PORT TOWNSEND — The U.S. Lighthouse Society will host a special gathering at 3 p.m. Tuesday for the Point Wilson Lighthouse, as it moves into its next phase of renovation.
After a short program conducted by the Lighthouse Society leaders, attendees will be able to tour the lighthouse and other historic buildings surrounding it at the Point Wilson Lighthouse, 200 Battery Way E., in Fort Worden State Park, said Dick Richardson, volunteer coordinator.
“We want to show the public that things are happening at the lighthouse,” he said.
“It’s not just sitting there dormant.”
While the event is free, attendees will need a Discover Pass or pay for day parking due to the event being at a state park, Richardson said.
While attendees tour the facility, personnel from HOPE Roofing of Port Townsend will be working on the keepers’ dwelling and the lighthouse as part of the restoration project.
“We’re really excited about what’s happening,” Richardson said.
“We’re going to get the new roof on, and then we hope after that to restore the inside of the keepers’ house, and then open one side up to be a vacation rental and open the side for the volunteers to use,” he continued.
“We are working on restoration, and we want the public to see what’s going on and allow the public to go into the buildings so they can see the condition of the buildings and the fact that they do need work, and we need people and money to continue.”
Since taking over the care of the lighthouse in 2019, the group has finished restoring the chief’s house and has been offering it as a vacation rental. It also secured a $50,000 grant from the state to help fund the renovations of the lighthouse and its buildings, Richardson said.
It’s estimated that the restoration of the lighthouse and the two dwellings on the property will cost more than $1 million to complete, Richardson said.
“Our big challenge is getting money to do the restoration, and the other thing we’ve been trying to do, and we’ve been fairly successful in, is recruiting volunteers to help with the lighthouse.”
Volunteer roles range from leading tours of the lighthouse itself to helping with the restoration.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Lighthouse Society has 15 volunteers involved with the Point Wilson Lighthouse, Richardson said.
Members of the Jamestown and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes are expected to attend Tuesday, along with representatives from the Port of Port Townsend, the City of Port Townsend and other stakeholders.
The U.S. Lighthouse Society is a nationwide organization specializing in education about lighthouses and restoration and maintenance of lighthouses nationwide. It was established in 1983 in San Francisco, and its headquarters relocated to Point No Point in 2008, where it has been since.
The society currently holds four additional lighthouses in Washington: Point No Point in Kitsap County, Browns Point Lighthouse in Pierce County, Lime Kiln Lighthouse in Pierce County and Cape Disappointment Lighthouse in Pacific County.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]