The light station on East Brother Island in Richmond, California, was established in 1874 . After nearly a century as a staffed light station, East Brother was automated and destaffed in the summer of 1969. The building deteriorated for a decade until the Coast Guard granted a license for restoration to a new nonprofit organization, East Brother Light Station, Inc.
The property was restored and eventually the doors were opened for overnight guests. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the bed and breakfast operation to close down at the end of last June. The resident caretakers left and board member Desiree Heveroh moved in as the resident keeper.
In early April, a 30-year-old, 2000-foot-long underwater power cable, installed and owned by the Coast Guard, failed. A permanent fix to the cable will be very expensive. Funds are desperately needed so the light station won’t fall into disrepair, and so it can reopen for overnight stays.
Host Jeremy D’Entremont and co-host Cindy Johnson recently interviewed Desiree Heveroh about the current situation.
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Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org