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The two RV Gypsies at
Fort Worden State Park in Washington
June 26, 2015

map of USA showing location of Washington stateWashington state map showig location of Fort Worden

history clipart bookFort Worden State Park is located in Port Townsend, along Admiralty Inlet in Washington state. It is situated on 433 acres originally built as a United States Army installation for the protection of Puget Sound. Fort Worden was named after U.S. Navy Rear Admiral John Lorimer Worden, commander of the USS Monitor during the American Civil War. Fort Worden was an active US Army base from 1902 to 1953. It was purchased by the State of Washington in 1957 to house a juvenile detention facility. In 1971, use was transferred to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Fort Worden State Park was opened in 1973.

sign: Fort Worden State Park

The Point Wilson Light is an active aid to navigation located in Fort Worden State Park. It is one of the most important navigational aids in the state, overlooking the entrance to Admiralty Inlet, the waterway connecting the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. The lighthouse was listed on the Washington State Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

history clipart bookPoint Wilson's first lighthouse was built in 1879 by the United States Lighthouse Service as a companion to the Admiralty Head Light built some 18 years earlier on the eastern side of Admiralty Inlet. A square wooden tower projecting from the roof of a two-story, Cape Cod–style keeper’s quarters held a fixed fourth-order Fresnel lens. The station also included a fog signal building with 12-inch, steam-powered fog whistle.

In 1904, landfill was added to the site in an effort to protect the station, but time and tide worked their destructive effects, so a new lighthouse was commissioned. Completed in 1914, it was built of reinforced concrete with a 46-foot octagonal tower designed to withstand the wind. It received the station's original fourth-order Fresnel lens which it continues to display. The beacon's height of 51 feet made it the tallest light on Puget Sound. The tower on the original lighthouse was removed and the building continued in use as residence for the keepers. The station was automated in 1976.

Point Wilson Light remains in the hands of the U.S. Coast Guard, while the grounds are managed by Washington State Parks. Its site on the exposed point at Fort Worden State Park is under serious threat from shoreline erosion and rising sea levels.

sign no admitance to Point Wilson Light

Point Wilson Lighthouse

Since the lighthouse is closed to the public, the two RV Gypsies could only photograph it from the fence line.

Point Wilson Lighthouse

The two RV Gypsies came to this park looking for a nice lunch spot. There were a few picnic tables along the waters' edge, but they were all taken. Again, there is a charge for day use in this area. Military jets flew over this area constantly, so it is not a quite place.

go back to the Washington menu Please return to the main menu for the state of Washington to view other areas the two RV Gypsies visited in Washington in 2015, plus a link to their adventures in Canada.