Although lighthouses are automated, from time to time the optics in the lantern room still need to be serviced by the U.S. Coast Guard’s Aids to Navigation team, as was recently done at the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse in Ilwaco, Washington.
Although the 4th order Fresnel lens, manufactured by Barbier and Bernard of Paris France in 1896 has been in the lantern since 1898, it is no longer in use, having been replaced by a modern Vega optic, which rests next to the Fresnel lens.
When the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was first built, a 1st Order Fresnel lens was installed in the tower. But it was removed in 1889 and installed a short two miles away in the newly completed North Head Lighthouse where it remained until 1930. It is now on display at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Fort Canby, Washington.
Established in 1856, the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, now part of the Cape Disappointment State Park, is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Washington.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2016 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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