Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 239 – Slip Point, Washington; Lovells Island, Massachusetts

Slip Point Lighthouse, courtesy of Slip Point Lighthouse Keepers

The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a body of water the Salish Sea’s main outlet to the Pacific Ocean. Clallam Bay, Washington, is an indentation on the south side of the strait, about 30 miles from its mouth. Slip Point is at the east end of Clallam Bay. A fog signal was established at Slip Point in 1905. A lantern was hung on the fog signal building to provide a navigational light until another appropriation paid for the addition of a lighthouse tower in 1916. The square, wooden tower was attached to the west side of the fog signal building.

The keeper’s house at Slip Point, courtesy of Slip Point Lighthouse Keepers
L to R: Karolyn Burdick, Susan Heiny, and Sarah Winter.

Slip Point Lighthouse was replaced in 1951 by a modern tower. Local resident Susan Heiny and her daughter Sarah Winter Grafstrom have formed a group called the Slip Point Lighthouse Keepers to work with the county to preserve the keepers’ house and its history. Also taking part in this interview is Karolyn Burdick, the group’s historian.

The Lovells Island Range Lights in 1915. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Also featured in this episode are circa 1990 audio recordings of Harold Jennings, son of the light keeper of the Lovells Island Range Light Station in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.

3 thoughts on “Light Hearted ep 239 – Slip Point, Washington; Lovells Island, Massachusetts

  1. So glad I tuned in today. We were stationed at Slip Point lighthouse from 1/1/62 until June of 1963. My husband was in charge of the lighthouse during that time. We had two sons when we moved in on new years eve and I was expecting another in February. The third son was born 1 1/2 hours after we arrived at the Port Angeles hospital and a week earlier than expected. Perhaps he arrived early because Slip Point and the Clallam Bay community was
    accidently “bombed” by Canadian ships practicing in the Straits by shooting at a drone plane that had flown over the Point by mistake. That story made news and the Port Angeles newspaper printed much of the story. My husband had previously been at the Point Adams
    Coast Station on the mouth of the Columbia River. It was a search and rescue station so we thought we were going to a rather quiet place at Slip Point. Not really the case for us. We were also there when the Columbus Day storm hit the area. I am sure that there are written write ups about the slide that took out the original light house building When we were there, a long walk way out to the edge of the reef on the point held the hight and the fog signal. I was always thankful that our lighthouse fog signal was the “Bee Dump” type rather than the shrill whistle that was heard on many other lighthouses. Lots of memories from that short time we were there.

    1. Thanks so much for your very interesting comment! Sounds like you had some memorable adventures at Slip Point! I have passed along your comment to the Slip Point Lighthouse Keepers group and I’m sure they’ll be interested to read it.

      1. Joan,
        Thank you so much for adding your story to the rich history of Slip Point. We value every bit of knowledge gained.
        ~S. Rondeau.

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