My husband and I took a day trip this past summer to Olympia, Washington just to view the Dofflemeyer Point Light(house). More like a light tower, the unusual bit of information about this light is that a formal lighthouse keeper was never actually appointed to this particular light. Instead, “local residents were contracted to care for the light and activate the fog signal.” Located on a private beach, my husband and I needed to walk out on the marina of Boston Harbor for a view of the light tower, and to take a few photos.
Dofflemeyer Point Light (also spelled Dofflemyer) is located at entrance to Budd Inlet, which leads to Olympia, the state capital of Washington, and to the Port of Olympia. This light is the southernmost light in Puget Sound. As my husband and I took our photos, we also watched the other flurry of activity on the marina, including people enjoying their fishing boats, motor boats, and sailboats, as well as jet skiing, kayaking, and even playing on the part of the beach near the light that is not private.
The original light at this location that was established in December 1887 was a “post lantern” on top of a 12-foot stake. With the lumber trade as the main industry of the times, and other trades such as canned fruit and shellfish, the increase in ships carrying these various cargos made it necessary to increase the light needed to guide these ships safely. Therefore in 1934 the 30-foot pyramidal concrete light tower seen today was built.
The Dofflemeyer Point Light was automated in the 1960’s by the Coast Guard, with its fog signal automated in 1987, and thus the need for the local residents as “care-keepers” was no longer needed. Today the Coast Guard maintains the signal.
In 1995, Dofflemeyer Point Light(house) was listed on the Washington State’s Heritage Register, as well as placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Quote and information from this blog obtained from:
Lighthouse Friends-Dofflemeyer Point, WA
Northwest Maritime Heritage-Dofflemeyer Point Lighthouse
History Link.org-Dofflemyer Point Lighthouse