Lighthouses of the United States: Puget Sound and San Juan Islands, Washington

The U.S. state of Washington was originally part of the Oregon Country, the area west of the Continental Divide between latitudes 42° and 54°40' North. In the London Convention of 1818 the U.S. and Britain agreed to joint occupation of this territory. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 confirmed British occupation of Vancouver Island and the rest of what became British Columbia; it also set the boundary between the U.S. and British Columbia at latitude 49° between the Rocky Mountains and the Strait of Georgia. This treaty left the status of the San Juan Islands in doubt, leading to an 1859 military standoff known in Washington as the Pig War although no shots were fired. The dispute continued until 1872 when arbitration by Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm I established the international boundary in Haro Strait, placing the San Juan Islands in the United States. In 1853 Washington became an organized territory separate from Oregon and in 1889 it was admitted to the union as the 42nd state.

An important feature of Washington's geography is Puget Sound, a network of fjords, strewn with islands, penetrating 100 miles (160 km) southward into the state and leading to the harbors of Seattle and Tacoma. Puget Sound is connected through Admiralty Inlet to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates northwestern Washington from Canada's Vancouver Island. In recent years geographers have defined the Salish Sea to include Puget Sound and the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca.

Preservation efforts in Washington have been strong for many years and the United States Lighthouse Society has its headquarters at the Point No Point Lighthouse in Hansville.

Navigational aids in the United States are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases. Aids to navigation in Washington are maintained by Coast Guard District 13, based in Seattle. Aids to Navigation Teams are based at Seattle, at Kennewick for the Columbia River, and at Astoria, Oregon, for the Pacific coast.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from Volume G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. USCG numbers are from volume 6 of the U.S. Coast Guard List of Lights.

General Sources
Washington Lighthouses
From Kraig Anderson of LighthouseFriends.com, photos and accounts of the state's lighthouses.
Online List of Lights - U.S. West Coast
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas; many of the Washington photos are by Michael Boucher.
Washington Lighthouses
An informative web site supporting the restoration efforts at all of the state's lighthouses.
Lighthouses in Washington (state)
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Northwest Coast of U.S.
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Washington, United States Lighthouses
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Leuchttürme USA auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
NOAA Nautical Chart On-Line Viewer: Pacific Coast
Nautical charts for the coast can be viewed online.
U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center: Light Lists
The USCG Light List can be downloaded in pdf format.

Point Wilson Light
Point Wilson Light, Port Townsend, July 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Betty Carlson

Puget Sound Lighthouses

Eastern Jefferson County (Admiralty Inlet) Lighthouses
Admiralty Inlet, a strait connecting the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Puget Sound on the west side of Whidbey Island, provides the entrance to the Seattle-Tacoma area for ocean-going ships. The entrance to the inlet is guarded by the Point Wilson lighthouse on the west side and the Admiralty Head lighthouse (see below) on the east side.

