Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Lighthouse That Sheltered an Indian Woman

The New Dungeness lighthouse was the second lighthouse in the state of Washington. It was first lit in December 14, 1858 following Cape Disappointment Light which was first lit in 1856. 

In 1927 its original 100 foot tower was lowered to 63 feet after several earthquakes and foul weather caused some structural damage making for the concern that it would topple. The lantern room from the decommissioned Admiralty head Lighthouse was removed and then placed on the shorter tower. A revolving Fresnel lens was installed in the new tower.

William Henry Blake was the first keeper of the New Dungeness Lighthouse and was very highly regarded. The USCG coastal buoy tender WLM-563 Henry Blake which is based in Everett, Washington is named after him.

Blake was faithful in his duty to keep the light going for over 10 years as its only keeper. He lit the lanterns every night and tolled the huge bell constantly in foggy weather in order to warn approaching mariners away from the spit. He was well known for his commitment to the safety of the mariners

He married Mary Ann McDonnell in 1862 and they had five children: Catherine, Richard, Clara, Mary and Hannah, the first three were born at the lighthouse.

A fact about Henry Blake that is little known is how he took in and sheltered a pregnant Native American woman from the Tsimshian tribe. She and several tribesmen had been ambushed by Clallam Indians. The Clallams demanded that he give her up but he refused. The Clallam Indians were later punished and she returned to her tribe.

In 1902 a Native American man appeared at the lighthouse to pay his respects claiming that he was the baby she was carrying.

In 1873 Henry Blake was replaced by Franklin Tucker who served until December 1882. In 1882 he was replaced by Amos Morgan after being transferred to Ediz Hook Light Station. Amos Morgan kept the light until March 1896 when Oscar Brown and Joseph Dunn served as keepers.

The last keepers were Michelle and Seth Jackson and their dog Chicago. In March of 1994 the Coast Guard boarded up the station and soon the United States Lighthouse Society was able to obtain a lease from the Coast Guard.

The eight acre New Dungeness Lighthouse historic district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

The station is now manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by the Society and tours are available from 9AM- 5PM every day.

The Sequim, Washington area which includes the city of Port Angeles is a very entertaining and beautiful place to vacation.. It not only provides a lighthouse to visit, you can drive up Hurricane Ridge to take in one of the most spectacular views in the country. While in the area you must take a day and drive out to Neah Bay where you can walk the boardwalk to the northwest point in the continental United States. Another very pleasant afternoon can be spent at the Olympic Game Farm
where you can drive through and visit Wildlife up close and personal. You can also board a ferry at Port Angeles and cruise to Victoria BC, Canada.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Admiralty Head Lighthouse and the First Woman Keeper

On Whidbey Island located in Puget Sound Washington State is Fort Casey, the home of Admiralty Head Lighthouse and its seventeen year old female assistant keeper.

Fort Casey is near the Coupeville Ferry Terminal. So, its a good idea to arrive early for your ferry giving you time to explore the lighthouse which is located inside Fort Casey Historical State Park.

In 1858, 10 acres was purchased by the U. S. government to build a lighthouse. They paid $400.00 . This was the first lighthouse and was built of wood as a two story house with a tower rising from the gable. It was finished in 1861. Its light was visible for 16 miles. In 1890 the lighthouse was relocated to a place close to the present lighthouse. It was demolished in 1928.

The first keeper of the first lighthouse was a sea Captain nicknamed "grey grizzled seadog". This was after the indians burned his house down and he put a cannon in his yard to discourage them. He also served as the coroner and the post master. A good way of knowing what was happening both on and off the island.

At that time there were no women on the island. Asa Mercer president of the university in Seattle went to Massachusetts to recruit young ladies to move to Washington to serve as teachers and to even out the gender gap. So Daniel Pearson, a brave father, brought his two teen aged daughters and nine other girls to the island. These gals were brought from all over the U. S. and abroad.

In May 1866, a seventeen year old girl named Flora Pearson became assistant lighthouse keeper for her father, Daniel Pearson. She stayed for more than 10 years. During this time she married and gave birth to a son. In later years under the pen name, Flora A P Engle, she wrote extensively of the history of whidbey Island. The Island County Times carried a series of her articles.

