Point No Point Lighthouse receives a makeover

Jeff Gales of the U.S. Lighthouse Society describes the work that was done at the  Point No Point Light Station April 30  from inside the lantern room at the top of the lighthouse.               - Kipp Robertson/ Kingston Community News
Jeff Gales of the U.S. Lighthouse Society describes the work that was done at the Point No Point Light Station April 30 from inside the lantern room at the top of the lighthouse.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson/ Kingston Community News

HANSVILLE — On foggy days, before its removal, Judy Roupe enjoyed listening to the deep bellow of the Point No Point Lighthouse’s fog horn.

Roupe lives close enough to the station where she was once able to see it from her home. Now blocked from view due to trees, there are many memorable aspects of the 133-year-old station. The old fog horn, however, sticks in her memory.

“It was just a real soothing part of this place,” Roupe reflected.

Though the fog horn no longer exists, the Point No Point Lighthouse remains as a reminder of maritime and park history. It’s also never looked more like the original lighthouse than it does today.

The first lighthouse built on the Puget Sound just received $100,000 worth of renovations. The money came from a National Trust Partners in Preservation Grant.

A grand re-opening of the Point No Point Light Station is scheduled for May 12 at 10 a.m. at the station. The public is welcome to attend.  The grant was written by the U.S. Lighthouse Society. The restoration project was done in a cooperative effort by Kitsap County Parks and Recreation, the U.S. Coast Guard, Friends of Point No Point and the lighthouse society.

The project included painting the exterior of the lighthouse and its amenities. New lighting inside the lighthouse was installed, as was a humidifier and better heating, following an electrical upgrade. Doors have been replaced. New UV protective lantern glass was installed to provide a safe environment for the Fresel lens.

The electrical upgrades were some of the most costly, U.S. Lighthouse Society spokesman Jeff Gales said. The ability to control the temperature and humidity within the lighthouse and will help preserve the lens, lantern and building itself, he said. Making the improvements to the lighthouse and surrounding buildings took about nine months, following the grant money received in June 2011. With the weather the way it is, Gales said it often controlled when work could be done.

Gales estimates the Point No Point park receives about 30,000 visitors per year. The heaviest traffic is between June and September. However, the renovations were not done specifically to attract more people.

“Our goal isn’t necessarily to draw more people to the park,” Gales said. “We’re not making any money.”

The goal is more about showing the public the importance of keeping historical buildings intact. Gales wants to avoid a future where history is lost, and people do not know what lighthouses were once used for. Going to a lighthouse, too, is like going to a museum, he said.

The lighthouse was built in 1879 by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. It marks the Point No Point shoal and north entrance to Puget Sound. The light station is on the Washington State Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

The beacon is still in use. The 90-foot radar tower is used for the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service, which monitors and guides watercraft in the Puget Sound. The light station was named by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes in May of 1884.

It is widely unknown that most of the space inside was there to house the fog horn. Two different types of fog horns were used, before the installation of an electronic horn.


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