*
Point Wilson (1)
1879. Inactive since 1914. 2-story wood keeper's house, formerly carrying a square cylindrical light tower on the roof. The Coast Guard has a historic photo. The light tower was removed but the building continued in use as the keeper's house for the 1914 lighthouse and provided Coast Guard housing until 2000. Site open, building closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: United States Lighthouse Society and Fort Worden Historical State Park.
* Point Wilson (2)
1914. Active; focal plane 51 ft (15.5 m); flash every 5 s, alternately red and white. 49 ft (15 m) octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery, rising from 1-story brick fog signal building. Sibling of Alki Point Light in Seattle. The original 4th order Fresnel lens (1879, transferred from the earlier tower) continues in use. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and trim gray, roofs red. The assistant keeper's house and two oil houses are also preserved. A more recent Coast Guard dwelling has been renovated for overnight accommodations. Betty Carlson's photo is at the top of this page, Janell Brown has a 2007 photo, Trabas has Boucher's closeup, the Coast Guard has a 1916 photo of the station, Marinas.com has excellent aerial photos, Camilo Gaivoto has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. The station is gravely endangered by shoreline erosion and rising sea level. The station buildings have been flooded several times by winter storms, and the only long-term solution is an expensive ($3-5 million) relocation of all the buildings. The state has listed the relocation as a projected nearshore improvement project, but there is no funding for it. Meanwhile a barrier of rocks provides some protection from wave action but not from high tidal surges. In October 2019 the U.S. Lighthouse Society leased the light station from the Coast Guard; the Society plans a major restoration. In 2020 a historic (1936) fog bell was installed as an exhibit at the station entrance. The lighthouse stands on a dramatically beautiful (but highly exposed) site at the entrance to Admiralty Inlet from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Located 1.5 miles (2.5 km) north of downtown Port Townsend, off WA 20. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: United States Lighthouse Society and Fort Worden Historical State Park. ARLHS USA-641; Admiralty G4784; USCG 6-16475.
* Marrowstone Point (2)
1902 (station established 1888). Inactive. 18 ft (5 m) concrete post mounted on a square equipment building, painted white, with a 250 mm lens mounted on a short mast on the top; no lantern. The building appears in most photos of the station and Anderson has a closeup. Located next to the active light (next entry). Site open, tower closed.
* Marrowstone Point (3)
Date unknown (station established 1888; fog signal built 1918). Active; focal plane 28 ft (8.5 m); white light occulting every 4 s. 28 ft (8.5 m) square fog signal building, painted white, with a 250 mm lens mounted on a short mast on the top; no lantern. The 1-1/2 story Victorian frame keeper's house (1896) provides office, library, and dorm space for a U.S. Geological Survey station. Jonathan Nelson's street view is at right, Trabas has Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a 1945 photo, and Google has a satellite view. The first light here was on a post; a fog signal and the keeper's house were added in 1896. It's not known when the light was transferred to the roof of the fog signal building. The light station is adjacent to Fort Flagler Historical State Park. Located at the end of Flagler Road, off WA 116 at the northern end of Marrowstone Island. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: U.S. Geological Survey (Marrowstone Marine Field Station). ARLHS USA-478; Admiralty G4802; USCG 6-16500.

Marrowstone Point Light, Marrowstone, August 2014
Google Maps street view by Jonathan Nelson
 

Kitsap County Lighthouses
Skunk Bay
1964. Active (privately maintained); focal plane 210 ft (64 m); continuous red light. 30 ft (9 m) octagonal cylindrical wooden tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story wooden replica of a fog signal building. The lantern room was salvaged from the 1858 Smith Island Light (see also below), which was abandoned in 1957 and lost to shoreline erosion in 1998. Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red. Trabas has Boucher's photo, a 2007 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a street view through trees. This lighthouse was built by author Jim Gibbs, a former lighthouse keeper. Gibbs, who later moved to Oregon, sold the lighthouse in 1971 to a group of his former neighbors, who maintain it as a private time-share. Located at 5844 NE Twin Spits Road, one mile (1.6 km) west of Hansville on Skunk Bay, a bight of Admiralty Inlet. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: Skunk Bay Lighthouse Association (private). ARLHS USA-0965; Admiralty G4810; USCG 6-16545.
** Point No Point
1879. Active; focal plane 27 ft (8 m); three white flashes every 10 s. 30 ft (9 m) 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) mounted in the lantern but the active light is a VRB-25 aerobeacon. Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red. An apartment in the 2-story frame duplex keeper's house is available for vacation rental. Fog signal building added in 1900. Larry Myhre's photo is at right, Tom Woltjer also has a good 2007 photo, Trabas has Boucher's closeup, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is the oldest Puget Sound lighthouse. The light station was leased to Kitsap County in 1998; the county then purchased several tracts adjoining the light station to create a county park covering about 60 acres (24 ha). In 2006 the Friends of Point No Point Lighthouse was formed to support restoration and operation of the light station. In 2008 the United States Lighthouse Society relocated its headquarters from San Francisco to this light station. The Society's office is in one half of the duplex keeper's house and the other half is available for vacation rental. In 2009 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, and in early 2010 the county applied for ownership. In 2010 the National Trust for Historic Preservation granted $100,000 for restoration of the lighthouse. Work was completed in the spring of 2012, and the lighthouse was rededicated on May 12. In July 2012 the county's application for ownership was approved. In early 2013 funds were being raised for restoration of the keeper's house. Located 1 mile (1.5 km) east of Hansville on the Kitsap Peninsula, marking the point where Admiralty Inlet joins Puget Sound. Site open, lighthouse open Saturday and Sunday afternoons April through September. Owner/site manager: Kitsap County Parks and Recreation (Point No Point County Park). ARLHS USA-631; Admiralty G4828; USCG 6-16550.
Point No Point Light
Point No Point Light, Hansville, April 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre
[Orchard Point (3?)]
1929 (station established 1895). Active; focal plane 34 ft (10.5 m); white flash every 6 s. 20 ft (6 m) square concrete tower, painted white, topped by a radar antenna and fog horn (blast every 30 s, triggered by radio request). Trabas has Boucher's photo and Google has a satellite view. This light marks the south side of the entrance to the Rich Passage, which separates the south end of Bainbridge Island from the mainland opposite Seattle. In 1904 the light was described as being "suspended from a tree." Located at Orchard Point on the north side of Manchester. Site and tower closed but there's a good view from ferries between Seattle and Bremerton. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (Manchester Research Station). Admiralty G4870; USCG 6-18035.

