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Patos Island Light

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Year first lit  1908
Construction  Wood
Height  12 m
Automated  1974
Material  Wood
Foundation  Surface
Tower shape  Square
Opened  30 November 1893
Phone  +1 360-622-2417
Added to NRHP  21 October 1977
Patos Island Light
Location  San Juan Islands, Washington
Original lens  Fourth order Fresnel lens
Address  San Juan Islands National Monument, Eastsound, WA 98245, USA
Similar  Turn Point Light, Burrows Island Light, Cattle Point Light, Lime Kiln Light, Admiralty Head Light

Patos Island Lighthouse is an active aid to navigation overlooking the Strait of Georgia at Alden Point on the western tip of Patos Island in the San Juan Islands, San Juan County, Washington, in the United States. The station is the northernmost in the San Juan Islands and marks the division point between the eastern and western passages into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

In 2013, Patos Island and its lighthouse were included in the US Presidential Proclamation by Barack Obama creating San Juan Islands National Monument, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, part of the US Department of Interior. Limited developments on the island are managed in partnership with Washington State Parks and volunteers with the nonprofit friends group Keeper of the Patos Light. On some maps it is also referred to as Patos Island State Park.

Access to Patos Island is challenging; no public ferry system serves the 200 acre island. Two offshore mooring buoys are available for private boats as permitted through the Washington State Parks. Volunteer opportunities, however, offer regular summer access through the Keepers of the Patos Light.

Through a Washington State Lighthouse Environmental Program (LEP) grant, the Keeper of the Patos Light are developing exhibits for the lighthouse.

History

The original light station was a post light and third-class Daboll trumpet fog signal. Beginning operation on November 30, 1893, the light was used as a navigational aid to steamships traveling to ports around Georgia Strait such as Vancouver, and up the Inside Passage to Alaska.

The lighthouse was improved in 1908 with a new fog signal and a 38-foot (12 m) tower, which housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens. The light was automated in 1974. Today, it has a modern lens which flashes a white light once every six seconds and has two red sectors marking dangerous shoals off the island. The original fourth-order Fresnel lens is now in private ownership in Oregon.

The early years of the light were recorded in The Light on the Island, the childhood recollections of Helene Glidden, daughter of Edward Durgan who was lighthouse keeper from 1905-1913.

Patos Island Lighthouse was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Through federal funding from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the lighthouse was renovated in 2008 with a new roof, doors, windows, gutters and downspouts, and new paint inside and out. The lighthouse is the last remaining structure at this site, but similar 1893 structures can be viewed at Turn Point Lighthouse, located on Stuart Island and also part of San Juan Islands National Monument.

References

Patos Island Light Wikipedia


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