Docent Thoughts….

After each docent weekend, I usually receive either an email or a phone call from our volunteers. Here is the email from one of volunteers from last weekend:

Hello Linda,

We got back last night after a blissful time on Patos. 
You’ve done a great job setting the lighthouse up to be a very rich experience. I know you’ve worked with others to accomplish this and to all I am very appreciative. 
 
We had 90+ visitors over the 3 days – and all were enthralled. I was sure to tell the story of you and your friend, reading the book at 10 — and manifesting the dream all these years later.
Really, it was wholly magical, Thank you!
Interesting to note that these volunteers experienced quite a rainstorm on Friday night….this didn’t seem to dampen their spirits. I guess Patos Island is a magical place, rain OR shine!
Another docent perk: Sunsets like this!

Another docent perk: Sunsets like this!

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Where’s the Flagpole?

Lighthouse guests often ask us, “Where’s the flagpole?” Well, we have no idea when the flag and flagpole were taken down, but my guess is that when the Coast Guard automated the light left Patos Island in the early “70s, the flagpole and flag might have gone with them.

We have some pictures of the flag flying over the lighthouse complex in the mid/late 1950s, courtesy of Coast Guard Officer-in-Charge at that time, Dale Nelson.

The flag pole in 1958

The flag pole in 1958

As many of us think that it would be appropriate to bring the flag and flagpole back to Patos Island, steps are being taken to ensure that it does. With the help of a generous $500 donation from Patos Bill LaVergne, which was given to us at last week’s birthday party, we can get started on this project.

As the first step in the plan will be getting approval from the BLM for the project, I plan to contact the folks at the Turn Point Lighthouse Society (Stuart Island), who went through the approval process for their flagpole a few years ago. Bill and I hope to involve other old Coast Guard men and their wives to get the ball rolling.

Anyone who wants to help with this project; letter writing, donations and/or research, should contact Keepers at patoslightkeepers@hotmail.com. And a BIG thank-you to Patos Bill for getting us started on this wonderful project! 🙂

Coast Guard Officer-in-Charge Dale Nelson climbed on the flagpole to take this wonderful picture of the lighthouse, late "50s.

Coast Guard Officer-in-Charge Dale Nelson climbed on the flagpole to take this wonderful picture of the lighthouse, late “50s.

 

Our Fabulous Triple Birthday!

Yesterday, August 18th, marked an amazing day in the long history of the Patos Lighthouse:  we celebrated a triple birthday! First, we celebrated the 120th year since the lighthouse was built in 1893,  second, the 100th year since the formation of Washington State Parks, and last but not least, the 81st birthday of Patos Bill.

Patos Bill LaVergne was stationed at Patos Lighthouse in the early 1950s.  He was there at t he same time as Clarence “Tee” Titterington and his wife Elaine with whom we are also in regular contact. Patos Bill always and stories and reminiscences for us and how we do enjoy these glimpses into the past!

In addition to all of the birthday excitement, we were presented with an amazing Traveling Library Box, hand-crafted and donated by Lopez Island resident and Patos Island fan, Ross Pomerenk. The traveling library box, which will be on display in the lighthouse during the summer season, is a recreation of the book boxes that used to travel from lighthouse to lighthouse in days gone by. They were stocked with reference, educational and fiction books, and we imagined with what anticipation must have been received. We had some children in the crowd place the vintage books I have been collecting on the waiting shelves.

Ross and his beautiful Traveling Library Box!

Ross and his beautiful Traveling Library Box!

At 12:30 we gathered outside for a photo op, a flyover arranged by Lime Kiln’s Erin Cora and her friend from Teren Photography.  We held up our letter/number signs and waved like mad as he flew over and recorded our wonderful day for posterity.

Happy Birthday, Little Lighthouse!

Happy Birthday, Little Lighthouse!

I close with more pictures of our day. Thank-you for everyone who could be there and to those who were with us in spirit.