Posted/Updated by Bryan Penberthy on 2004-08-04.
Discussions of a lighthouse at Westport started in 1854 before Washington was even a state in The Union. By the time discussions were done and money was appropriated, it was 1897. Construction took just about a year, and on June 30, 1898 the third-order Fresnel lens was lit for the first time. Standing 107 feet tall, Grays Harbor lighthouse is the tallest in Washington State and one of the tallest on the West Coast. The lighthouse serves as a harbor light for the Port of Westport, and as a coastal light to mark a dark section of coastline between Willapa Bay and Destruction Island.
The original station was comprised of 107 foot tall tower with attached workroom, two oil houses, a windmill, a fog signal building, water tank, a single dwelling, a double dwelling, two outhouses, a barn, and a tool room. The entire cost for the station was $56,000. All that remains of the station is the tower, and the two oil houses. Future plans call for reconstruction of the work room at the base of the tower and the fog signal building.
The tower optics are still considered an active aid to navigation and are maintained by the US Coast Guard. However, the tower itself is owned by the Westport-South Beach Historical Society.
Directions: From I-5, get off at US-101 and head west. At the US-101 / SR-8 split, take SR-8 for about 20 miles until the town of Elma. At this point, SR-8 ends, and US-12 continues west. Continue on US-12 until Aberdeen. From here, take US-101 south across the river to connect to SR-105. Continue on SR-105 for about 19 miles, and then follow the north spur of SR-105 into Westport. Once in Westport, make a left onto Ocean Ave. West.
Access: Grounds open. Tower open during tours.
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