Location: Located in Discovery Park, six miles northwest of Seattle.
Latitude: N 47.66198
Longitude: W 122.43574
Year Constructed: 1881. Active
Tower Height: 23 feet Focal Plane: 27 feet
Stucco-clad brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story office and 1-story fog signal building (1906). Original 4th order Fresnel lens in use. Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red.
Situated at the end of a low, sandy point, which extends into Puget Sound from the base of Magnolia Bluff, the West Point Lighthouse still sends out alternating red and white flashes. Still standing near the lighthouse are two spacious dwellings built for the keepers at the station.
In 1979, the station was slated for automation, but the wish of Marvin Gerber, the keeper at the time, to have the lighthouse still be manned for its centennial came true when the automation was postponed. After all the other lighthouses in the state of Washington had been automated, the West Point Lighthouse finally succumbed to automation in 1985.
The West Point Lighthouse is now part of Discovery Park, Seattle's largest city park. Also included in Discovery Park is Fort Lawton, built by the Army on Magnolia Bluff around the turn of the nineteenth century. In late 2002, the West Point Lighthouse was declared surplus by the federal government under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. The city of Seattle was awarded ownership of the lighthouse in 2004.
Location: Located on the Alki Peninsula across Elliott Bay from downtown Seattle.
Latitude: N 47.57629
Longitude: W 122.42056
Year Constructed: 1913. Active
Tower Height: 37 feet Focal Plane: 39 feet
Octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story brick fog signal building. Tower painted white with gray trim, lantern and gallery gray, lantern roof red.
Alki Point Lighthouse
Alki Point marks the southern entrance to Seattle's Elliott Bay. A 320-acre parcel of land including the point was sold to Hans Martin Hanson and his brother-in-law Knud Olson in 1868. At night, they reportedly would light a lamp on the point as a service to mariners. In 1887, the Lighthouse Service finally recognized the need for an official light and placed a lens-lantern atop a wooden post at the point.
Several years later, the Lighthouse Service decided to upgrade the light and add a fog signal at the point. The present concrete fog signal building with attached, 37-foot octagonal tower was completed in 1913.
The original 4th order Fresnel lens is on display at Admiralty Head Light; another 4th order lens, from the Sentinal Island Light in Alaska, is displayed in the base of the tower.
After automation, one of the two keepers' dwellings was remodeled to house the Commandant of the 13th Coast Guard District, while the second dwelling housed a resident keeper. The Commandant has since moved elsewhere, and the two dwellings are now home to senior Coast Guard officers.
Point No Point Lighthouse
San Juan Island, Washington
Location: Located east of Hansville in Point No Point Park, where Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound meet.
Latitude: N 47.91218
Longitude: W 122.52677
Year Constructed: 1879. Active
Tower Height: 30 feet Focal Plane: 27 feet
Stucco-clad brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story office and 1-story fog signal building. 4th order Fresnel lens (1898) in use. Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red.
During the late 1850s and early 1860s, lighthouses were established along Washington's west coast and the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. However, there were still no lights in Puget Sound, the destination of many of the vessels entering the strait. In April of 1879, work started on the lighthouse.
By the end of the year, the tower was close to completion, but the lens and glass panes for the lantern room had not arrived. The Lighthouse Service was determined to have the light exhibited in 1879, so John Maggs, the first keeper who also had a dental practice in Seattle, was ordered to hang a common kerosene lantern from the dome of the lantern room on New Years Eve. A fifth-order Fresnel lens arrived on January 10, and the glass planes followed on February 1. Shortly thereafter, the lighthouse was fully functional.
In 1900, the fog bell was replaced by a Daboll trumpet housed in a newly constructed fog signal building. The light source was upgraded to a fourth-order Fresnel lens in 1915, which is still mounted in the tower today. The new lens was struck by lightening in 1931, cracking one of the prisms.
The station was automated in 1977, but the keepers' dwelling still served as a home for Coast Guard personnel for several years.