Guard Island Light

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Guard Island Light
Guard Island Light is located in Alaska
Guard Island Light
Guard Island Light
Location Tongass Narrows entrance, Clarence Strait, Alaska
Coordinates 55°26′45″N 131°52′52″W / 55.44583°N 131.88111°W / 55.44583; -131.88111
Year first lit 1924
Automated 1969
Foundation Concrete
Construction Concrete
Tower shape White Square tower on oil house
Height 74 ft above sea level
Original lens Fourth Order Fresnel lens
Range 17 nm
Characteristic Flashing white 10s Emergency light (Fl W 6s) of reduced intensity when main light is extinguished.
Admiralty number G6046
ARLHS number ALK-008
USCG number


Guard Island Lighthouse
Nearest city Ketchikan, Alaska
Area 10.4 acres (4.2 ha)
Architect Elliot, J.T.
Architectural style Moderne
MPS Light Stations of the United States MPS
NRHP Reference # 03001378[1]
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 Southeast Alaska's 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.[2]

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.

Original 1904 Lighthouse – USCG archive photo

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).[1]

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