Saturday, February 28, 2015

No. 304 Cattle Point Lighthouse

Cattle Point Lighthouse
Cattle Point RdFriday Harbor, WA 98250


Cattle Point Lighthouse

Cattle Point Light is a lighthouse on southern tip of San Juan Island in an area known as Cattle Point, in the Haro Straits of Washington. The first navigational aid on Cattle Point was a lens lantern established in 1888. George Jakle, a soldier who had been stationed at American Camp and had remained on the island raising sheep, was paid to maintain the light. Jakle would tend the light each day and fill the lantern's reservoir each week, using kerosene from five-gallon barrels that were offloaded at nearby Griffin Bay every couple of months by a lighthouse tender. 
A radio compass station was established at Cattle Point by the Navy in 1921, and sailors serving there took over maintenance of the light. Using bearings from that stations at Cattle Point, New Dungeness Spit, and Smith Island, ships sailing through the Strait of San Juan de Fuca could pinpoint their location even in dense fog.
The modern 34-foot (10 m), octagonal, concrete tower on Cattle Point was erected in 1935. The lighthouse is located adjacent to the Cattle Point Natural Resources Conservation Area, which is managed by the State Department of Natural Resources, so a Discovery Pass is required for your vehicle. Parking is available near a picnic shelter housed in an old powerhouse, leftover from the Naval Radio Compass Station. Trails lead from the conservation area's shelter to the lighthouse.


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