The U.S. Coast Guard recently sought qualified nonprofits or other government entities to lease the 1914 Point Wilson Lighthouse Station in Port Townsend, Washington. The keeper’s house was occupied by Coast Guard personnel until 2000 when they were removed.
Whoever takes over the lighthouse will be required to abide by all historical guidelines, but they would be allowed to operate the lighthouse for any legitimate purpose such as a bed and breakfast, museum, or gift shop. However, whoever gets the lighthouse may have to move it back from the eroding cliff.
A few years ago the State of Washington wanted to take ownership of the lighthouse as part of Fort Worden State Park, but they backed down when it was discovered that it would cost $3 to $5 million to move the lighthouse away from the eroding bluff.
The Point Wilson Lighthouse was first established in 1879 with a tower protruding from the roof of a two story frame house. In 1914, when a new tower and fog signal building were built, the old wooden tower was removed from the roof of the dwelling, which continued to be used as housing for the lighthouse keepers. It still stands to this day.
It will be interesting to see who will step forward to take over the lighthouse and save it.
This story appeared in the
May/Jun 2016 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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