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Posted on: May 15, 2018

18-031 Celebrate the 120th anniversary of North Head Lighthouse



Media contacts:
Toni Droscher, State Parks, (360) 902-8604
Janet Easley, Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse, (360) 665-5580

Lighthouse tours, other activities take place June 2, at Cape Disappointment State Park

OLYMPIA – May 15, 2018– Washington State Parks and Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse invite the public to help celebrate the 120th anniversary of the North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco. This year, the lighthouse will be open for guided tours.

North Head Lighthouse 12-07-2017In addition to the tours, numerous family-friendly events will take place to commemorate the lighthouse’s birthday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 2, at Cape Disappointment State Park, 244 Robert Gray Drive, Ilwaco (Driving directions).

For portions of the last four years, access to the interior of the lighthouse has been closed while the building was undergoing a major renovation. State Parks and the Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse are pleased to announce the lighthouse is now open for guided tours for a cost of $2.50 for those 18 and older. Entrance is free for youth ages 7 to 17. Children must be at least 7 years old to tour the lighthouse tower.  

The lighthouse celebration will feature music; kids’ entertainment, including a clown; an open house at the lighthouse keeper’s residence; guided historical hikes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and cake and refreshments. Two members of the Keepers will be on the grounds dressed as a lighthouse keeper and his wife. The lighthouse store and a small museum with related exhibits will also be open. A special tour at 3 p.m. explains the Maya Lin-designed art installations in the park: the cedar grove, the Confluence Boardwalk and the Fish Cleaning Table.

Parking and a free shuttle to the lighthouse will be available at the Cape D Café, which is across from the main campground entrance. Parking is also available at the North Head Lighthouse parking area. A Discover Pass will not be needed for vehicle access to the park that day because June 2 is a State Parks free day, in recognition of National Trails Day.  

The Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse will be selling tickets for a chance to win a lighthouse-related prize—proceeds from which will help with renovation costs.

For more information about the day’s activities, contact Stephen Wood, Parks Interpretive Specialist, (360) 642-3029; Janet Easley, Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse, (360) 665-5580 or Lona Niemi, also from the Keepers group, (360) 642-2502.

About the North Head Lighthouse

North Head Lighthouse is one of two lighthouses located in or near Cape Disappointment State Park. The other is Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, which sits on U.S. Coast Guard property. The North Head Lighthouse was completed in 1898. Information about visiting Cape Disappointment State Park is here:

Tours of the lighthouse are offered daily, at various hours. To schedule a tour, contact the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at (360) 642-3029. Tours will continue until Phase 3 of the restoration begins this summer. The earliest date of closure could be July 9, 2018.

Next steps in the lighthouse renovation

Phase 3 of the North Head Lighthouse restoration will focus on the remaining portions of the lighthouse and the attached work room. The work will include:

  • Replacing stone at the base of the tower.
  • Exterior stone work on the work room.
  • Interior stucco work on the tower and work room.
  • Restoring the work room windows and entry door.
  • Painting the interior of the staircase and remaining woodwork.
  • Restoring the chimney on the work room.  

Phase 3 will complete the restoration of the lighthouse and work room, with a potential additional phase to address remaining projects. Once finished, the North Head Lighthouse will be nearly identical to its 1898 representation.

About the Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse

The Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse is part of the Friends of the Columbia River Gateway (FCRG); the group provides volunteer and financial assistance to Washington State Parks to maintain and enhance the North Head Lighthouse. The FCRG organization generates funds through the sales of merchandise at two retail outlets within Cape Disappointment State Park. For more information, 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

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