Thurston County (Olympia Area) Lighthouses
Olympia Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 48 ft (15 m); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 48 ft (15 m) square skeletal tower carrying a rectangular daymark colored red with a black vertical stripe. No photo available but Google has a satellite view and a fuzzy street view. Located in Budd Inlet off the waterfront of Olympia. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G4968.1; USCG 6-17435.
Dofflemyer Point (2)
1934 (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 30 ft (9 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 9 m (30 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white, lantern removed; the light is displayed from a short mast atop the capped tower. Keegan Webber's photo is at right, Evan Davis has a 2016 photo, Trabas has Boucher's photo, there's a page on the history of the lighthouse, Phil Peterman has a street view from the beach, and Google has a satellite view. The tower originally had a small square lantern, seen in the Coast Guard's historic photo. The lighthouse replaced an 1887 post light. Located at the end of 73rd Avenue NE, marking the northeastern entrance to Budd Inlet at Boston Harbor, north of Olympia. Site and tower closed (the only access is through private property); the lighthouse can be seen from the pier of the nearby Boston Harbor Marina. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: private. ARLHS USA-232; Admiralty G4952; USCG 6-17400.

Pierce County (Tacoma Area) Lighthouses
Gig Harbor (3)
1989 (Stevenson Sparks) (station established in the 1920s). Active (privately maintained); focal plane 13 ft (4 m); red flash every 4 s. 15 ft (4.5 m) white octagonal tower with an open cage-style lantern and gallery. A 2007 closeup is available, Eric Howard has a 2017 photo, Trabas has Boucher's closeup, and Google has a satellite view. According to local historians a lighthouse was built in the 1920s but it was abandoned quickly because the keeper could not reach it without crossing private land. The Coast Guard established a modern beacon, a small post light, in the early 1960s. The present lighthouse was built as a civic project honoring the 200th anniversary of the U.S. lighthouse establishment. In 2015 the Coast Guard transferred to the city ownership of the land on which the lighthouse stands but land access is still blocked by private property. Located on the spit at the harbor entrance, at the end of Goodman Drive NW in Gig Harbor northwest of Tacoma. Accessible only by boat but the lighthouse can be seen across the inlet from a small parking area at the end of Harborview Drive. Site open, tower closed. Owner: City of Gig Harbor. Site manager: Gig Harbor Lighthouse Association. ARLHS USA-1064; Admiralty G4930; USCG 6-17221.

Dofflemyer Point Light, Olympia, September 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Keegan Webber
** Browns Point (3)
1933 (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 38 ft (11.5 m); white flash every 5 s. 34 ft (10 m) white square cylindrical concrete tower; VRB-25 aerobeacon displayed without lantern at the top. The station includes a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house (1903), boathouse (1905), and oil house (1907). Michael Brunk's photo is at right, Orin Blomberg has a photo, Trabas has a closeup by Boucher, the Coast Guard has a 1933 photo of the lighthouse, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. In June 2000 the Tacoma park district leased the keeper's house to the Points Northeast Historical Society ; the society has opened it for one-week rentals by volunteer lighthouse keepers. The 1855 fog bell of New Dungeness Light, also used here in 1903-1933, was returned in 2000 and is displayed in the restored pump house. Lighthouse Digest has an article by Mavis Stears on the bell's history, and Anderson has a historic photo of the 1887 lighthouse with the bell. In 2007 the city restored the chimney and windows of the keeper's house and removed a deteriorated and non-historic garage from the property in order to provide additional parking. In 2018 Metro Parks Tacoma improved the grounds with paved parking and a handicap-accessible walkway leading to the lighthouse. In 2020 a major restoration project was beginning, with the goal of returning the lighthouse to its 1933 appearance; new windows and a replica lantern are planned. The lighthouse marks the east side of the entrance to Commencement Bay, Tacoma's harbor. Located in a city park at 201 Tok a Lou Avenue, several blocks off WA 509 in northeastern Tacoma. Site open, although parking is limited; guided tours of the light station (free) are available on Saturday afternoons May through September; tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Metro Parks Tacoma (Browns Point Lighthouse Park). ARLHS USA-089; Admiralty G4908; USCG 6-17090.
Browns Point Light
Browns Point Light, Tacoma, September 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Michael Brunk

