Point Wilson Lighthouse open house draws massive crowd

Posted 10/14/21

A rare chance to peek inside the  Point Wilson Lighthouse drew a large crowd to the far end of Fort Worden.

The U.S. Lighthouse Society recently hosted an open house for the lighthouse to …

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Point Wilson Lighthouse open house draws massive crowd

Posted

A rare chance to peek inside the  Point Wilson Lighthouse drew a large crowd to the far end of Fort Worden.

The U.S. Lighthouse Society recently hosted an open house for the lighthouse to heighten public attention and funding for the landmark.

The event showed off recent developments at the property, part of the society’s $1 million preservation plan that aims to restore the lighthouse and surrounding buildings to their former glory.

The society is starting on phases two and three of its preservation plan, which will involve repairing the recently damaged roof of the keeper’s building in front of the lighthouse, and renovating the building as a vacation rental to further fund the ongoing restoration project. The roofing replacement will be done by Hope Roofing of Port Townsend, and will be led by Matt Wallace, the owner of the business.

The gathering at the light kicked off with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe sharing “The Blackfish Story” and singing “We Sing Strong” as a blessing.

Mike Lippert, the master of ceremonies, spoke about the historic landmark and the preservation plan, followed by Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro and County Commissioner Kate Dean, among other community leaders. Members of the Coast Guard attended, as well.

Without local support, “we don’t exist,” Lippert said in an interview after his speech. “It’s very important to do it right,” he said of the efforts on the lighthouse and surrounding buildings.

After the ceremony and speeches, attendees excitedly lined up in front of the lighthouse and surrounding buildings to tour the inside and get a closer look at the iconic structure and the current renovations.

Organizers of the event were heartened by the large crowd that visited.

“We’re amazed,” said Dick Richardson, volunteer coordinator. “We were just hoping people would come out, and they did.”

Although the property has a long way to go before the preservation work is finished, society members and others involved in the renovation are happy with how things are going so far.

“We want to restore it so that it’s a beautiful place again,” Richardson said.

“A lot of lighthouses have been neglected,” he added. “And if it wasn’t for organizations like the U.S. Lighthouse Society, [the lighthouse] would disappear.”

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