Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Spain colonized the island in 1668 and controlled it until U.S. forces captured it during the Spanish-American War in 1898. During World War II, Guam was occupied by Japanese forces from late 1941 through July 1944, when it was recaptured by American forces in bloody fighting.
There are no traditional lighthouses today in Guam, but the island does have a very poorly known lighthouse history. There are two obvious sites for lighthouses. Orote Point, on the west side of the island, is a steep promontory marking the entrance to Apra Harbor, the island's only protected anchorage and port. Ritidian Point, at the northern tip of the island, features a precipitous cliff looming over a sandy beach.
Spain built a small lighthouse at Orote Point sometime in the late 1800s. There are no images of this lighthouse available, and it seems to have vanished completely. At Ritidian Point, the U.S. built a lighthouse of some kind in 1932. Again, no images are available. Probably this lighthouse did not survive World War II.
Today, ordinary post lights are in place at both locations. Does anyone have photos of the Ritidian Point lighthouse, or has anyone seen images of the Spanish lighthouse at Orote Point? if so, please share what you know!
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume M of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 111. USCG numbers are from Volume VI of the U.S. Coast Guard Light List.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Northern Marianas | South: Micronesia
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Posted July 24, 2008. Checked and revised September 18, 2012. Lighthouses: 1. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.