We get some really nice days weather-wise during pre-spring in the Seattle area of the Pacific Northwest. I took advantage of one of these days a few weekends ago, and went to Alki Beach in West Seattle for a leisurely 7 mile walk up and down Alki Beach, along Alki Avenue SW, Beach Drive SW, and Harbor Avenue SW. Aside from views of Puget Sound, the nearby islands, downtown Seattle, the Olympic Mountains, the Cascade Mountains, and the possibility of seeing Mount Rainier, there is also the Alki Point Lighthouse.
On this particular day, the lighthouse was closed, so I just peaked over the fence to get the picture above with the blue skies and sunshine with my cell phone. But one cloudy day last summer, my husband and I took advantage of the schedule when the lighthouse is open for tours (Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend to August from 1pm to 4pm), and we were able to go inside, walk around, and tour Alki Point Lighthouse. The rest of my photos were taken during this tour.
Historically, the 37-foot octagonal tower of Alki Point Lighthouse was completed in April 1913 and activated on June 1, 1913, with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. Prior to this, in 1868, Hans Martin Hanson and his brother-in-law Knud Olson, who owned the land, would light a lamp to help those out at sea. In 1887 a lens-lantern on top of a wooden post was used. And in 1900 Edmund Hanson, Hans Hanson’s son, inherited the property and became the light keeper.
In October 1984, Alki Point Lighthouse wad fully automated. In fact, “Alki Point Lighthouse and nearby West Point Lighthouse were the last two staffed lighthouses on the West Coast.” The original Fresnel lens from the Alki Point Lighthouse is on display at the Coast Guard Museum in Seattle, and a replica is shown at the lighthouse.
When you take a tour today you are greeted warmly by US Coast Guard Auxiliarists and US Coast Guard Active Duty personnel, in uniform, who provide the tours. And did you now that the unofficial Washington State motto is “Alki,” which is a Chinook Nation word meaning “bye and bye.”