For the first time since 1927, Washington State’s 1903 Admiralty Head Lighthouse now has a historically accurate lantern room. As we reported in the May 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest, the new lantern room was the result of two years of collaborative hard work by students from three schools.
The original lantern room was removed in 1927 from the discontinued Admiralty Head Lighthouse and carted off to be installed atop the newly completed New Dungeness Lighthouse in Sequim, Washington.
After standing in disgrace as a headless beacon for decades, a thin metal lantern with Plexiglas windows was installed. However, it was not historically accurate, nor was it intended to be, however, it brought a sense of dignity back to the lighthouse as well as pride to the area. The dream of a historically accurate lantern had been in the minds of many for years. Now it has become a reality.
The anticipation could be felt as those in attendance watched the new lantern arrive by truck. Then the ‘temporary’ lantern, which had been atop the lighthouse since the 1960s, was slowly and carefully lifted off the tower and gently lowered to the ground where plans call for it to be auctioned off. Then, for a few hours, while the tower was being prepared for the new lantern, the lighthouse was again headless, but this time, not for decades, but only for a couple of hours. Then, as the crowd held their breath, the new 5,000-pound lantern was slowly and precisely lifted into place.
South Whidbey High School shop teacher Chad Felgar said of the students from the three different schools, “Nobody builds lantern rooms anymore. These kids are the only ones in the country who know how.” However, without the donations of companies such as Nichols Brothers, and other local businesses, the project would have cost $200,000.
All of those involved in the many aspects of the project from start to finish are to be congratulated for their efforts. But without the work of the students, our nation’s future leaders, none of this would have happened.
This story appeared in the
Jan/Feb 2013 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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