Pacific Northwest | August 3, 2003Pacific Northwest MagazineAugust 3, 2003seattletimes.com home
Home delivery
Search archive
Contact us
CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
ON FITNESS
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT

In The Head Light
Photo
PHOTOS COURTESY OF STEVE KOBYLK
Friends of Admiralty Head Lighthouse, left to right, Doris Nothcutt, Linda Neinhuis and Tom Randall, repeat the 1871 poses of lighthouse keeper Daniel Pearson and his wife and daughter. The Friends stand many feet lower than the pioneers because the Whidbey Island bluff here was scraped down to build the large "disappearing guns" of Fort Casey at the turn of the last century.

 
 Photo
IN THE SPRING of 1871, one of the great innovators of pioneer photography traveled the West Coast between Puget Sound and San Diego taking pictures of lighthouses for the U.S. Lighthouse Board at a fee of $20 a day. Born Edward Muggeridge at Kingston-on-Thames in England in 1830, he would become inventive with both his camera and name. By the time the 41-year-old visited Whidbey Island and the first lighthouse at Admiralty Head, Edward had changed his name to Eadweard Muybridge. Soon after, he began his famous motion studies of horses (and much else) running and jumping, experiments paid for by Leland Stanford (of the university).

The trio posing for Muybridge is most likely lighthouse keeper Daniel Pearson, his wife and daughter, Flora, who was her father's assistant. After marrying a Whidbey Island pioneer, Flora assisted her father two more years until they both retired to a farm with their respective spouses.

Topped by its red-lantern room, the two-story frame Admiralty Head Lighthouse with tower first turned on its whale-oil-fed Fresnel lens on Jan. 21, 1861. After passing the light at Dungeness Spit, captains aimed their schooners at the fixed light on Whidbey Island in order to avoid the shallows off Point Hudson. This old light was moved for the construction of Fort Casey, then replaced in 1903 with an elegantly whitewashed brick lighthouse designed by famed lighthouse architect Carl Leick. The 1903 light — now a magnet for lighthouse enthusiasts around the world, and the subject of a U.S. stamp — celebrates its centennial Aug. 23-24. Many public events are planned for the celebration — including performances by the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band and the Straits of Juan De Fuca Barbershop Chorus. I'm not missing this.

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
 MAGAZINE SEARCH
Today Archive

Advanced search

 
advertising

seattletimes.com home
Home delivery | Contact us | Search archive | Site map | Low-graphic
NWclassifieds | NWsource | Advertising info | The Seattle Times Company

Copyright

Back to topBack to top