Cape St. Elias Light

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Cape St. Elias Light
Cape Stelias light.jpg
Top of Cape St. Elias light
Cape St. Elias Light is located in Alaska
Cape St. Elias Light
Location Cape St. Elias
Kayak Island
United States
Coordinates 59°47′54″N 144°35′56″W / 59.79844°N 144.59897°W / 59.79844; -144.59897Coordinates: 59°47′54″N 144°35′56″W / 59.79844°N 144.59897°W / 59.79844; -144.59897
Year first lit 1916
Automated 1974
Foundation rock
Construction concrete tower
Tower shape square parallelepiped tower at one corner of fog signal building.
Markings / pattern art deco architecture
white tower, red lantern
Height 55 feet (17 m)
Focal height 85 feet (26 m)
Original lens Third-order Fresnel lens (Now on display)
Current lens VRB-25 aerobeacon
Light source solar power
Range 17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi)
Characteristic Fl W 10s.
obscured from 160° to 287° and from 018.5 to 027°
emergency light (Fl W 6s) of reduced intensity when main light is extinguished.
Admiralty number G6582
ARLHS number ALK-005
USCG number 6-1100
Managing agent

Cape St. Elias Lighthouse Keepers Association[1] [2]

Cape St. Elias Lighthouse
Alaska Heritage Resources Survey
Nearest city Katalla, Alaska
Area less than one acre
Built 1915
NRHP Reference # 75002157[3]
AHRS # XMI-003
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 18, 1975
Designated AHRS 1970

The Cape St. Elias Light is a lighthouse on Kayak Island in Alaska.


Congress approved the construction of a light station at Cape St. Elias in October 1913, appropriating $115,000 for the construction. construction began in 1915 and a third order Fresnel lens was installed. In 1927 the station was equipped with radio beacon facilities, which was the second such facility in Alaska. The light was automated by the United States Coast Guard in 1974. In 1998 a solar powered Vega optic was installed, replacing the original lens, which is in the Cordova Museum in Cordova, Alaska. Cape St. Elias Lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It is now being leased by the Cape St. Elias Lightkeepers Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, restoring and sharing the lighthouse.[4]

It began operations in 1916, which was the year that the Alaska Engineering Commission started building the Alaska Railroad "which eventually established Southcentral Alaska as the economic hub of all Alaska". This lighthouse "proved to be an indispensable navigational aid along the shipping lanes from the contiguous American states and Southeastern Alaska to Cordova, Valdez, Seward, and Anchorage." Those ports could be notified of ships arriving, by station keeper radio that also was installed in 1916.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cape St. Elias The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 7 June 2016
  2. ^ Alaska Historic Light Station Information & Photography USCG. Retrieved 7 June 2016
  3. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Alaska". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  5. ^ C. M. Brown (March 10, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Cape St. Elias Lighthouse" (PDF). National Park Service.  and accompanying photo from 1972

External links[edit]