Point Wilson LighthouseName: Point Wilson Lighthouse
Year Built: 1913
Location: Fort Worden State Park
Area: Port Townsend

The Point Wilson Lighthouse, presently a US Coast Guard lighthouse has been open to the public on a limited basis for only a few years.

No longer considered essential for aiding navigation, the Coast Guard is in the process of transferring the lighthouse to Fort Worden State Park.

First established in 1879, the light was originally on top of the lighthouse keeper's house. The name of the light and the point it stands on comes from Captain George Vancouver, who first sighted the point in May of 1792. In 1913 the present distinctive structure was built. The fixed white light with a red flash every 20 seconds comes from a 1000 watt bulb through a rotating fourth-order Fresnel lens. The light has a range of sixteen miles. Before electricity, the light was produced by an oil lamp which is said to have burned three gallons of oil a night. The first lightkeeper at Point Wilson was David M. Littlefield, a civil war veteran who lived in Port Townsend for several years.

The foghorn nearby can be heard over three miles away, blasting every 30 seconds. It is activated by an automatic elecronic fog detector.

The lighthouse was fully automated in 1976, and has been closed to the public ever since. It is operated by the Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team from Port Angeles. The lightkeeper's houses are now occupied by some of the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Osprey (before that was the crew of CG Cutter Point Bennett) whose home port is Port Townsend. The large tower just east of the lighthouse is a Seattle Vessel Traffic Service radar which monitors the movement of all ships and large vessels on Puget Sound.

TOURS: The lighthouse and tower are open to visitors May through September on Saturdays during the hours of 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Special scheduled tours can be arranged by calling L.D. Eubank, (360) 385-3293, or Dotty Ross (360) 908-4390.

See also:
LighthouseFriends.com
National Historic Register of Historic Light Stations
Marrowstone Point Light (Fort Flagler)

Data modified from the National Register of Historic Places, the former Victorian Festival Heritage Home Tour, property owners and other sources. All material copyrighted by PTguide.com.

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