King County (Seattle Area) Lighthouses
* Point Robinson (4)
1915 (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 40 ft (12 m); white light, 3 s on, 1 s off, 3 s on, 5 s off. 40 ft (12 m) octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story brick fog signal building. The original 5th order Fresnel lens is in the lantern but has not been in use since 2008. Tower painted white with gray trim, lantern and gallery gray, lantern roof red. 1-1/2 story frame keeper's house (1885), assistant keeper's house, oil house (1913), and other light station buildings. Larry Myhre's photo is at right, Trabas has Boucher's closeup, Wikimedia has numerous photos, the Coast Guard has a 1915 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Oscar De Leon Torres has a 2016 street view, and Google has a satellite view. The station was established as a fog signal station in 1885. A post light was added in 1887 and replaced by a square wood skeletal tower in 1897 and then by a taller skeletal tower in 1907. Both keeper's houses are available for vacation rentals year-round. This lighthouse is very similar to Alki Point Light, but there are interesting differences seen in the photos at right. In 1997 the light station was leased to the Vashon Park District. A local support group, Keepers of Point Robinson, was formed. Lighthouse Digest has Jeremy D'Entremont's 2003 story on the restoration effort. In December 2009 the local park district received a $33,000 grant to restore the windows of the lighthouse. In 2014-15 county funds and a grant were used to replace the roof and repaint the building. Tours of the lighthouse were suspended in July 2018 following a tragic accident in which a woman died after falling on the stairs. The Park District and Coast Guard are negotiating improvements needed before tours can resume. Located on Maury Island (attached to Vashon Island) at the end of Point Robinson Road, about 4 miles (6 km) east of Portage. Vashon Island is accessible by ferries from Seattle and Tacoma. Parking is provided, and there is a short hike down the bluff to the lighthouse. Site open. Guided tours of the tower are currently suspended; it was normally open on Sunday afternoons mid May through mid September. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Vashon Park District (Point Robinson Park) . ARLHS USA-637; Admiralty G4906; USCG 6-17070.
Point Robinson Light
Point Robinson Light, Vashon Island, April 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre
** Alki Point (2)
1913 (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 39 ft; white flash every 5 s. 37 ft octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story brick fog signal building; VRB-25 aerobeacon. The original 4th order Fresnel lens is on display at Admiralty Head Light (see below); another 4th order lens, from the Sentinal Island Light in Alaska, is displayed in the base of the tower. Tower painted white with gray trim, lantern and gallery gray, lantern roof red. The 1-1/2 story wood principal keeper's house (1887) is the residence of the commandant of the 13th Coast Guard District ; the assistant keeper's house is occupied by a resident caretaker. Talan Cooksey's photo is at right, Trabas has Boucher's closeup, a nice view from the sea (with Mount Rainier in the distance) is available, Wikimedia has many photos, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Calvin Osborn has a street view, and Google has a sea view and a satellite view. The original light was a lens-lantern hung from a pole. It was displayed at the lighthouse until the 1970s, when it was stolen. Later recovered, it is now on display at the Coast Guard Museum Northwest. The Lake Union Flotilla of the Coast Guard Auxiliary offers guided tours of the tower. The light station is somewhat endangered by rising sea levels, and riprap has been placed around it to protect it from wave action. Located at Beach Drive and Alki Avenue in the southwestern part of Seattle. Site and tower open for tours on most Sunday afternoons, Memorial Day weekend (late May) through Labor Day weekend (early September); parking is available nearby. Check the Facebook page to be sure the lighthouse will be open. (Note: The property is fenced and there's no access to the lighthouse except during the tour hours.) Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard (Alki Point Lighthouse ). ARLHS USA-005; Admiralty G4890; USCG 6-16915.

