"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

12 May 2014

❖ Light of our Life ❖ ❖ POINT WILSON

Point Wilson Light Station, 1907
The top postcard is signed by author,
James G. McCurdy.

Postcards from the archives of S.P.H.S.©

"The Olympic Peninsula terminates upon the east in a long sickle-shaped promontory, which jutting far out from its base, holds back the turbulent waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with its outer, rugged shore line, while protecting the narrow expanse of Puget Sound to the southward, within it's sheltering arm. Every mariner entering or leaving Puget Sound has to take Point Wilson into his reckoning if he does not wish to leave his vessel stranded upon it's sandy shores. In clear weather it is an easy matter to give it a wide berth, but in a dense fog––that is another matter.
      For over thirty years seafarers had been navigating their vessels past this obstacle without a lighthouse or a fog signal to aid them. But in 1879 as a result of continued pressure, the lighthouse department erected a beacon at the tip of Point Wilson with a deep-toned whistle to assist in keeping vessels at a safe distance. The first keeper at Point Wilson station was David Littlefield, a Civil War veteran who had arrived at Pt. Townsend at an early date and married Maria, the oldest daughter of the pioneer L. B. Hastings. The couple raised a large family and were residents throughout their long lives. 
Marrowstone Light Station
Original photo from the archives of the S. P. H. S.©

      A lighthouse and fog-signal were established at Marrowstone Point in 1888 to help out the situation, and today if a vessel takes to the beach at the entrance to the Sound, it will not be the fault of the government, but rather that of the person in command of the ship."
Text from By Juan de Fuca's Strait by James G. McCurdy. Binford's and Mort, 1937.      

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