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


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

Where Would We Be Without State Parks?

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

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

Well, frankly, standing on the shore of Orcas Island looking at Patos island in the distance!

We rely almost totally on the staff and boats of Sucia Island State parks to take our volunteers out to Patos Island for both work parties and Docenting the lighthouse. Over the past three years or so, our arrangement has been totally symbiotic with our volunteers providing services that State Parks employees  don’t have the staff and time to provide. As Steve Sabine, head Ranger so aptly puts it:

To Whom It May Concern,

Keepers of the Patos Light have been providing volunteer services at Patos Island State Park  since 2010. They have logged over 1600 hours since then, with the majority of the hours done in 2012. Keepers of the Patos Light is instrumental in the Park’s interpretive program, conducting Lighthouse tours for well over 1000 visitors last year. The visitors always talk highly of the volunteers and are grateful that they are there to open the lighthouse.

Patos Island State Park is a remote island, with access only by private boat. There are not many volunteers who are willing to spend an extended period to provide programs to visitors. Keepers of the Patos Light provided volunteers who stay multiple nights on the Island to provide this service. They also provided trail maintenance, security, and serviced our restrooms. Park staff can only service the Island once or twice a week, due to staff shortages, and Keepers of the Patos Light helped fill in the gaps.

I am grateful to have Keepers of the Patos Light volunteer at Patos Island State Park. They are a complement to the Park operation.

Sincerely,     Steve Sabine


San Juan Marine Area North


Thanks back to all of our wonderful State Parks friends from Keepers of the Patos Light!

In the news….

We are sure enjoying these stories,,,,video this time!

Where Would We Be Without Our Volunteers?

Every year we are in awe at the hard work of our Keepers of the Patos Light volunteers. From docents who open the lighthouse,to day trippers who clear the trails and clean the beaches, (among other things), we would not be able to function without them. And let us not forget members of Keepers as well. We do all of the above in addition to producing newsletters, writing grants, newspaper articles and, yes, this Blog!

Right now, we are looking for more summer Docent volunteers and KOPL Board members. Drop us a line or give us a call if you are interested.   360-468-3518

Erin, Christina and Linda at the lighthouse door

Erin, Christina and Linda at the lighthouse door

Erin, Christina and Steve (State Parks Ranger)

Erin, Christina and Steve (State Parks Ranger)


Docent Kyra and Rose welcome lighthouse visitors

Docent Kyra and Rose welcome lighthouse visitors

Docents explain a map of the area

Docents explain a map of the area

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Docents leaving for Patos Island

Docents leaving for Patos Island

Super Docent Barb talks to a visiting family

Super Docent Barb talks to a visiting family

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Leaving from Minnie's Beach, Active Cove

Leaving from Minnie’s Beach, Active Cove

Come one, come all!

Come one, come all!

New docents, Barb abd Buzz, watch porpoises off the bow of the Sea Bass.

New docents, Barb abd Buzz, watch porpoises off the bow of the Sea Bass.

Pat & Pete in their KOPL life Jackets

Pat & Pete in their KOPL life Jackets

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