Keepers of the Patos Light Board Meeting

Here are the minutes of Keepers of the Patos Light January Board Meeting. If you’ve ever wanted to be on a Board, join ours! We have lots of fun…


Minutes – Keepers of Patos Light BLM Office   Lopez Village                     January 26th, 2015

Agenda submitted per e-mail and hard copies by Linda.

Attending: Sandy Evans, Linda Hudson, Jack Pedigo,  Per Phone: Erin Corra, Bill Lavergne

Guests: Marcia deChandendes, OJ Lougheed, Nick Teague, Ann Palmer, Gary Bergren

Meeting opened at 5:00.

New Web Page: New Web Page: Our web page consultant, Ann Palmer of Technosense Consulting, demonstrated the new and updated web-site. She gave an overview and discussed its adaptability on present and future smart devices. Questions were asked and answered. Suggestions were also made about additions and changes to the site. Nick and Sandy agreed to develop a sub-committee for the site.

Review of minutes: Jack read some highlights of the last meeting.


Treasurer Report: Since the position is open Linda gave a general run-down on our finances: $2,790.10 in our account. $800 has been paid for 2014/2015 for liability insurance. A new print run of the book Light on the Island has been published and we will purchase about 40 copies, for a total of $400, to stock in the lighthouse for the spring and summer season. Sandy agreed to look for a new Treasurer.


New Positions: We will be looking for volunteers to administer: 1) Docent programs, 2) Merchandising, 3) Fundraising. Linda will make a job description for each. Marcia will work on looking for a volunteer for the Docent Program and Nick will look for a Merchandising volunteer.


National Monument update:

* Marcia has officially been given the position as Head of the National Monument.

* Events for Patos are being planned as part of the NM program as a site visit to Patos between the BLM and Friends of the San Juans on July 24th.

* This years’ AHS volunteer vacation is set for June 15th-20th. A work party to Patos has been scheduled as a part of the vacation.

* The Schooner Zodiac wants visit Patos on the 1st or 2nd weekend in May. We may need someone to open the lighthouse. Any for-profit group visiting BLM property needs to establish a partnership with the BLM or acquire and pay for a permit.

Grant Workshop: A workshop was held on Orcas on Nov. 18-20. Keeper’s volunteers who attended the workshop included Lisa DiGiorgio, Nic O’Neil and Vice-President, Erin Corra. Erin reported on the workshop via phone. She said the group created a model proposal for KOPL asking for the “Past Perfect” cataloging program. Lighthouse Education Programs grant application deadline is

March 2nd this year and the plan is to ask for the “Past Perfect” program to catalog KOPL photographs and artifacts. (Editor’s note: Lisa Di Giorgio and Linda met with Lopez Museum Director, Mark Thompson-Klein on Friday January 30th and it was decided that “Past Perfect” may not be the way to go as far as cataloging KOPL materials, therefore, we will revisit grant opportunities with the Grants Team). .

Docent Season: Last season the lighthouse was open 49 days with 690 Docent hours. We had 980 guests. For the 2015 season, our goal is to have a Docent(s) present every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Upcoming work party season: Last season we had 10 day-long work parties and one 4 day work party. There were 59 individual work visits. We need some additional tools and have compiled a list. Sandy can borrow some tools from VOW. Motion made and seconded to purchase two utility carts. The motion passed for the BLM to purchase one and KOPL to purchase another.

Flagpole Committee Report: The total donations so far for this project is $1,230. It was proposed we install a temporary pole. First we need to draft a plan and talk to a BLM engineer and then submit a request for approval. Editor’s Note: Marcia said that the Flagpole Committee only needs to call the BLM office to start the process.


New Board Members: Motion made and seconded to nominate OJ as a board member. Motion passed.


Other Business: 

  • Guest Gary Bergen brought up the subject of having a third mooring buoy in Active Cove for Docent/Volunteer use. A separate administrative buoy was once in place and the anchor is still there. A recommendation needs to be made to State Parks to start the approval process.
  •  Marcia suggested a 2 day lighthouse appreciation weekend be held. The event would include: Lime Kiln, Cattle Point, Turn Point and Patos.
  • Bill L. has donated over 100 lighthouse related items to Patos. Some will be kept and some will be auctioned off. The proceeds will go toward the Flagpole Fund. So far, $115 has been raised in this way.
  • Marcia said Jennifer will return next summer under a grant subsidy. She will help with a seed bank program which will preserve rare/native plants in the San Juan Islands National Monument.
  • Marcia said that we have the opportunity to have Victoria back this summer to work on an Interpretive Plan for Patos Island and the Lighthouse. It was suggested that we ask for the amount of $2,500 through Lighthouse Educational Programs.


Meeting Adjourned 7:25. Next meeting in June

Jack Pedigo


Thank-You, Lighthouse Docents!

