Survivor of two tidal waves
Named for the crescent-shaped bay on which it sits, Crescent City was founded in 1853 as a lumber port and just over a century later was almost totally destroyed by the tidal wave that followed an Alaskan earthquake. The harbor was once more battered after the 2011 Japanese earthquake caused a tidal wave, there were no fatalities and only some boats docked were destroyed. The rebuilt Crescent City is an unprepossessing place, dominated by the motels and quick-eateries aimed at visitors headed for the nearby redwood groves. The newly reconstructed harbor also has a number of pleasure boat docks, as well as the shrimp, salmon, tuna and cod boats too.
The Del Norte Historical Society Museum (http://www.delnortehistory.org/museum), 577 H Street, gathers remnants from the town’s past and stores them in its former jail. A more intriguing destination is the 1856 Battery Point Lighthouse, reachable by footpath only at low tide. Inside the restored lighthouse, a tiny museum holds assorted nautical knick-knacks and a studious account of lenses.