Want to be in the group photo when one of the most photogenic lighthouses on the West Coast turns 100? There might be whales in the background…
Lime Kiln Lighthouse is an internationally recognized icon of the San Juan Islands, and it’s celebrating a landmark birthday in 2019: the Centennial! Friends of Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS) is scheduling the celebration to commemorate the first day the lighthouse was operational on June 30th, 1919.
Planned festivities will include:
• Keynote speeches from the Coast Guard and Washington State Parks
• Lighthouse cake contest and cake walk
• Silent auction and raffle
• Special Lighthouse Anniversary wine label
Also planned in 2019 are updates to the park’s interpretive center to enhance the visitor experience. New video displays of marine bioacoustics and footage of marine mammals that frequent the park are in the works as well as a virtual reality experience of the intertidal zone.
Lime Kiln Light was the last major lighthouse built in the state of Washington, and the last to be connected to electricity. Both the lighthouse and state park are named after the lime kilns built in the area in the 1860s. The lighthouse operated with an incandescent oil-vapor lamp until after World War II, when it was replaced by a lens that used an electric light bulb. Two houses to accommodate the lighthouse’s keepers were built during the construction of the light and are still located behind it.
Today, the beacon flashes every 10 seconds starting at sundown, illuminating around 17 miles of sea, but Erin Corra, the founder of FOLKS, said the signal emits a call far beyond that: the park receives around 350,000 visitors annually from almost all 50 states and roughly 40 different countries. A hydrophone attached to the lighthouse also provides visitors with a marine soundtrack, capturing everything from the pops of snapping shrimp to the elegiac calls of orcas. Also known as Whale Watch Park, Lime Kiln Point State Park is renowned for being one of the best places in the world to view orcas and other whales from shore.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Lime Kiln Lighthouse
Friday Harbor WA 98250
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.