Alki Point Light, Seattle, August 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Talan Cooksey
* Lightship 83 (WAL-513) Swiftsure
1904 (New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, NJ). Decommissioned 1960. Two-masted steel lightship, lengthened from 112 ft (34 m) to 129 ft (39 m) in 1929, beam 29 ft (9 m). No lantern; the light is mounted atop the aft mast. Brendan Leber has a 2006 photo, and Google has a satellite view and a 2016 lake view from the water. One of the oldest U.S. lightships and the only one with its original steam engines. The ship served for 46 years at various California stations, including 21 years (1930-51) as the San Francisco. In 1951 the ship was transferred to the Pacific Northwest as the Relief lightship; the Swiftsure Bank off the Strait of Juan de Fuca is one of the locations it served when the assigned lightship was withdrawn for maintenance. Since 1969 the lightship has been at the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center in Seattle. A two-year restoration project designed to replace the wooden deck and restore the electrical systems began in 2011 and in July 2011 a decorative light was lit in the lantern to celebrate completion of the first phase. A second phase, costing $1 million, began in late 2013 and was still in progress in 2019. Moored at the museum on Valley Street at the south end of Lake Union. Site open, vessel closed. Owner/site manager: Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center. ARLHS USA-831.
West Point (Discovery Park)
1881. Active; focal plane 27 ft (8 m); flash every 5 s, alternating red and white. 23 ft (7 m) 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. Sibling of Point No Point Light. The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house (1881) and assistant keeper's house (1886) were used until 2002 for Coast Guard housing. NOAA C-MAN automatic weather station on a separate tower. Paul VanDerWerf's photo is at right, Dustin Ground has a 2007 closeup, Trabas has Boucher's closeup, Wikimedia has several photos, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, Marinas.com has fine aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. In recent years the lighthouse appeared endangered by beach erosion and lack of maintenance. The Seattle City Council set aside $600,000 for restoration and repairs early in 2004, and ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the city through NHLPA in 2006. A $600,000 restoration project began in 2009. The exterior restoration was complete by summer 2010 and work on the keeper's house was completed in 2011. Located on the point, a sharp promontory projecting into Puget Sound north of downtown Seattle. Accessible by hiking trails (2 miles (3 km) one way) of Seattle's Discovery Park; there's also a good view from harbor cruises. Site open, tower closed except for occasional open house weekends. Owner: City of Seattle. Site manager: Seattle Parks and Recreation (Discovery Park). ARLHS USA-878; Admiralty G4861; USCG 6-16800.

West Point Light, Seattle, July 2014
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Paul VanDerWerf

Snohomish County Lighthouses
*** Mukilteo
1906. Active; focal plane 33 ft (10 m); white flash every 5 s. 30 ft (9 m) octagonal cylindrical wood tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story wood fog signal building. 4th order Fresnel lens (1927) in use. Fog horn (3 s blast every 30 s on demand). Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red. Two identical 2-story Victorian frame keeper's houses. The light station is a museum operated by the Mukilteo Historical Society; the 4th order Fresnel lens from the former Desdemona Sands Light is on display. M. Ewert's photo is at right, Anderson has a fine page for the lighthouse, Wikimedia has numerous photos, Trabas has Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a 1949 photo, Marinas.com has excellent aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Ownership of the station was transferred to the city in 2001 and in 2003 the city also took ownership of the former Mukilteo State Park adjacent to the lighthouse. Substantial restoration work has been done and more is planned. Lighthouse Digest had a story on the site in December 1999. An annual Lighthouse Festival is held in August. Located in Mukilteo Lighthouse Park adjacent to the ferry terminal (WA 525) in downtown Mukilteo. Site open, museum open in the afternoon on weekends and holidays April through September, tower open to guided tours during museum hours. Owner: City of Mukilteo. Site manager: Mukilteo Historical Society . ARLHS USA-517; Admiralty G4982; USCG 6-18460.
* Anthony's Home Port (Everett)
Date unknown. Active (privately maintained); focal plane about 46 ft (14 m); white flash every 2.5 s. Approx. 36 ft (11 m) square tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story restaurant building. Restaurant painted beige with red trim; lantern painted red. Trabas has Jim Smith's closeup photo, Vladimir Khomenko has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the Port of Everett Marina, at the foot of 18th Street in Everett. Site and restaurant open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Anthony's Home Port. ARLHS USA-1109; Admiralty G4984.653; USCG 6-18545.
Mukilteo Light
Mukilteo Light, Mukilteo, 4 July 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by M. Ewert

Island County (Whidbey Island) Lighthouses
Located at the northern end of Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a long, rather narrow island, about 40 mi (65 km) in length and nowhere more than 12 mi (19 km) wide. The main entrance to Puget Sound, Admiralty Inlet, is on the west side of the island. The island has a population of almost 60,000 and is readily accessible by a bridge at the north end, a ferry from Mukilteo at the south end, and another ferry from Port Townsend on the west side of Admiralty Inlet.

