MUKILTEO, Wash. -- An iconic piece of American history attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Built of wood and standing more than 30 feet high over Possession Sound, the Mukilteo Lighthouse has been shining bright and guiding ships to land since 1906.
Much of the history of the lighthouse has been preserved through pictures and artifacts on display on the lighthouse grounds.
“The lighthouse is an iconic symbol of Mukilteo. It means you’re here, you’ve arrived on land, you’re in a historical place,” said Margaret Summitt, a historian and secretary for the Mukilteo Historical Society.
The Mukilteo Historical Society and the city of Mukilteo keep the lighthouse operating, with a museum, a gift shop, and the original light-keeper’s homes on the property.
There's a lot to learn and see at the waterside gem.
“I like the whole idea of a light always shining for anyone in distress,” said Joanne Mulloy, president of the Mukilteo Lighthouse.
At the top of the lighthouse tower you’ll find sweeping views of the sound and a Fresnel lens with a beacon that can be seen from 10 miles away.
Lighthouse keepers like Peter Christiansen helped save boats in distress and kept the light at the top shining bright.
“It was operated by oil, probably close to a kerosene, and the light-keeper had to go up the stairs and keep it going 24/7,” Mulloy explained.
The Mukilteo Lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places back in 1977 and is run by volunteers, all of whom want to make sure that it keeps serving as a beacon for centuries to come.
“It’s special because we want to preserve our history, especially our state history and our maritime history,” Mulloy said.
The peak period for visitors just ended at the beginning of October, but the Mukilteo Historical Society says they’re always accepting volunteers and giving private tours upon request.
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