Now that the fall and winter rains have started and the light grows less day by day, I am finding time to write to all of you who volunteered your time as Keepers of the Patos Lighthouse docents last spring and summer.

Though I haven’t run the numbers, (hours/guests), yet I do have the guest book here and I would like to share some of the wonderful comments our guests have left. Our guests came from near (Orcas Island, BC) and far, (Finland!), but all of them were delghted to find the lighthouse open and staffed by our wonderful volunteers. As you will see from their comments, a great and informative time was had by all.

Here are just a few of the comments:

Been waiting to visit for 25 years!
Loved the tour!
Perfect place to stop for Father’s Day!
Great interesting tour of this fine lighthouse.
Wow! What beautiful views  and interesting history!
Kayaking from Sucia. Amazing location, so beautiful!!
Great place to see! (Finland)
We looooove Patos!
Very fun to finally see the inside and the view from the Light
Yeah Lighthouse Docents, you rock!
I  wish I could be here during a storm!
Fun times on Patos. Thanks to the Lutz  boys for their tour🙂
Thank you guys for opening the lighthouse for us…
Thanks for all your hard work. So wonderful to see old treasures taken care of.

Great Music!
Labor Day in Paradise!

Also, A big Thank-you goes out to Steve Sabine and his State Parks crew. Without them none of this would have been possible…thanks SO much for your continued support!

Last note, I know many of you docents brought friends and family along for your stints, could you make sure to forward my email to all of them?

Last, BNL….Some of you have already reserved a weekend for next year’s season. If any of the others have a certain time in mind for the 2015 season, please let me know and I will get it on the calendar.

Have a great fall and winter and (try to) enjoy the rain!


Katie Nollman, Lighthouse Docent took these pictures during her stint last summer…

LindaKaty Katy2 13 Katy3 Patos summer '13 010 Patos summer '13 020

Patos Island Memories, Part 3, By “Patos” Bill LaVergne

Patos Bill, left with Clarence and Elaine Titterington in the early 1950s.

Patos Bill, left, with Clarence and Elaine Titterington and another Bill,  in the early 1950s.

So after serving on Patos Island  I was assigned to Our USCG base in Seattle where my day time duty was in charge of Base Seattle telephone communications. My duty was to operate the Base telephone Switch Board and train other personal in telephone operations. I also saw to it that when ships tied up at our dock that their telephone system was activated through our Base system. One time in hooking a ship up my set of Base keys fell overboard. There was no way to retrieve them so we had to replace locks and keys around the base. That was not my shinning hour I might tell you.

Turing this time in Seattle TV Station KING on Saturday nights had a live half hour program called ” MARCH ON “. It was a program devoted to advertising all of the US Services…Army….Navy…Coast Guard ETC. It was to advertise enlistments for the Korean War going on.
I was the Coast Guards rep. We had Friday practice which I went to and then went to the Station on Saturday and prerecorded the music ETC and then performed the program live from 7 to 7:30 PM. It was always a program of music and a story line. I really enjoyed this duty as it gave me a full weekend away from my duties at the base and I was able to be home in Tacoma with my family. Not bad duty huh?
As I was not on duty every night  at the base I was able to stay in my apartment in Seattle when I did not have duty.
As soon as the War was over the Navy let us Coast Guard boys out of our enlistments as they then had no money in their peace time budget for us. So I soon found myself released from active duty and put in the reserves.
Finding myself free again to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it took a little getting use to. However in the long run  I look back on my tour of duties and it was most likely the best of the best in my young life. And the memories have lasted a life time.
And Yes…. Patos is still the LIGHT OF MY LIFE.
May the Light always shine on you and bring you peace.
Patos Bill….Tacoma Washington 2014

“Beacons” From the Past to the Future

OJ Lougheed is one of our most knowledgeable and hard working volunteers….


Hello All,
Here is one of the reason why I am so interested in the local Lighthouses – “Beacons,” perhaps, from the past into the future. Please share with your mailing lists.
Having spent my “vacations” on Lake Baikal for the seven years I lived in Sunny Southern Siberia, I have a certain perspective on “Seas.” Salish Sea is 53% of the surface area of Baikal – no one there calling it a mere lake. However, Baikal has only 27 islands, only one inhabited. The Salish Sea had 419 islands, most of them inhabited.

