Point Wilson Lighthouse

joancarroll

Fort Worth, United States

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Artist's Description

Point Wilson Light is on the exposed point of Fort Worden State Park, near Port Townsend WA. When I visited, there were lots of people in the park enjoying the day but few bothering to visit the lighthouse. Websites say this is still an operational light. This must be due to the monitoring of the light via computer from the Coast Guard Air Station at Port Angeles. Otherwise the property was pretty deserted (spring, 2014). The Point Wilson Light was built in 1913 by the United States Lighthouse Service. At a height of 51 feet (16 m), the beacon is the tallest on Puget Sound, marking the entrance to Admiralty Inlet. The lighthouse replaced an earlier wooden light tower built in 1879 on the roof of the station keeper’s house. The Point Wilson Lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington State Heritage Register. It is one of the most important navigational aids in Washington, a link connecting Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The keepers’ quarters were occupied by Coast Guard personnel until 2000. During the winters of 2005 and 2006, high winds and waves pummeled the low-lying lighthouse property flooding the basement of the keepers’ dwelling and ripping the fog horn from its soundwall. The State of Washington has considered purchasing the property from the Coast Guard and combining it with nearby Fort Worden State Park, however, in 2007 the scheduled review of this proposal was delayed. Moving the lighthouse and associated buildings, which will likely cost between $3 and $5 million dollars, is considered the only long-term solution for saving the station. Its exposed position is under serious threat from shoreline erosion and rising sea levels.

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