Point Wilson Light

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Point Wilson Lighthouse)
Point Wilson Light
Pt Townsend, WA lighthouse 01.jpg
LocationWestern entrance to Admiralty Inlet, Port Townsend, Washington
Coordinates48°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]
Constructed1879 (first); 1914 (second)
Height46 feet (14 m)
ShapeOctagonal on fog signal building
MarkingsWhite with red roof
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
First lit1879 (first); 1914 (second)
Focal height51 feet (16 m)
LensFourth order Fresnel lens
Range16 nmi (30 km; 18 mi) (white), 15 nmi (28 km; 17 mi) (red) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicWhite light, occulting every 20 s for 5 s, with one red flash in the middle of the occultation
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
AreaLess than 10 acres
NRHP reference No.71000870[2]
Added to NRHPMarch 24, 1971

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 lighthouse 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, United States Department of the Interior.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  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". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved June 4, 2015.

External links[edit]