The 107′ Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport is the tallest lighthouse in Washington State and the third tallest on the West Coast. It was built in 1898 by architect Carl W. Leick to provide a guiding beacon for ships entering Grays Harbor. I said to my dear husband that I was surprised to see that the lighthouse was so far away from the Pacific Ocean. In reading the history I discovered that the lighthouse was originally 400′ from the high tide line, but because of build up caused mostly by the jetty system now in place at the entrance of Grays Harbor, the lighthouse is now 3,000′ from the high tide line. In 1998 the property was leased and then renovated by the Westport-South Beach Historical Society and in 2001 public tours began. In 2004 the Historic Society became the owners of their lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The property is on the National Historic Register.
So a while back I won a nights stay at the Silver Cloud Hotel in Mukilteo. We went this weekend and while I my dear husband napped, I slipped out to explore the near by Mukilteo Lighthouse Park. It was a glorious evening, unseasonably warm and the high school students were enjoying the breeze in their prom finery. There were couples in love and families roasting marshmallows in the fire pits. And the Mukilteo Ferries traveled to and fro.
We continued exploring the Long Beach Peninsula with a visit to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. To be fair, the ranger guy did say that it was a 1.2 mile hike each way and the terrain was steep in places and slippery with rain. Both of those facts proved to be true and it didn’t help that just as we reached the lighthouse, it began to rain in earnest.
This lighthouse was the first to be built in the Pacific Northwest. The ship that carried the original pieces of the lighthouse sank in view of where the lighthouse was eventually built in 1856! The first time they built it the tower was too small to hold the lantern, so they disassembled it and rebuilt it. That process took two years.
There is a Coast Guard observation station in use next to the lighthouse and it was staffed with two men that got there in their truck by using the special Coast Guard road.
Despite the dampness, it really was a lovely hike with amazing views along the way. I believe that on the weekends in the summer it is possible to go into the lighthouse. The photo below is taken of the lighthouse from Waikiki Beach, which is another lovely spot in Cape Disappointment State Park. The last photo shows a view from the top of the trail by the lighthouse.
What a lovely day to visit Brown’s Point Lighthouse. The sun was finally shining and the waterfront park was full of families out to see the 1933 lighthouse, the keeper’s cottage and the boathouse. The 3 bedroom cottage is available for rent by the week ($800 during the summer).
The first lighthouse keeper and his wife tended the lighthouse and lived in the cottage for 30 years. In addition to the normal job duties, they grew a garden, planted an orchard and gave music lessons.