Browns Point is on the east side of the entrance to Commencement Bay, which leads from Puget Sound to the Port of Tacoma. The first navigational aid at Browns Point was a simple post light established in 1887 – two years before Washington became a state. A new square wooden lighthouse began service in 1903, and a fog bell was mounted on the side of the tower. In 1933, the current 38-foot concrete lighthouse tower was built. It’s unusual Art Deco style makes it unique among Washington’s lighthouses.
A year after its automation in 1963, Browns Point became a public park. In more recent years, the Points Northeast Historical Society has restored the keeper’s house and has opened it for overnight stays. The Society carried out a major restoration of the lighthouse in 2021. Jim Harnish is a board member and past president of the Points Northeast Historical Society. A 2014 newsletter called him “the glue that holds us all together.” U.S. Lighthouse Society Executive Director Jeff Gales takes part in this interview along with host Jeremy D’Entremont.
This episode features one of our occasional “Be a Lighthouse” segments, which focus on people doing good in the world. George Fox, who lives in Bethel, Maine, recently spent several months in Ukraine, helping war refugees escape the country to Poland. During his time in Ukraine, Fox transported people west out of Ukraine and brought supplies east. After three separate stays in Ukraine, George says he’s fallen in love with the country and its people. He hopes eventually to go back to help rebuild the country.
If anyone would like to contact George Fox, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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