Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 232 – North Head Lighthouse, Washington

The first lighthouse in the Pacific Northwest was established in 1856 on the north side of the entrance to the Columbia River at Cape Disappointment, in the state of Washington. High land blocked the view of the light from the north, so Congress appropriated funds for a second lighthouse at North Head, just two miles north of Cape Disappointment. North Head Lighthouse, a 65-foot-tall brick tower with a sandstone base, began service in 1898 with its light 194 feet above the water.

North Head Lighthouse, courtesy of Washington State Parks

In 2012, Washington State Parks took ownership of North Head Light Station, which is within Cape Disappointment State Park. The lighthouse has undergone a major restoration in recent years.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center stands high on the cliffs of the state park, and on display in the center is a first-order Fresnel lens that served in both of the local lighthouses at different times.

The first-order Fresnel lens on display in the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Stephen Wood is an exhibit project specialist, and Alex McMurry is a historic preservation planner for Washington State Parks.

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