Five Lighthouses in Five U.S. States

by CruiseReady

Pictures and brief histories of five different American Lighthouses from five different states, some familiar, and some less so. Where you can get beverage coasters of each one..

Pick a lighthouse in the United States - any U.S. Lighthouse - and you're bound to find something to like, either aesthetically or academically.

I've picked five U.S. lighthouses, just because each one was pleasing or interesting. There's one each from Alaska, Washington State, California, North Carolina, and Maine. I think you'll find it's an interesting grouping. There are at least a couple that most everyone is familiar with, and others that may be new to most people. I'm kind of wondering which of the five you'll find most appealing. (You can vote in a poll at the end)

If any one of them really strikes you, you can have a set of drink coasters with that particular lighthouse on them. Lighthouse beverage coasters are a great addition to any nautical or coastal decor, and make ideal gifts for lighthouse lovers.

Read on for a little tour of five lighthouses that I hope you'll find as fascinating as I did.

Lime Kiln Lighthouse

San Juan Island, Washington

Lime Kiln Lighthouse

Image Credit:  pd photo 

The Lime Kiln Lighthouse sits on a low rocky cliff on the edge of San Juan Island, off the northwest coast of Washington state.  The island sits in the shipping lanes between Washington and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Lime Kiln's fog signal house was built in 1914, and the 38 ft octagonal light tower was added later, and first lit in 1919.  The light, visible for 17 miles, was automated in 1962.

Because it sits at the edge of waters designated as a whale sanctuary, today the light station is used as a base to study the movement and habits of orca whales.


Sunset and Lighthouse Coasters

Lime Kiln in Washington State

The tower and keepers house stand in near silhouette against a breathtaking Pacific sunset on this set of six  coasters from Zazzle.

The beautiful photograph is printed on high gloss plastic.  The standard sized coasters have a non skid cork backing.

If you prefer other materials, you'll also find this scene on wood and stone coasters are also available at the same site.



Pigeon Point Light Station

Near San Francisco, California

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Image credit

The picturesque Pigeon Point Lighthouse, at 115 feet, is one of two tallest lighthouses on the west coast of the US.  (The Point Arena Light is the same height.)

Designated as a California Historic Landmark, it was built in 1871, lit in 1872, and automated in 1974 - over 100 years later!

Although you can't climb the tower, which needs extensive repairs, you can actually stay overnight on the property. The four 3 bedroom houses that were originally for the lighthouse keepers are now used as youth hostels, with male and female bunk rooms.  (Family stays can also be arranged)


Brenda Thour's Pigeon Point Light

From Her Original Oil Paintimg

Artist Brenda Thour has produced some beautiful artwork of lighthouses. This fun puzzle coaster set features a reproduction of one of her oil paintings.

This beautiful coaster is made of maple plywood, and professionally coated with lacquer.    To clean, just wipe with a damp cloth.

Cape Hatteras Light

Hatteras Island, North Carolina

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Photo by Azaelpitti07, CC by-SA 3.0

On Hatteras Island, part of North Carolina's Outer Banks, the Hatteras Light has been guarding the travels of ships through the Graveyard of the Atlantic since 1803, and it has quite a history!

Damaged during the civil war, a taller tower with a brighter light was built in 1871, and that year, it claimed the title as the highest brick lighthouse tower in the world.

Over the intervening years, the Hatteras Light has been struck by lightning, and encroached upon by the sea, and undermined by erosion.  

In a new location (since a meticulous move begun in 1999,) it now sits well back from the encroaching tide, and 210 feet above sea level.  With a beacon whose flash can be seen for at least 20 nautical miles, it still guides mariners, and welcomes visitors.  Go see it if you get a chance!

Cape Hattaras Lighthouse Stone Coaster

Portland Head Light

Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland Head Light

Image Source

The Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine, and its automated beacon, visible for some 24 miles,  is still an aid to navigation, under the authority of the U.S. Coast Guard.  (The fog horn, too.)  As you can see from the picture, the coastline is plenty rocky there, so you can imagine how hazardous navigating along that coast can get... especially in fog!

It was George Washington himself who directed this lighthouse to be built!  Its beacon first penetrated the night in 1791.

Surprisingly, the powers that be decided that the Portland Head Light was less important when, in 1881,  another light was lit not far away.  So, they ordered Portland Head's tower to be shortened, and its lens replaced with a weaker one.  That only lasted two years... due to a sea of complaints from mariners!   Things were put right again  in 1883.

Today, you can enjoy a maritime museum that is housed in what was once the lighthouse keeper's residence.

Eldred Rock Light

Lynn Canal, Alaska

Eldred Rock Lighthouse

Four lighthouses were ordered built in Alaska's Lynn Canal from 1902 to 1906.

The Eldred Rock Light was the last of those four to be built.  It was also the first Alaskan lighthouse to be build of concrete.  

It is also the last of those that survives in its original state, though it is badly in need of repairs.  The rest have all been rebuilt or restored.

You can only get to the Eldred Rock by boat or sea plane, and the lighthouse keepers there must have been quite lonely at times.... supplies were delivered every two weeks, less often in the winter.

Sandstone Drink Coaster

Eldred Rock Lighthouse

Which of these five U.S. lighthouses would you most like to visit?

(a poll)
  Display results
Believe it or not, the Cape Hatteras beacon is still on my own bucket list.

More Pages about Lighthouses

Lighthouses - each one is unique, really. But, here are brief stories of what it is that makes the beacons at Sandy Hook, Tillamook Rock, and Sullivan's Island especially unique.
Florida's St. Augustine Light is one of many lighthouses that's found its way to home decor pieces. Find some great pillows, and learn a little about the famous beacon, too.
Lighthouse Jigsaw Puzzles for everyone from tots to grannies. Find out why puzzles are good for you and learn some cool lighthouse facts, including which is the tallest in the U.S.
Updated: 05/08/2017, CruiseReady
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DerdriuMarriner on 06/30/2018

CruiseReady, Is the Lime Kiln lighthouse occupied by researchers from time to time or is the detection equipment such that everything is done remotely without scientific presences ever on San Juan Island?

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