This past week marked the 188th anniversary of the first lighting of the Grays Harbor Light. For those that don’t know, this lighthouse is in Westport, WA and IMO is one of the most fascinating lighthouses I have ever seen.
When most people think of a lighthouse, they picture it being right on the coast, very close to the water, and while the Grays Harbor Light started that way, it now sits just over 3000 feet from the high tide mark. The lighthouse wasn’t moved, but due to the addition of a levy to the north of the lighthouse, the beach in this area silted in and simply added more land between the lighthouse and the coast. You can learn a little more about it at this link. As interesting as I find the geographic history of this lighthouse, that isn’t the reason for this post.
As I mentioned above, this past week marked the 118th anniversary of the first lighting of the 3rd order Fresnel lens. This lens, while not used after some upgrades to modernize this still working lighthouse, is the original lens. It is something of a rarity these days for a lighthouse to have its original fresnel lens. When I found out that they were going to be lighting the light in celebration of the anniversary, I decided to make the trip out to Westport.
I met up with a handful of fellow Olympia Camera Club members and spent a couple hours shooting, but more importantly enjoying the evening and the significance of the event.
This image was one of the very last I captured, and while it does look like the light is streaming skyward, it is actually coming straight out from the lighthouse and I was shooting from under the beam, something of an optical illusion. I hope you enjoy the image as much as I enjoyed capturing it.