Once the light tower and new engine were added, the only real change that improved the aid to navigation was the addition of the two-way radio. Visitors came and went but nothing was different until 1939 when the US Lighthouse Service merged into the Coast Guard. After WWII, when only men were stationed on the island, in the 1950s families and diapers drying on the line returned. Then new buildings were built and others were demolished, and more modern equipment made lighthouse work easier. Still the weather got fierce. So icy it was in the winter that men crawled on their bellies along the sidewalk to keep from sliding off and being blown into the sea. Trees tumbled down in the winds, and survival of the storms was the main concern. Then in 1974 the light and the fog horn were automated, and the keepers left the island for the first time since 1893.
Modern technology left no room for light-keepers. The Coast Guard visited Patos to service the automatic light in the lighthouse, and gradually the other buildings fell into disrepair and were torn down. Only the lighthouse remained, and it too suffered from inattention. The State Parks operated a campground where in the past an ad hoc one had been. In 2008 the Bureau of Land Management rehabilitated the lighthouse, and the Keepers of the Patos Light were organized to help take care of it and the island. A new era had dawned for the old lighthouse!