Wednesday, June 11, 2008

San Juan Island Lighthouses

San Juan Island is home to two of the most scenic lighthouses in the Puget Sound, namely the Lime Kiln Lighthouse and Cattle Point Lighthouse.

Situated on the rocky shoreline on the west side of the island's Westside Road, Lime Kiln Lighthouse is a VERY popular whale-watching location. Visitors spend can spend the day watching orcas, porpoises, seals lions and river otters playing just offshore of the rocky point. Peak tourist season is May through September, with June and July being the most likely months to see whales.The lighthouse, built between 1914 and 1919, remains a significant navigational beacon for ships in the Haro Strait. Interpretive programs are offered by the Whale Museum with scheduled tours available during the summer months. The light derives its name from lime kiln operations back in the 1860's.

Lime Kiln remains the last major lighthouse constructed in Washington State. The lighthouse boasts a 38-foot concrete tower and fog signal building and was the last electrified light (in the 1940's). Automated in 1962, Lime Kiln Lighthouse is accessible through Lime Kiln State Park on the west side of San Juan Island.

Lime Kiln Light House San Juan Island, WA Magnet magnet

Lime Kiln Lighthouse print

Cattle Point Lighthouse derives its name from the flocks of sheep and cattle that grazed in the area, owned by the Hudson Bay Company. The first light on Cattle Point, a simple brass lens lantern on a post, was established in 1888. Then, in 1912, the Navy added a navigational compass near the light on the south eastern side of the Island and the Cattle Point Lighthouse now became a significant tool for traveling in the dense fog which tends to accumulate at the point. Automated in the 50's, the lighthouse is located within the Cattle Point Interpretive Area, next to the San Juan National Historical Park off of Cattle Point Road.

Cattle Point Lighthouse Oil Rendering print

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