Cape Flattery Lighthouse landing area on Tatoosh Island, Washington, 1939
Pictured is the landing for the Cape Flattery Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island in Washington in 1939. Umdenstatt was the lighthouse tender. The weather has made it among this nation's more distinguished lighthouses. The 65 foot tower that carries the light 165 feet above the frenzied waters around Tatoosh Island was commissioned in December, 1857. Dangerous difficulties with Indians were encountered during the period of construction. Even before construction started, it was necessary to build a blockhouse and 20 muskets with ammunition were furnished for protection against Indians from the Canadian side of the strait. After the light was completed, the keeper resigned because he was annoyed by numerous Indians who used the island as a fishing and whaling station. Tatoosh Island was named for Chief Tatoosh. The light is now electrified with a total of 300,000 candlepower on white and 90,000 on red flashes in groups. A Fresnal lens manufactured in 1854 is said to still be in use there. In 1883 the Signal Corps erected a weather station on the island and in 1891 the installation was taken over by the weather bureau. This information was taken from a Ben Maxwell document in the lighthouse file in the Hugh Morrow Collection.