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Monday, September 21, 2009

Lightstation Mukilteo, Mukilteo WA

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LIGHTSTATION MUKILTEO

Location: 608 Front Street, Mukilteo, WA 98275
Hours: 12:00pm-5:00pm Weekends & Holidays,
April through September
Cost: Free





On a day when I had nothing to do (don't worry, this is very unusual event) and when my prefered sidekick (Timothy) was absent (also unusual) I decided to visit Mukilteo. I had it in my mind to tour the Lightstation. I brought my camera and commenced my investigation of the treasured site. This is what I found:

Did you know that the State of Michigan has more lighthouses (more than 115) than any other in the Union? A member of the Mukilteo Historical Society at the Lightstation told me that this Saturday (September 19th, 2009). He also told me that Mukilteo Lighthouse will be one of the last in the State of Washington to use its origional lense, which looks like a chandelier made of mirror. I was told that the "Fourth Order Lens" was hand crafted by a French Physicist and it can cast light as far away as twelve miles. The reason why these works of art are being replaced by more modern optics has something to do with their maintainance. According to the Society member, it took a trained Coast Guard almost five hours to clean the lense.
The lighthouse was built in 1906. Since then ownership of the lighthouse passed from the Lighthouse Society to the Coast Guard (1939), and finally to the City of Mukilteo and the Mukilteo Historical Society in 2001. (Left: the Keeper's House.) The Lighthouse has been a historic symbol of Washington State since 1977 when it was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Point-in-case, you can purchase your very own Washington State License plate featuring Lightstation Mukilteo from your local DMV.

I came to Mukilteo looking for hot clam chowder not realizing what a historical goldmine it was. Leading up to the Whidbey Island Ferry terminal are various monuments that depict the city's historical relevance to the nation. (Right: Stairwell of the Lighthouse) For instance, I had no idea that the treaty Chief Seattle signed which acknowledged the ceding of the Native Americans from Point Pully to the British Boundary was signed HERE; twenty feet North and East of the totem pole - you can't miss it! Finding this monument was actually the highlight of my day. To think that I stood where Chief Seattle once stood..... A true elder and a very wise man indeed.

(Left: Monument of Treaty - To read the text, double click the photo. The page should load into the origional photo size.) The totem pole I made reference to is impressive in its artistic nature. I couldn't find an explanation for the mesh of Native American and Celtic design. It told Mukilteo's story as a trading post and port as well as its identity as a ferry landing. The city's name was changed in 1859 from Point Elliot to the translation of a Native American word (Muckl-Te-Oh). One meaning of the word translates to "good camping ground".

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