Guard Island Light
|Location||Tongass Narrows entrance, Clarence Strait, Alaska|
|Year first lit||1924|
|Tower shape||White Square tower on oil house|
|Height||74 ft above sea level|
|Original lens||Fourth Order Fresnel lens|
|Characteristic||Flashing white 10s Emergency light (Fl W 6s) of reduced intensity when main light is extinguished.|
Guard Island Lighthouse
|Nearest city||Ketchikan, Alaska|
|Area||10.4 acres (4.2 ha)|
|Governing body||COAST GUARD|
|MPS||Light Stations of the United States MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||03001378|
|Added to NRHP||January 14, 2004|
The Guard Island Light is a lighthouse located on a small island near the entrance to the Tongass Narrows, in Clarence Strait in southeastern Alaska. The western entrance to the Behm Canal also lies nearby.
The lighthouse location was prioritized sixth in a 1901 study of 15 Alaska proposed sites. It would assist shipping along the Southeast Alaska Inside Passage, at the north end of the Tongass Narrows, "one of the more difficult passages along the route" of Klondike Gold Rush-related shipping to Juneau and to Skagway.
Construction of the Guard Island Lighthouse began in the summer of 1903 and was completed by September 1904. The 34-foot (10 m) wooden tower housed a fourth order Fresnel lens that produced a fixed white light. However, the wood used for Guard Island Light Station, as well as for several other Alaskan lighthouses, soon deteriorated in the harsh weather conditions. By the 1920s, all the lighthouses except Eldred Rock were falling apart, and in 1922, Congress authorized the reconstruction of Guard Island Light. In 1924, the dilapidated light tower was replaced with a new single-story rectangular tower of reinforced concrete. The station was automated by the Coast Guard in 1969. It is believed to be the largest light house in that exact location, but this has yet to be reliably proven.
The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The listing included one contributing building, one contributing structure, and one contributing site on 10.4 acres (4.2 ha).
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- Robert M. Weaver (June 16, 2003). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Guard Island Lighthouse / Guard Island Light Station (AHRS Site No. KET-025)." (PDF). National Park Service. and accompanying photos (historic and from 2002)
- "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Alaska". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office.
- Lighthouse Friends — Guard Island Lighthouse
- Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Alaska". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.