*
Bush Point (2)
1933 (station established 1894). Active; focal plane 25 ft (7.5 m); white flash every 2.5 s. 20 ft (6 m) square pyramidal concrete tower with gallery, painted white with blue trim; no lantern. Trabas has Boucher's photo, a 2012 photo is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse replaced a private light installed by the Farmer family. Located at the end of Lighthouse Way and Lake Avenue on the southwestern shore of Whidbey Island west of Freeland. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS USA-1063; Admiralty G4803; USCG 6-16505.
**** Admiralty Head
1903. Inactive since 1922. 30 ft (9 m) 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. The keeper's house is a museum; the 4th order Fresnel lens from Alki Point Light and a second 4th order Fresnel lens that may have been used at this lighthouse are on display. Gary Windust's photo is at right, Wikimedia has several good photos, and Google has a satellite view and a 2018 street view. After the lighthouse was deactivated in 1922 the lantern was moved in 1927 to the New Dungeness Light. During the 1950s the Island County Historical Society assisted in early attempts at restoration of the light station. A few years later it became part of the new Fort Casey State Park (see Western Washington). The lighthouse opened to the public in the 1960s but in the early 1990s it was closed due to budget cuts. Since 1995 the non-profit Lighthouse Environmental Programs provides management through its Keepers of Admiralty Head Lighthouse program and by funding the state park's docent program. In 2009 state funds supported major repairs, including a new roof, window replacement, and new support beams in the basement. In 2011 the Keepers partnered with Nichols Brothers Boat Builders to replace the lantern house with a copy of the original; most of the work was done by high school metal shop students. The new lantern was installed on 24 August 2012; the Whidbey News Times has a photo of the lantern just before its installation. Funding to keep the lighthouse open and for restoration is now provided in part by Washington State lighthouse license plates. Located on a high bluff over Admiralty Inlet near the Keystone Ferry Landing (WA 20) on Whidbey Island. Site open, museum and tower open on weekends March through Christmas, also on Mondays and Fridays April through September, Thursday through Monday in May, and every day in June, July, and August. Owner/site manager: Washington State Parks (Fort Casey Historical State Park). ARLHS USA-002.

Admiralty Head Light, Coupeville, June 2016
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Gary Windust
* [Point Partridge]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 105 ft (32 m); white flash every 5 s. 6 m (20 ft) square skeletal tower carrying a diamond-shaped daymark colored in a black and white checkerboard pattern. Trabas has Boucher's photo, Matt Williamson has a street view from the beach, and Google has a satellite view. Located atop a vertical bluff at the westernmost point of Whidbey Island. Accessible by a short walk on the Pacific Northwest Trail from Fort Ebey Road. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Washington State Parks (Fort Ebey State Park). Admiralty G4776; USCG 6-16400.
Smith Island (2)
1960 (station established 1858). Inactive since 2017. 50 ft (15 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower. Mario Lam has a distant view from the water and Google has a satellite view. 1-story assistant keeper's house. The original lighthouse was a classic New England style 1-1/2 story keeper's house with a light tower centered on the roof. It was abandoned when beach erosion brought it close to the edge of a bluff. A portfolio of photos and a photo taken in the 1970s are available. A Lighthouse Digest article describes how the last fragment of the house finally collapsed over the edge in 1989, and a monograph (pdf document) describes the history of the station. Smith Island is a small island at the east end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, south of the San Juan Islands and about 6 miles (10 km) west of the Swantown area of northern Whidbey Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS USA-763.
Smith Island (3)
2017 (station established 1858). Active; focal plane 53 ft (16 m); white flash every 10 s. 50 ft (15 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. The tower carries weather instruments as a NOAA C-MAN station. NOAA has a photo and Google has a satellite view. Located just off the northeast point of Smith Island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G4778; USCG 6-16375.
Minor Island (1)
1935. Inactive since 2018. 20 ft (6 m) post atop a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Florian Verhein has a 2016 view from the sea and Google has a satellite view. Minor Island is a sandbar extending westward from Smith Island. The beacon was originally maintained by the Smith Island keepers; the Lighthouse Digest monograph has an early photo (almost halfway down the page). At some point a storm pushed the concrete building over at about a 30° angle. The light was then moved atop a cylindrical round tower seen in Joe Lourenḉo's 2020 photo; this tower was also pushed over by a storm. The light was returned to the original structure, but the 30° lean was not corrected. The light was abandoned sometime in 2017-18. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower open. ex-USCG 6-16380.
Swinomish Channel South Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 ft (17 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off, visible only along and near the range line. 55 ft (17 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles; the tower carries a rectangular daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. The Swinomish Channel is a narrow, mostly dredged, passage connecting Skagit Bay to Padilla Bay east of Anacortes. This range guides vessels leaving the channel at its south end. Located in Skagit Bay just off the northeast coast of Whidbey Island. Accessible only by boat, but easily seen from shore. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty G5013.1; USCG 6-18790.

