Point Robinson Light

Vashon, Washington | C.1885

Photo Credit: Tyler Long

Having protected the waters of the Puget Sound for over a century, the Point Robinson Light solidified itself as a local landmark on Washington state’s Maury Island. But that didn’t stop commercial developers from nearly tearing it down in the 1990s. When local residents learned of the premeditated construction plans, they sprung into action to save the historic lighthouse.

Built in 1885, the Point Robinson Light was originally constructed as an operational aid to assist vessels traveling through the fog of the Puget Sound. Two years later, its first lens lantern allowed a bright, shining red light to be cast as far as 10 nautical miles. The Light continued to evolve with the needs of the island and in 1915, the current lighthouse – seen here – was erected.

Light-keepers and Coast Guardsmen lived at the Point Robinson Light well into the 20th century — even after it had been automated. In 1989, the final Coast Guardsman to occupy the lighthouse keeper house was Jerry Bolstad and his family, who helped with the station’s maintenance.

Yet, it wouldn’t be long after Jerry stepped down that the Light found itself in the choppy waters of real estate. In the early 1990s, plans to lease the property around the lighthouse were revealed, and a large commercial seafood-processing plant eyed the coveted island location. The locals weren’t having it though, and they formed the Keepers of Point Robinson organization to save the beloved lighthouse.

After significant negotiations, the community organization along with the Vashon-Maury Island Park and Recreation District negotiated a 15-year lease with the Coast Guard. Today, the Point Robinson Light proudly stands surrounded by acres of shoreline park and a marine conservancy — now offering safe harbor for fish and boats alike.

Written By: Kelly Murray

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