One Hundred Years of the Alki Lighthouse

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard News
SEATTLE — The 13th Coast Guard District and Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Alki Point Lighthouse in West Seattle, Saturday.

“Since 1856, when the U.S. Light House Service lighted Cape Disappointment, the Coast Guard has been a part of the rich history of the Pacific Northwest,” said Rear Adm. Keith Taylor, commander of the 13th Coast Guard District. “The Alki centennial not only represents our rich heritage, but also the future, and how committed we are to the Pacific Northwest and the Seattle community.”

In 1887, the United States Lighthouse Service installed a post lantern on Alki Point as an aid to navigation, and purchased the current property where the lighthouse sits in 1910. The Alki Lighthouse was completed in April 1913 and opened for public tours on June 1, 1913. At that time, two lighthouse keepers were required to keep the light operational. They alternated 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week.

The Lighthouse Service merged with the Coast Guard in 1939 and assumed operation and maintenance of all United States lighthouses and lightships. The last civilian lighthouse keeper, Albert G. Anderson, retired in 1970, and Coast Guardsmen began standing watch 24 hours a day. The lighthouse was fully automated in 1984.

Today, the Alki Point Lighthouse continues to light the entrance to Elliot Bay and remains a historic landmark. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers weekend tours to the public from the months of June till August from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

For more information about the Alki Point Lighthouse tours, please send request to AlkiPoint_Lighthouse@msn.com.

Rear Adm. Keith Taylor, commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, commemorates the Alki Point Lighthouse in West Seattle during a ceremony to celebrate its 100th anniversary June 1, 2013. While Alki Point was originally established to mark its hazardous shoal's and to light entrance to Elliot Bay, the Alki Point Lighthouse was constructed June 1, 1913, and continues to be a historic landmark of West Seattle. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Akiyama)

Rear Adm. Keith Taylor, commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, commemorates the Alki Point Lighthouse in West Seattle during a ceremony to celebrate its 100th anniversary June 1, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Akiyama)

Members of the 13th Coast Guard District and the Coast Guard Auxiliary gathered in West Seattle to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alki Point Lighthouse, June 1, 2013. While legend says a farmer named Hans Martin Hanson hung the first lantern along Alki Point in the 1870s, it is the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary who keep the light shining for wayward mariners today. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Akiyama)

Members of the 13th Coast Guard District and the Coast Guard Auxiliary gathered in West Seattle to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alki Point Lighthouse, June 1, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Akiyama)

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