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Posted on: May 27, 2015

15-027 Public invited to celebrate the 117th anniversary and reopening of North Head Lighthouse

OLYMPIA – May 27, 2015 -- The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse invite the public to attend the 117th anniversary celebration and reopening of North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco.

The celebration is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at the North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park, 244 Robert Gray Drive, Ilwaco. (Directions:

The event will feature cake and refreshments, an informative exhibit, self-guided tours of a lighthouse keeper’s residence, and birding tours at 10 and 11 a.m. with volunteers from the Shoalwater Birders. A special-edition poster of the North Head Lighthouse and raffle tickets for a lighthouse-themed prize will be for sale. Guided tours of the lighthouse will be available for $2.50 for people 18 years and older. There is no charge for those 7 to 17; children must be 7 years or older to tour the lighthouse tower. The lighthouse, which has been closed for repairs since February, officially reopens to tours on June 5.

The Discover Pass is not required to attend the event. June 6 is a State parks “free day,” in recognition of National Trails Day. Parking near the lighthouse is limited. Signs will direct visitors to alternate parking.

About the North Head Lighthouse
The North Head Lighthouse was put into service as the primary navigation aid at the mouth of the Columbia River on May 16, 1898. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse had served the function from 1856; however, ships continued to run aground at the confluence of the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean, in the area that came to be known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” Due to the number of shipwrecks, the U.S. Government determined that a second lighthouse was needed on the northwestern spur of Cape Disappointment, commonly referred to as North Head. With all of the original buildings of the station still standing, the North Head Lighthouse remains the most intact lighthouse reservation in the Pacific Northwest.

The Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse formed in 2009 to promote awareness of the historic icon and to spearhead efforts to restore the structure, which has been damaged over time by the harsh elements. For more information about the Keepers, visit

About Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment State Park is on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean and lying along the Columbia River. The park comprises more than 1,800 acres, offering camping, two miles of ocean beach, two lighthouses, hiking trails and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. As part of a larger art installation, the park also features the Confluence Project amphitheater, designed by world-renowned architect and artist, Maya Lin.
Cape Disappointment additionally offers cabins and yurts for overnight rental. The historic lighthouse keeper’s residences are outfitted with modern conveniences and are available as historic vacation house rentals. For information about the park and its accommodations, visit

About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Follow Washington State Parks:

Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit


Media contacts:
Stephen Wood, (360) 642-3029
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388

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