Post by Graveyardbride on Mar 6, 2016 23:16:02 GMT -5
Caretakers Wanted for Haunted Lighthouse
PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. – The US Coast Guard is seeking bids for an organization to operate and maintain the 103-year-old Point Wilson Lighthouse complex at Fort Worden. According to Petty Officer George Degener, Coast Guard District 13 spokesman, Point Wilson Lighthouse and associated buildings are currently owned and maintained by the Coast Guard, but not as an active navigational aid. “The Coast Guard is looking for a group to come in and maintain the structure. The organization can use it,” he said.
Operational radar. There is an operational modern navigational radar repeater tower on the property, last updated about 10 years ago, which would remain under Coast Guard control, he added. Degener also said the organization can use the buildings for purposes within the historic designations, such as a museum or historical re-enactment activities.
Lease period. The lease period is indefinite: the organization will hold it for as long as it is able to properly maintain the property, as approved by the Coast Guard and the state Historic Preservation Office, he said.
There has been a lighthouse on the property since 1879 and it was moved from the top of the lighthouse keeper’s house to the adjacent tower in 1913. The Coast Guard switched to an automated system in 1976 and the lighthouse was closed to the public. It is currently accessed through Fort Worden State Park at the end of Harbor Defense Way, on a point surrounded by water on three sides where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets Admiralty Inlet. The associated buildings are currently fenced off, but the lighthouse tower can be reached on a short, sandy trail. The light itself is not operational, Degener emphasized, adding that the light’s Fresnel lens is currently on display in a museum. The area includes the 1913 lighthouse structure, the lighthouse keeper’s historic quarters, a newer home, play structure, garage and several outbuildings.
Requirements. According to the notice of availability posted by the Coast Guard Feb. 26, applicants must provide:
• Proof of nonprofit or for-profit status.
• Outline of the proposed use of the lighthouse.
• Details on the type and level of public involvement in the proposed preservation effort and use.
• Statement of financial capability and supporting documents.
• Statement of commitment to the rehabilitation and maintenance of the property.
Bids are due by 5 p.m., April 29.
No organizations have submitted an application or letter of interest yet, Degener said. Bidding organizations will be selected by the Coast Guard and Historic Preservation Office, according to the organization’s ability to maintain the historic structures. Finalists will be allowed a 60-day access period to inspect the property and develop a more detailed plan for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the station, in corroboration with the Historic Preservation Office. The lease is being handled by the Coast Guard’s real property specialist’s office in Oakland, Calif. For additional information concerning applying to lease the Point Wilson Lighthouse, contact property specialist Beverly Freitas at 510-637-5527.
The Lady in White. Before the light was automated, wives of keepers assigned to Point Wilson soon learned they were sharing their quarters with another woman. The first indication they were not alone was usually phantom footsteps and sounded like someone rummaging through cupboards. Then they would catch a fleeting glimpse of a white, shadowy female form in voluminous skirts. No one knows the ghost’s identity, but there are rumors the spirit may be that of a mother whose daughter drowned when a ship wrecked in Puget Sound. Most keepers never saw or heard the Lady in White – and likely dismissed their wives’ claims the house was haunted as female hysteria. However, on one occasion, a male visitor sleeping downstairs was awakened in the night when he felt cold hands around his neck attempting to choke him. He sat up just in time to see the fleeting figure of a woman in the kitchen. He immediately jumped up to confront her only to discover the lady had vanished into thin air.
Sources: Arwyn Rice, The Peninsula Daily News, March 3, 2016; LadyWolf, and Olympic National Park.