As a member of the joint islands “San Juans Alliance” (fighting fossil-fuel exports) I watched the afternoon presentations at the U.N. Climate Change talking session (yet another) yesterday. One presentation was particularly interesting – by “His Excellency the Honourable Baron Waqa M.P., President of the Republic of Nauru and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States”:

AOSIS released two papers yesterday:

So, what do a few historic lighthouses in the Salish Sea have to do with all this? Most of these “Beacons” have been powered by solar for several years. Turn Point has a large system installed for it’s Museum. A potential donor has offered to provide a golf cart for Patos, but it would need a solar recharging system (and approval by the National Monument). No doubt the plans for Burrows include solar.
I also found this statement in the Keynote from the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference:…let me get specific. Assuming governmental policy regarding migration
remains unchanged, then the population of Salishland, currently 9 million, in 2100, will
be 25 to 30 million.
You heard right. 9 million today, 25 to 30 million in 2100. A tripling, or more.

– “Four Realities Circumscribing the Future of the Salish Sea”,%202014.pdf
Coming to grips with the carrying capacity of the Salish Sea over this Century is important. “Beacons” – shining light on alternatives are needed.
As “Beacons,” the Lighthouses might also work with Community Solar Projects such as these to make an impact on young minds:
Overend Joseph (“OJ”) Lougheed, Lopez Island

Double Whammy Workparties….

American Hiking Society Volunteers back at Odlin Park, Lopez Island

Here is Leader Sandy’s account of yesterday’s double work party on Patos Island, Both Keepers of the Patos Light and American Hiking Society Volunteers were on the island!


Thanks to you all! What a great work party!

From now on the blackberries had better beware! Gary B. annihilated them with his “saw on a stick,” Tom sliced them off with his unique blackberry tool and Laura and Duane got up close and personal with that invasive. Parvin and Terry hauled them off to oblivion after cleaning every one of the campsites (all 7 of them). OJ mowed up and down and all around until Laura wrested the mower away from him. Jennifer completed her transects (an accomplishment since they were in the brush). Gary F. and partner Jeannie joined with Linda to set up and prepare the lighthouse for the visitors and the volunteers.DSCF5814

We were very fortunate to be joined in our maintenance by the AHS volunteer vacation group and Nick on their last day in the San Juans. They worked on clearing the trail and cleaning the beach (alas no sea stars found).


All in all it was a beautiful day and a rewarding experience; thank you all so much for your time and efforts, so appreciated by the Parks personnel, the BLM and me. Good job!

DSCF5815 DSCF5802 DSCF5829 DSCF5792 DSCF5791 DSCF5787 DSCF5786 DSCF5797 DSCF5796 DSCF5798

Our next work parties are scheduled for July 22nd, August 7th and September 16th. Let me know if you are interested.


My Life on Patos Island Part Two: By Patos Bill LaVergne

Bill Tee Elaine 1953

Elaine and T Titterington with Patos Bill (right)1953

We left off on part one of my Life On Patos where I had arrived on the Island.
The longer I stayed on Patos the more I enjoyed it.
My duty shift was from midnight to eight am. Everyone else were in bed sound asleep. I went to bed at 8am.
I then got up for lunch and got busy with chores all afternoon. We did a lot of painting, building new cement sidewalks as the wood ones were pretty much ready to be retired. They sent us two CG guys from Seattle to help with gathering sand and gravel to make the cement we needed. They took buckets down to the beach area with our skiff boat and brought the gravel back up to the mixer that sat next to the tram in front of our houses. Needless to say it took quite a few trips to collect enough to make enough for a batch of cement. It was a long Summer task.

Our Island life was like living on a farm. We planted a large garden and we raised Chickens and  had a few goats also.Patos garden 1953
Summer time was also time to get some fishing time in.
We  had family and friends that would come visit as well as boaters who would come view the lighthouse. So it was always a time looked forward to by us.

One of the enjoyable things I looked forward to was our weekly runs over to Orcas Island to pick up the mail and buy groceries. That was good because we made friends there and it added to our not forgetting how to interact with people other then the 6 people on Patos.
Andy and Kathleen our Canadian light keepers across the water from us would visit in the Summer.
We would often get called out for a rescue of people who had run their batteries down ETC. One time it was a group of Navy personal that we helped get their craft running again. Did we ever love them having to ask the Coast Guard for help. I’m sure they never told anyone about that. We of course told every one about it.

Birthdays were celebrated with a dinner of the Birthday persons choice. It was just like a family get together at one of our houses.
When TV came to the islands we received a set and it sure was great for keeping up on what was going on in the world and to watch programs.
As I stated before Patos became the” Light In My Life”.
Patos Bill

Work Parties 2014

Here’s the schedule for spring/summer/fall work parties on Patos Island. Transportation to and from the island is provided by Washington State Parks/Sucia Island.

Inquire and/or sign up@

Here are the dates:

April 22nd

May 20th

June 20th (a Friday)

July 22nd

August 7th (the camp-out/sleepover will be between August 6th and 11th birthday party on the 10th).

September 16 

October 14th (to put the Island & lighthouse to bed for the season)

Volunteer Crew and Steve, ready to head out to Patos Island!

Volunteer Crew and Steve, ready to head out to Patos Island!