Skagit County (Anacortes Area) Lighthouse
Burrows Island
1906 (C.W. Leick). Active; focal plane 57 ft (17.5 m); white flash every 6 s. 34 ft (10 m) square cylindrical wooden tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story wooden fog signal building; 300 mm lens (1994). The original 4th order Fresnel lens is on display at the Coast Guard station in Port Angeles. Lighthouse painted white, gallery black, roofs red. The station includes a 2-story wood keeper's house, boathouse, and helipad. Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 s). Rachel Lidbeck's photo is at right, John Patterson has a closeup photo, Trabas has Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a historic photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The 40 acres (18 ha) surrounding the lighthouse have been transferred from the Coast Guard to the state park system, but so far the new park is undeveloped. In 2006 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA and in 2010 it was announced that ownership of the light station would be transferred to the Northwest Schooner Society. Actual transfer had to await a Coast Guard cleanup of contamination around the site, but by April 2011 the society had begun restoration work. The Society has a web site for the lighthouse (click on the photo to continue). Located on the southwestern side of the island overlooking Rosario Strait, about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Anacortes. Accessible only by boat, this site has become a popular destination for sea kayakers. Site open but rather difficult to access, tower closed. Owner: Northwest Schooner Society. Site manager: Burrows Island Lightstation State Park. ARLHS USA-098; Admiralty G5036; USCG 6-19350.

