Washington Lighthouses - Page 3
Admiralty Head Lighthouse
Fort Casey State Park, Washington

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

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.
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.
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Point Wilson, Washington

Location:  Located two miles north of Port Townsend in Fort Worden State Park.
Latitude:  N 48.14421
Longitude:  W 122.75473

Year Constructed:  1914. Active
Tower Height:  49 feet    Focal Plane:  51 feet

Brick tower with lantern and gallery, rising from 1-story brick fog signal building.  The original 4th order Fresnel lens (1879, transferred from the earlier tower) continues in use. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and trim gray, roofs red.
Point Wilson Lighthouse
Point Wilson marks the west entrance into the Puget Sound. It is the turning point from the Strait of Juan de Fuca into Admiralty Inlet.  The turn was first marked by a church bell. Recognizing that the point was often shrouded by fog, in 1865, Captain J.W. Sheldon donated a ship's bell to the St. Paul's Episcopal Church in the town of Port Townsend with the condition the bell be rung on foggy days.

Eventually, a light station was built at Point Wilson, two miles northwest of Port Townsend. The original light was a 46-foot frame tower rising from the keeper's dwelling with a fog signal building nearby. It first shown its light on December 15, 1879.  By 1904 much of the beach had eroded and threatened the tower.

The current lighthouse was built in 1914, and the original lighthouse continued as the keepers' dwelling minus its tower.  The light was automated in 1976.

Like Point Bonita and Point Loma, the light went out during World War II as a defense to nearby Fort Worden and the Puget Sound.
Patos Island Lighthouse
Patos Island, Washington

Location:  Located on the northwest end of Patos Island. The island is 18 miles north of San Juan Island's Friday Harbor.
Latitude: N 48.78903
Longitude:  W 122.97111

Year Constructed: 1908 (station established 1893). Active
Tower Height:  35 feet    Focal Plane:  52 feet

Square cylindrical wood tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story wood fog signal buildings.  Lighthouse painted white, lantern and trim gray, roofs red.
The original light station was a post light and third class Daboll trumpet fog signal. Beginning operation on November 30, 1893, the light was used as a navigational aid to steamships traveling from Nanaimo, British Columbia to Alaska through the Boundary Pass waterway adjacent to the island.

The lighthouse was improved in 1908 with a new fog signal and a 38-foot tower, which housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens. Other structures that were once present on the island included two dwellings, cisterns, and a boat ramp.  The light was automated in 1974. Today, it flashes a white light once every six seconds, with two red sectors marking dangerous shoals.

The lighthouse is now part of Patos Island State Park. The fourth-order Fresnel lens, which was also used at Alki Point Lighthouse, is on display at Admiralty Head Lighthouse in Washington.
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       © 2011 - Chris J LeBlanc  Photographer
Click here for historical USCG photo.
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