New Dungeness Light

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New Dungeness Light
New Dungeness Light after 1927, Sequim (Clallan County, Washington).jpg
Dungeness Lighthouse after 1927
New Dungeness Light is located in Washington (state)
New Dungeness Light
Location Sequim, Washington
Coordinates 48°10′54″N 123°06′35″W / 48.1818°N 123.1096°W / 48.1818; -123.1096Coordinates: 48°10′54″N 123°06′35″W / 48.1818°N 123.1096°W / 48.1818; -123.1096[1]
Year first constructed 1857
Year first lit 1857
Automated 1976
Foundation Surface
Construction Brick, sandstone and stucco
Tower shape Conical
Height 63 feet (19 m)
Original lens Third order Fresnel lens (removed)
Range 18 nautical miles (33 km; 21 mi)
Characteristic

Alternating white flash every 5 seconds

New Dungeness Light Station
New Dungeness Lighthouse, Dwelling and out buildings, April 1944, ca. 1943 - ca. 1953 - NARA - 298192.jpg
Nearest city Sequim, Washington
Area 8 acres (3.2 ha)
Built by Smith, Isaac
Architect Young, Ammi B.
Architectural style Mid 19th Century Revival
Governing body New Dungeness Light Station Association
NRHP Reference # 93001338[2]
Added to NRHP November 30, 1993

The New Dungeness Light is a functioning aid to navigation on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, located on the Dungeness Spit in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge near Sequim, Clallam County, in the U.S. state of Washington.[3] It has been in continuous operation since 1857, although the current lighthouse tower is 26 feet (7.9 m) shorter than when first constructed.[4]

History[edit]

The New Dungeness Light was first lit in 1857 and was the second lighthouse established in the Washington territory,[5] following the Cape Disappointment Light of 1856. Originally, the lighthouse was a 1½-story duplex with a 100-foot (30 m) tower rising from the roof. The tower was painted black on the top half and white on the lower section.[6] Over time, the tower developed structural cracks, most likely from a combination of earthquakes and weather erosion.[7] In 1927, the cracks in the tower were so severe that the district's chief lighthouse engineer, Clarence Sherman, noting the structural instabilities, feared that the tower would topple. It was decided that year that the tower would be lowered to its current height of 63 feet (19 m). With the new tower dimensions, the original 3rd order fresnel lens was too large for the tower. To save costs, the lantern room from the decommissioned Admiralty Head lighthouse was removed and placed atop the shorter tower. The newly painted tower was relit with a revolving 4th order Fresnel lens.[4]

In the mid-1970s the Coast Guard decided to remove the Fresnel lens and test a DCB airport style beacon. The beacon only lasted a few years until it was replaced by a much smaller AGA-acrylic revolving beacon that provided the same range as the DCB, but with a 150-watt bulb instead of the 1,000-watt DCB bulb. In 1998, the Coast Guard replaced the AGA with a newer Vega rotating beacon.[8]

Keepers

Henry Blake was the lighthouse's first keeper. The USCG coastal buoy tender WLM-563 Henry Blake based in Everett, Washington is named after him. Franklin Tucker, the temporary keeper from 1857 to 1858, replaced Blake in 1873. He remained in charge from April of that year until December 1882, when he was transferred to Ediz Hook Light Station and replaced by Amos Morgan, who served until March 1896. In the late 1890s, Oscar Brown and Joseph Dunn served as station keepers.[4]

By 1994, the Dungeness Lighthouse was one of the few lighthouses in the United States to have a full-time keeper. Michelle and Seth Jackson and their dog Chicago were the last to hold the post of lighthouse keepers.[9] In March 1994, the Coast Guard boarded up all the windows at the station, checked all the electrical equipment and left. Within months, the United States Lighthouse Society started the New Dungeness chapter and were able to secure a lease from the Coast Guard.[10] Since September 1994, members of the New Dungeness Light Station Association have manned the station 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, and tours are available to the general public between 9AM - 5PM every day.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dungeness Lighthouse". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ "New Dungesness Light". Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Washington Lighthouses. National Park Service. Archived from the original on April 18, 2004. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form" (PDF). National Park Service. November 30, 1993. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ "New Dungeness, WA". Lighthousefriends. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Isom, James C. (2013). New Dungeness Lighthouse: A History of the New Dungeness Lighthouse (2nd ed.). Sequim, Washington: New Dungeness Light Station Association. p. 101. 
  7. ^ Rowlett, Russ (October 19, 2014). "Lighthouses of the United States: Washington". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Lighthouse". New Dungeness Light Station Association. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ D'Entremont, Jeremy (March 2005). "New Dungeness Light Station Association embarks on their second decade". Lighthouse Digest (Foghorn Publishing). Retrieved May 6, 2015. 

External links[edit]