Chris J LeBlanc Photography - Lighthouses
Providing details and historical information of lighthouse pictures taken during my travels
Admiralty Head Lighthouse
Fort Casey State Park, Washington
© 2012 - Chris J LeBlanc Photographer
Location: Located in Fort Casey State Park, near Coupeville.
Latitude: N 48.16079
Longitude: W 122.68101
Year Constructed: 1903. Inactive since 1922
Tower Height: 30 feet Focal Plane: 120 feet
Stucco-clad brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to 2-story California Spanish style stucco keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white; lantern and trim black; keeper's house roofs red.
- Location: STRAITS OF JUAN DE FUCA/PUGET SOUND; NEAR COUPEVILLE, FORT CASEY STATE PARK
- Station Established: 1860
- Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1903
- Foundation Materials: SURFACE
- Construction Materials: BRICK AND STUCCO
- Markings/Pattern: WHITE BRICK TOWER W/BLACK LANTERN
- Characteristics: Spanish-style structure, 2-story residence
- Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1903
- The original lighthouse as completed during the months just prior to the Civil War and was among the West's earliest navigational aids. It had a fourth order Fresnel lens, and the light could be seen sixteen miles away. This light welcomed Puget Sound marine traffic to Admiralty Inlet.
- During the Spanish-American War, the US Army demolished the old lighthouse to build a fort (Fort Casey).
- The present lighthouse went into service in 1903 but was discontinued in 1927. It has been restored and now serves as a museum. It is only open during the summer for visitors.
Ships bound from the Pacific to Seattle must first pass along the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, which separates the Olympic Peninsula and Canada's Vancouver Island, and then turn south and navigate through Admiralty Inlet before reaching Puget Sound. Admiralty Head is an elevated area on the western edge of Whidbey Island with eighty-foot bluffs that drop into the inlet. The first Admiralty Lighthouse, also known as the Red Bluff Lighthouse, was built on the headland during the second half of 1860 and became operational on January 21, 1861.
The second lighthouse at Admiralty Head was built in a Spanish style and included a two-story dwelling that was linked to the base of a circular tower of roughly the same height, by a one-story foyer. Three bedrooms were located upstairs in the dwelling, while the kitchen, dining room, and a living room were downstairs. The lighthouse was activated on June 25, 1903.
By the early 1920s, the bulk of marine traffic was powered by steam rather than wind, permitting the modern vessels to hug the western side of the inlet. The Admiralty Head Lighthouse was thus no longer of consequence, and the light was extinguished in 1922 after just nineteen years of service.
Historic Postcard of the Admiralty Head Lighthouse
Admiralty Head Lighthouse Links
First Admiralty Head Lighthouse
Photograph courtesy University of Washington