Port Retreat Light

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Port Retreat, United States

Port Retreat Light Reviews

vances vances
477 reviews
Light Flight? Jun 27, 2012
When Point Retreat was first lit in 1904 it became the tenth light station raised by the US Government in the Alaskan Territory. The station would suffer being downgraded to a ‘minor light’, but eventually bounced back and was rebuilt in 1924 as a more capable beacon. The first light keeper moved in shortly after and was joined by his wife and infant son, to face typical hardships. Junior’s mother set him on the railing to fiddle with her Kodak camera when the boy was two and he tumbled forty feet to the rocks below, surviving but crippled. Daddy would die several years later from pneumonia.

The station endured but was reduced to ‘minor’ status again in 1973 and no longer staffed. Turned over to the Alaska Lighthouse Association in 1997, Point Retreat Light was added to the Register of Historic Places in 2003. Although it is only accessible by boat or float plane, the Lighthouse Association apparently has plans to convert it into a bed & breakfast where you can lodge and play light keeper during your stay.

Perhaps a more interesting story involves the naming of the narrow strip of land which the lighthouse sits on. When Captain George Vancouver was exploring Alaska back in 1794, he dispatched two long boats to Admiralty Island in search of provisions. The search party ran into a boisterous native celebration and beat a hasty retreat due to uncertainty whether it was a friendly affair. Vancouver blessed the point with an apt name to honor their scamper back to safety.
Point Retreat Light
Located on Admiralty Island, you'l…
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wagslikeadog says:
Great write-up! Interesting.
Posted on: Aug 02, 2012
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Port Retreat