Point Wilson Light

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Point Wilson Light
Pt Townsend, WA lighthouse 01.jpg
Point Wilson Light is located in Washington (state)
Point Wilson Light
Location Western entrance to Admiralty Inlet, Port Townsend, Washington
Coordinates 48°8′39″N 122°45′19″W / 48.14417°N 122.75528°W / 48.14417; -122.75528Coordinates: 48°8′39″N 122°45′19″W / 48.14417°N 122.75528°W / 48.14417; -122.75528[1]
Year first constructed 1879 (first); 1914 (second)
Year first lit 1879 (first); 1914 (second)
Automated 1976
Foundation Concrete
Construction Masonry/concrete
Tower shape Octagonal on fog signal building
Markings / pattern White with red roof
Height 46 feet (14 m)
Focal height 51 feet (16 m)
Original lens Fourth order Fresnel lens
Current lens Same
Range 16 nautical mile, 15 nautical mile Edit this on Wikidata
Characteristic White light, occulting every 20 s for 5 s, with one red flash in the middle of the occultation
Admiralty number G4784
ARLHS number USA 641
USCG number


Point Wilson Light House
Photocopy of aerial photograph (original print located in the U.S. Coast Guard, Civil Engineering Unit, Oakland, Calif.) General view of the light station - Point Wilson Light Station, HAER WA-171-34.tif
Area Less than 10 acres
NRHP reference # 71000870[2]
Added to NRHP March 24, 1971
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

The Point Wilson Light is an active aid to navigation located in Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend, Jefferson County, Washington.[3] It is one of the most important navigational aids in the state, overlooking the entrance to Admiralty Inlet, the waterway connecting the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. The lighthouse was listed on the Washington State Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[4]


Point Wilson's first lighthouse was built in 1879 by the United States Lighthouse Service as a companion to the Admiralty Head Light built some 18 years earlier on the eastern side of Admiralty Inlet. A square wooden tower projecting from the roof of a two-story, Cape Cod–style keeper’s quarters held a fixed fourth-order Fresnel lens. The station also included a fog signal building with 12-inch, steam-powered fog whistle.[5]

In 1904, landfill was added to the site in an effort to protect the station, but time and tide having worked their destructive effects, a new lightthouse was commissioned.[5] Completed in 1914, it was built of reinforced concrete with a 46-foot (14 m) octagonal tower designed to withstand the wind.[6] It received the station's original fourth-order Fresnel lens that it continues to display. The beacon's height of 51 feet (16 m) made it the tallest light on Puget Sound. The tower on the original lighthouse was removed and the building continued in use as residence for the keepers. The station was automated in 1976.[7]

Point Wilson Light remains in the hands of the U.S. Coast Guard, while the grounds are managed by Washington State Parks.[5] Its site on the exposed point at Fort Worden State Park is under serious threat from shoreline erosion and rising sea levels.[8]


  1. ^ "Point Wilson Lighthouse". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ "Point Wilson Light". Inventory of Historic Light Stations: Washington Lighthouses. National Park Service. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form". National Park Service. March 24, 1971. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Point Wilson Lighthouse". Jefferson County Historical Society. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved January 20, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Point Wilson, WA". Lighthousefriends. Retrieved January 20, 2007. 
  7. ^ Rowlett, Russ (October 19, 2014). "Lighthouses of the United States: Washington". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

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