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Destruction Island Lighthouse

  • Built 1891

Destruction Island earned its name after two tragic incidents during the area’s exploration. In 1775, seven men from the Spanish exploration schooner Sonora were killed by natives while they gathered wood and fresh water. The captain called the island “Isla de Dolores” or Isle of Sorrow. Twelve years later, crew from a British exploration ship rowed up a nearby river after supplies. They too were killed by natives, and the captain of the British ship called the river Destruction. The river was later called the Hoh River and the British name given to the island.

A lighthouse was built on the island in 1888. The 94-foot tower was sheathed in iron to protect it from the constant winds and heavy gales of winter. The fog signal first sounded in 1891 and eight weeks later on New Year’s Eve, the five concentric wicks of the lamp were set afire for the first time. A first-order Fresnel lens containing twenty-four bulls eyes and 1,176 prisms broadcast the light. The Coast Guard planned to shut down the light in the 1960s, but protests from sailors kept it running. It is now automated, and the site closed to the public. The island is accessible only by boat.

  • Connect

  • Phone
  • 206-903-0245
  • Visit

  • Address
  • Destruction Island, West End, WA 98331, USA
  • Lat/Long
  • 47.6745219 / -124.4854773
  • Support

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