Burrows Island Light, Anacortes, August 2018
Google Maps photo by Rachel Lidbeck

San Juan Islands Lighthouses

San Juan County (San Juan Islands) Lighthouses
The San Juan Islands are located at the southern end of the Strait of Georgia, between Canada's Vancouver Island and the mainland of Washington. The major islands can be accessed by ferry from Anacortes.
* Cattle Point (2)
1935 (station established 1888). Active; focal plane 94 ft (28.5 m); white flash every 4 s. 34 ft (10 m) octagonal cylindrical white concrete tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on the top of a square fog signal building. Fog horn (blast every 15 s). Restored Coast Guard radio station (1921). Trabas has Boucher's photo, Joe Collver has a closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Tom Meyer has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. In 1984 the lighthouse was equipped briefly with a lantern for an appearance in an Exxon television commercial. The tower became endangered by erosion of its foundation; the Coast Guard made emergency repairs in the summer of 2010 but a permanent fix apparently required at least two years of design and permitting. This project appears to be complete. Located in the Cattle Point Interpretive Area at the southeastern tip of San Juan Island overlooking the South San Juan Channel. Accessible by road and a short walk, but parking is limited. Island accessible by state ferry (toll) from Anacortes. Site open (free), tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: U.S. National Park Service (San Juan Island National Historical Park). ARLHS USA-146; Admiralty G5124; USCG 6-19555.
** Lime Kiln (2)
1938 (station established 1919). Active; focal plane 55 ft (17 m); white flash every 10 s. 38 ft (12 m) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the front of a 1-story concrete fog signal building; VRB-25 aerobeacon (1998). Lighthouse painted white, lantern and trim gray, roofs red. Fog horn (blast every 30 s). The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house and assistant keeper's house are in use as residence for state park rangers. Dave Sizer's photo is at right, another closeup photo is available, Trabas has Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a 1929 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Jonathan Nelson has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. Sibling of Alki Point Light in Seattle. The fog signal building is original (1919); the present light tower was added in 1938. The keeper's house was formerly used as a park ranger residence. In 1985 the light station was leased by the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor as a center for whale tracking and research. The Friends of Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS) was formed in 2011 to develop educational programs at the lighthouse. The 100th anniversary of the light station was celebrated in June 2019. Located off Westside Road on the west side of San Juan Island. The island is accessible by state ferry (toll) from Anacortes. Site open (free), tower normally open to guided tours on Thursday and Saturday evenings, mid May through mid September. Accessible by road; parking is provided. Owner: Washington State Parks (?). Site manager: Whale Museum and Lime Kiln Point State Park. ARLHS USA-433; Admiralty G5335; USCG 6-19695.
Lime Kiln Light
Lime Kiln Light, San Juan Island, September 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Dave Sizer
Turn Point (2)
1936 (station established 1893). Active; focal plane 44 ft (13 m); white flash every 2.5 s. 30 ft (9 m) steel mast atop a square cylindrical white concrete tower. Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 s). The fog signal building and 2-story wood keeper's house (1893) predate the light tower. The keeper's house provides housing during the summer for scientists studying whale populations. Larry Myhre has a photo, Trabas has Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a 1915 photo, Matthew Walker has a 2017 street view, and Google has a satellite view. Turn Point is at the junction of the Haro Strait and Boundary Pass; vessels bound for the Strait of Georgia and Vancouver make a sharp turn to the east off the point. Located at the western end of Stuart Island overlooking Haro Strait opposite Sidney, British Columbia. Island accessible only by boat, but public docking is available. Site and tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: U.S. Bureau of Land Management (San Juan Islands National Monument). ARLHS USA-858; Admiralty G5340; USCG 6-19790.
Patos Island (2)
1908 (station established 1893). Active; focal plane 52 ft (16 m); white flash every 6 s (two red sectors cover dangerous shoals). 35 ft (11 m) square cylindrical wood tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story wood fog signal building; solar-powered 300 mm lens. The original 4th order Fresnel lens was later transferred to Alki Point in Seattle and is now in private ownership. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and trim gray, roofs red. The original keeper's house was demolished in 1958; two modern keeper's houses have also been removed. The fog signal building (1898) predates the light tower. Kai Strandskov's photo is at right, Trabas has Boucher's photo, the Coast Guard has a 1915 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Phil Peterman has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. Sibling of Burrows Island (see below). Northernmost of the San Juan Islands, Patos Island is uninhabited. This light and Canada's Saturna Island Light (see the Southern British Columbia page) frame the northern entrance to the Boundary Pass. The Keepers of the Patos Light was formed in 2007 to work with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to restore the site. In 2008 the exterior of the lighthouse was restored and the interior painted and secured. Anderson has Eric Geyer's photo of this work in progress. Located at the northwest end of the island, about 5 miles (8 km) north of Orcas Island in the Strait of Georgia. The island is accessible only by boat; two mooring buoys are provided. Site open; lighthouse tours are offered on most weekends from Memorial Day (late May) through Labor Day (early September), weather and tide permitting. Owner: U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Site manager: Patos Island Marine State Park and Keepers of the Patos Light. ARLHS USA-584; Admiralty G5142; USCG 6-19825.
Patos Island Light
Patos Island Light, Patos Island, April 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Kai Strandskov

Whatcom County Lighthouse
* [Point Roberts]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 ft (9 m); two white flashes every 15 s. 26 ft (8 m) square skeletal tower carrying a diamond-shaped daymark painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern. Charles Li has a street view and Google has a satellite view. Point Roberts is located at the end of a peninsula that projects southward from Delta, British Columbia, across the 49th parallel into the United States. In 1908 the federal government bought 21 acres (9 hectares) of land at the end of the peninsula for a light station, but the lighthouse was never built. The land was transferred eventually to Whatcom County as the Lighthouse Marine Park. In 2000 the Point Roberts Lighthouse Society was formed with the purpose of building a proper lighthouse on the point. For many years nothing came from this effort, but in 2015 two members of the society, Darrel and Dorothy Sutton, offered to contribute $500,000 to make the project possible. Sadly, these plans never secured the support of the local administration, and in December 2018 the Society announced it would abandon the project and disband. Located at the southwestern point of the Lighthouse Marine Park in Point Roberts. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty G5152; USCG 6-19965.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southern British Columbia | West and South: Western Washington

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Posted 2001. Checked and revised December 13, 2020. Lighthouses: 26. Lightships: 1. Site copyright 2020 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.