Washington State’s historic 1891 Destruction Island Lighthouse, abandoned and left to the elements since April of 2008, is in deplorable condition. All of the federal and state government agencies involved with this lighthouse should be ashamed of themselves and be held accountable by the taxpayers and especially by historians and preservation groups everywhere.
As can be seen by these recent photographs, there are documents, supplies, equipment, and even food, that were simply left to decay at the lighthouse, leaving the structure open to creatures to destroy what they can. Notice the old manuals, record books, and other items that should have been saved as artifacts of the lighthouse, are just thrown about, left to ruin and decay. We ask this question: Is this how the legacy of those who served here should be honored?
The Destruction Island Lighthouse was automated in 1968 and discontinued as an aid to navigation by the U.S. Coast Guard in April of 2008. The island is now under the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife as part of the Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge and is reportedly off limits to the public. It is assumed that the tower is still owned by the Coast Guard.
Is this how the legacy of those who served here should be honored?
This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2023 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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