and how she had to ring the bell every 15 seconds for over 20 hours
by hand when the mechanism broke.                                                   
Michael Park

I hope this is not too late.  I spent way too much time on this one. However, I love all
those lighthouses. My favorite is Point Bonita which looks into the Bay rather then out
of it. I do feel elated that I got this one on my own finally!!!!!  I guess the high will
only last until the new quiz comes out.                                                    
Judy Pfaff

This one actually stumped me for a little bit.  I was so sure that the angle the photo was
taken from had to mean that it was taken from Angel Island.  But looking at websites
about Angel Island didn't show that specific building anywhere.  I did pull up Google
Earth thinking maybe I would be able to see the building from the satellite pictures....
but of course that didn't work because the building is long gone.  But I was so sure I
had even narrowed it down to the exact rock outcropping that the building would have
stood on.  I guess it was the flag in the photo that finally got me thinking it was
possibly a coast guard station or a lighthouse building.  So finally I looked up lighthouse
buildings on Angel Island and there it was.  I'm sure that there was a much easier way
to figure it out but I'm still happy I got it in the end.                                
Alison Lillie
McDowell, which covered large areas of the island, was the largest staging facility on
the west coast for the first and second world wars. Over 300,000 soldiers passed
through Fort McDowell en route to the pacific theater during World War II. The fort
also served as a discharge center for soldiers returning from war. Armaments were
placed on the island at different periods. Artillery batteries were placed on the
southwest side of the island during the Civil War, and a Nike Missile site was located on
the southeast corner of the island during the late 1950s. At Ayala Cove where the ferry
landing exists today, a quarantine station was active for several years. Ships arriving
from foreign ports would stop here for possible fumigation of the ship or quarantining
of the passengers if the vessel was suspected of carrying an infectious disease.

Today, Angel Island is a state park. Point Blunt remains an active Coast Guard station.
A green light still shines from the watch building. At Point Knox, all that remains of the
station is the lonely bell suspended from a wooden platform.
How He Solved the Puzzle
(Top) Map and (Bottom) Satellite view
of Angel Island
Point Knox
Angel Island is the largest island in San
Francisco Bay. Due to the growing
number of vessels traversing the bay, in
1885 a sum of $4,500 was appropriated
for the establishment of a fog bell at Point
Knox. The site was selected to help
vessels safely navigate the narrow
channel in and out of Sausalito.

On November 1, 1887, the station
commenced operation. The bell was hung
from the end of the fog signal building,
which protruded from the western end of
the rocky point and was primarily
supported by wooden trestles. A
sledgehammer, powered by a clockwork
mechanism that required winding every
two hours, was used to strike the bell.
Near the fog signal building and taking up
most of the point's surface was a square
30 by 30 foot, one-story keeper's
dwelling. Access to the main part of the
island was via a series of 151 steps,
which led up the steep bluff.
Comments from Our Readers
For Further Reading
San Francisco Bay is famous for its
fog, and Point Knox is famous for its
temperamental fog bell. Keeper Irving
Conklin recalled, "That bell was a
dog!" (Shanks, p. 170) The
mechanism was difficult to wind, and
broke down on several occasions,
before finally being replaced by a
compressed air siren.

When Ross retired in 1902, Juliet Fish
Nichols received the appointment to
replace him. Juliet was born in China
to Mr. and Mrs. M.W. Fish. Juliet's
mother died during the birth and her
Juliet Fish Bell on Angel Island
Point Knox Lighthouse after 1915.