The present lighthouse, constructed of brick and stucco was built in 1903. It is located at the east entrance point of Admiralty Inlet. Admiralty Head is the southeast point of a line of bluffs which extend northward along the western shore of Whidbey Island to Point Partridge.. This is where the bluffs are at their highest. In 1922 the lighthouse was deactivated. The lantern was moved to the New Dungeness Lighthouse in 1927.

Later the lighthouse was used by the K-9 dog training program. A 25 cent postage stamp featuring the Admiralty Light was issued by the U. S. Postal Service in 1990.

The Washington State Parks Department has since restored the lighthouse. in cooperation with the Lighthouse Environmental Program, Washington State University's Extension Office and local environmental programs. In 2012 a group of student volunteers from three Whidbey Island high schools installed a reconstruction of the lantern house atop the tower.

So remember Whidbey Island in you next vacation plans. Fort Casey, where the lighthouse is located, is a 998 acre camping park with over 10,000 feet of shoreline. This is Admiralty Inlet and address is:

Admiralty Head Lighthouse (in Fort Casey State Park)
1280 Engle Road
Coupeville, Wa 98239

As you enter the park there will be an automated pay station where you can buy a one-day or an annual Discover Pass.

Vinegar /Orange Cleaner

I want to share a recipe I found on line for vinegar orange cleaning solution.  This is very easy to make and much cheaper and safer to use than brand name cleaning solutions.

Fill a quart jar with orange peels.  ( any citrus peels will work just as well).  Then fill it to the top with white vinegar.   Date the jar and set it aside for at least two weeks.

When the two weeks are up drain the peels and pour the now orangy vinegar into a spray bottle.  Excellent for use in the kitchen as it is absolutely food safe.  

At first the vinegar smell will be rather strong but the odor will dissipate as you use it leaving a pleasant citrus scent.
I want to thank Gina of shabby Creek Cottage for this recipe.  You can find it and many other great ideas at

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

18 Clever Storage ideas

It seems we are all striving for less clutter and more storage space.  One good answer is to discard something whenever you buy something.  But here are some more appealing suggestions.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Sentinel of Long Beach

Several years after the construction of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse there were many complaints from mariners that the light was not visible from the north. 


Several years after the construction of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse there were many complaints from mariners that the light was not visible from the north.

In 1897 the North Head lighthouse was constructed.  It has a 65 foot tower that is set on a 130 foot cliff overlooking the ocean and quite visible to ships approaching from the north. The complex includes two oil buildings and a keepers house and a duplex for two assistant keepers. There is also a barn and other outbuildings on the site.

Washington State Parks obtained ownership from the Coastguard in November of 2012.  Maintenance of the park is undertaken by the state and a group known as Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse, an arm of the non-profit Friends of the Columbia River Gateway.

The North Head Lighthouse still aids navigation through the treacherous confluence between the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River often called the graveyard of the Pacific.  

Visitors enjoy a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach Peninsula, Columbia River Bar, and the northern Oregon Coast.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Look! It's a Kittiwake!

Take to the beach, you bird watchers.  The black-legged kittiwake has been spotted at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula near the Ocean Park beach approach.

These birds belong to the species Laridae and  are often found alone at the edge of flocks of other gulls.  The black-legged kittiwake is a bit smaller than its cousins.  Its head and body are white. The wings are gray with solid black tips.  It has a yellow bill and short black legs.  In the winter it sometimes has a gray hind-neck collar.

The  black-legged kittiwake builds its nest on sheer ocean cliffs.

At fledgling they have black 'W' band across the length of the wings and a black hind-neck collar and a black band on the tail.

These birds, as one would expect, are fish feeders.  They are found around the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans.

So, on your next trip to the beach keep a look out for these beautiful birds.  They are loners.  You won't find them in flocks.  But they can often be found alone at the edge of flocks of other species of gulls.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Small Bathroom Decor

Not many of us can afford the luxury of a large bathroom. While surfing the internet I found some imaginative and unique ways to add storage and the feeling of space to your small bathroom.

Below see the stylish ladderlook for narrow close to the wall storage.

Or Repaint a vintage ladder to match your color scheme.  Hang metal planters on the bottom rung for hair styling tools.

To add interest to an undecorated plain bathroom add a row of contrasting tile as a backsplash.  It's also easy on the pocketbook as it takes only a small amount of tile.

Its ok to mix prints and textures in your small bathroom decor as long as you stay with a single color 

Small shelves can help keep clutter off the counter top.

Below find images of simple inexpensive decor.

or for the small bathroom.