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Willapa Bay, WA  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Willapa Bay Lighthouse

1857 – The light-houses authorized to be built at Shoalwater bay, and on Blunt's island, in Washington Territory, will, it is expected, be built during the present working season.

1858 – In the twelfth light-house district, comprising the entire Pacific coast of the United States, the light-houses at Blunt's island, Puget's Sound, and at Cape Shoalwater bay, in Washington Territory, have been completed.

1859 – Congress at its last session having empowered the department, upon the recommendation of the Light-house Board, to discontinue from time to time such lights as may become useless by reason of mutations of commerce and changes of channels of harbors, and other causes, the following lights have been dispensed with, viz: Shoalwater Bay, Washington Territory.

1866 – Considerable repairs having been found necessary to secure the foundations at Cape Hancock and Shoal-water bay stations, and other renovations being necessary, the proper steps in these cases were taken.

1867 – Shoal water bay —Some small repairs needed at this station were made. It is proposed next season to reshingle the keeper's dwelling and to construct a strong fence or bulkhead around the structure, as a means of securing the foundation.

The alleged inutility of this light has been brought to the notice of the board, and its discontinuance recommended, but the inspector of the district in a recent letter reports that the commerce using that light has somewhat increased during the past year, and promises to still further increase hereafter. For this reason the board will not at present propose the extinction of this light.

1868 – Shoalwater bay.—The engineer of the district reports the following repairs in progress: Reshingling the roof of keeper's dwelling; building a bulkhead around the foundation to keep the sand in place. House, tower, and lantern in good condition, and station supplied for the year.

1869 – Shoal Water Bay, Washington Territory.—Necessary repairs were in progress at the date of the last report. No repairs have been made during the present year, and the station is in good order and condition. Instructions have been given to have shrubs, which grow well in the sand, planted around and about the bulk head to prevent the sand from being drifted by heavy winds.

1874 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, north point of Shoalwater Bay, Washington Territory.—An extension to the dwelling for kitchen and other purposes, a wood-shed, and boat-house have been built.

1875 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, entrance to Shoalwater Bay, Washington Territory.—The principal work at this station during the year was the construction of a fence around the dwelling for its protection against the drifting sand, and other arrangements for guarding against the undermining of the building.

1876 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, entrance to Shoalwater Bay, Washington Territory.—About 25 acres of land for pasture have been surrounded with a substantial board fence, the roof of the dwelling-house has been reshingled, and other repairs made, placing the station in good condition.

1879 – Shoalwater Bay, sea-coast of Washington Territory.—A plank road 400 feet long has been built over the deep sand-drift near the dwelling, to facilitate the hauling of supplies. The old boat-house, destroyed in a storm during the winter, has been replaced by a new one, located nearer the light-house, and but 100 feet from the life-saving station. Minor repairs were made to the keeper's dwelling and its inclosure, and the entire station was repainted.

1880 – Shoalwater Bay, sea-coast of Washington Territory.—The kitchen floor of the keeper's dwelling was relaid and the fence rebuilt in April. A few minor repairs were made and the station repainted. The Hains mineral-oil lamps were substituted in April for the lard-oil lamps previously in use.

1881 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, north cape of Shoal water Pay, Washington Territory.—The buildings were repainted in September. An attempt was made to protect the station against drifting sand by planting willows and building low brush fences, but the sands continue to accumulate, as at other points similarly located, and demand increasing labor from the keepers to protect government interests.

1882 – Shoalwater Bay, on ??k? Point, north cape of Shoalwater Bay, Washington Territory.—A small number of willows was planted as a protection against drifting sands; 1,800 feet of pasture fence, which were covered up with drift sand, were taken up and moved back 200 feet. The gates and plank roadways were repaired, 2,000 square feet of the yard around the light-house were replanked, and the usual minor repairs were made.

1884 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, north cape of entrance to Shoalwater Bay, Washington Territory.—A survey of the reservation was made, and the boundary line along the more valuable parts was marked by cedar posts, and various repairs were made. The station is in fair condition.

1886 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, Washington Territory,—The plank road between the light-house and barn was entirely rebuilt. It was raised from 2 to 3 feet above its old level. Of the picket fence around the dwelling 300 feet were rebuilt with new material. The boat-house was moved 150 feet, to a place nearer the water and free from sand drift. New sills were placed under the house, and one side that had become decayed was renewed. The small bridge in the road from the station to the landing was rebuilt, and minor repairs were made. The station is in good condition.

1888 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, entrance to the bay, Washington Territory.—The boat-house and part of the fencing were blown down by heavy winds. The keeper rebuilt the fence, but the boat-house was beyond repair.

1890 – Shoalwater Bay, on Toke Point, Shoalwater Bay, Washington.— A new barn was built.

1892 – Willapa Bay (Shoalwater Bay), seacoast of Washington.—New cedar posts were set in the reservation boundary fence. The foundation of the bulkhead inclosing the tower and dwelling was protected by placing around it brush mats to prevent the wind from cutting the sand away. The foundation of the oil house was repaired and various other repairs were made.

1899 – Willapa Bay, Washington.—Fourth-order Funck-Heap lamps were installed in place of old ones.

1906 – Willapa Bay, Washington.—A new bridge was built in roadway leading to the station. Various repairs were made.

1907 – Willapa Bay, Washington.—A galvanized-iron oilhouse was built. The barn was rebuilt on a new location. Minor repairs were made.

1922 – Willapa Bay Light Station, installing sanitary and water system, constructing roadway, and general repairs, $5,765;

1940 – Lighthouse was lost to shore erosion.


  • Head: William B. Wells (1858 – 1861), Robert M. Espy (1861 – 1862), J.J. Francis (1862 – 1865), George B. McEwan (1865 – 1870), Asahel K. Bush (1870 – 1872), Francis D. Holman (1872 – 1873), James Anderson (1873 – 1877), Frederick Holland (1877 – 1878), Thomas B. Williams (1878 – 1880), Sidney Smith (1880 – 1881), Sidney Smith (1881 – 1883), John Telbin (1883 – 1884), John Telbin (1884 – 1892), Marinus A. Stream (1892 – 1893), Marinus A. Stream (1893 – 1894), Rasmus Petersen (1894 – 1913), Anders Gjertsen (1913 – 1919), Ray E. Dunson (1919 – 1920), Olaf L. Hansen (1920 – 1930), John Wilson (1930 – 1939), Robert M. Langos (1939).
  • Assistant: Daniel Wilson (1859), S. Soul (1859), George Hunter (1861), J. Francis (1861 – 1862), William Thompson (1862 – 1863), C.C. Vail (1863), Sanfield R. Soule (1863 – 1864), James B. Johnson (1864 -1865), John W. McEwan (1865 – 1867), George D. Nelegan (1867 – 1868), Leonidas Norris (1868 – 1870), Henry L. Bush (1870 – 1872), Eliza A. Bush (1870), Edward Kramer (1872 – 1873), Leonidas Norris (1873), Stephen Davis (1873), John Welch (1874), James N. Whitney (1875 – 1876), Thomas B. Williams (1876 – 1877), Sidney Smith (1877 – 1880), Hugh Mitchell (1880), John Telbin (1880 – 1883), Marinus A. Stream (1883 – 1892), Anders Gjertsen (1893 – 1913), Gustav A. Nikander (1913 – 1915), Jacob Eriksen (1915 – 1920), Alex Wiebe (1920), Annie L. Hansen (1920 – 1930).

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