POINT WILSON, The Greeter Light

A post from Saltwater People Historical Society by way of Three Sheets NW.

Point Wilson Lighthouse, Port Townsend, Washington. From the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

“There was much fanfare when Point Wilson Lighthouse was established at the west side entrance to Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound in 1879. Its strategic location was near the bustling seaport town of Port Townsend, which was in those years targeted for the major shipping center for that corner of the world. Sailing vessels and steamers ran in and out of the port with regularity, and next to San Francisco, no port had a more boisterous and sinful waterfront that did old Port Townsend. Houses of ill repute were numerous and the shanghaiing of sailors and drifters was a day to day occupation for both runners and grog shop owners.

Every navigator entering or departing Puget Sound had to take Pt. Wilson into his reckoning if he didn’t want to strike an obstruction lurking under the salty brine. When the weather was clear one could properly give the point a wide berth, but the culprit was fog, and when it settled over the local waters, sailor beware. Unfortunately, for three decades after settlement of the area, mariners rounded Pt. Wilson without the assistance of either a guiding light or fog signal, rather incredulous when one considers the importance of the major turning point from the Strait of Juan de Fuca into Admiralty Inlet.

Pressure of the most determined variety finally got action from the Lighthouse Board to press Congress for funds, and on 15 December 1879, the beacon became a reality. It was a light of the fourth order, and to alert ships in foggy periods, a 12-inch steam whistle was installed.”

Story continues here

Comments are closed.