Aug. 6th was the Celebration of our 130th Birthday of the Lighthouse
Celebrated with Nations Lighthouse Weekend annually. This special birthday, we entered a contest with the National Lighthouse Society’s country wide Lighthouse dance. Ten states entered. The United States Lighthouse Society and the National Lighthouse Society used three clips of our video in their presentation of all entries. Our video was generously produced by Josh Brown. A fun video drone adventure on U-tube.
We had 41 loyal KOPL people attend the 130th Birthday party arriving onboard a chartered beach landing Catamaran. Included was special visitor, Sharon Thomas, a direct family member of Edward and Estelle Durgan; decedent’s of Helene Glidden, author of “Light On The Island,” and daughter of our first Light Keepers, Edward and Estelle Durgan. The Durgan’s great, great Grand Daughter was our honorable Flag bearer at our 130th party.
Our actual Birthday was November 30th, 1893 when the lamp was lit.
We had a busy 2023 at the Patos Island Lighthouse and 220 acre Island
April was “Wake up the Island” mowing, clearing, raking, picking up trails work Party. Memorial Day opened with the Lighthouse stocked and ready, thanks to our President Catch Patton and her team.
We had a special Highschool Senior project focused on Patos Island L.H. History, mentored by Denise Wilk, March to May. Our High School Senior, Roan DeGroot, created a Presentation of easy to understand, short historical information that we shared with underclassmen at Orcas Island High School and to the Public, as part of her Senior Project.
The presentation will be usable in the future to aid in outreach for our KOPL Program.
2023 also saw the Retirement of beloved Maintenance Crew Chairperson , Sandy Evans.
Her dedicated service has carried us for 15 years to the end of this summer. We owe her much thanks. She will be missed. Samuel and Teresa Webster have stepped up to take on the Maintenance Committee Chair tasks. They will co-ordinate our work crews calendar and arrange transportation with Washington State Parks or private vessels. In 2023, we met our new BLM Recreational Manager, Owen Ellis. He will work hand-in-hand with Brei Chartier, our Monument and BLM Director.
August brought the departure of President, Catch Patricia Patton. That vacancy led us to new board nominations at our annual meeting, August 6th.
We set up a booth at Orcas Saturday Markets this year with our “on loan” booth and table. Thank you, Gail Glass. We have a new banner and we met lots of new and local folks. We handed out many KOPL Brochures.
We opened the Patos Island Lighthouse for 59 days, from Memorial Day in May to Sept. 20th. We had 34 docents, opening up for 767 visitors. We logged in 621 adults and 146 children. Our docents, work crews and board of directors logged in 1093 reported hours. We know there were many more hours working on admin, shore side, on the Island and opening the Patos Lighthouse.
We hosted two Ham Operator events and broadcasted on our 130th Birthday Weekend. Thank you Caleb Pal, Tucker Clolvin, and Brian Silverstein and friends.. At our Oct. 10th Board Meeting, we held our Executive Board Elections with the approved nominations. Our new Board Line up is:
Denise Wilk, President; Samuel Webster, Vice President; Teresa Webster, Secretary and Tina Roye, Treasurer.
Our new board is busy updating forms to consolidate WA State, Monument, and observations from our Docents.
We are detailing our KOPL Priorities to present to the BLM and Monument advisory board meetings for funding considerations for 2024 and beyond.
We are planning a board retreat over winter and are very excited about the next season 2024!
Volunteer as a Lighthouse Docent or Trail Crew Member
Want to come out to Patos Island and volunteer your skills as a lighthouse docent or member of our trail maintenance crew? We offer free transportation on a Washington State Parks boat to and from the island from Brandt’s Landing on Orcas Island. As a Docent you’ll pre-register for a specific date (on weekends from Memorial Day-Labor Day) and get training from our seasonal crew. You’ll bring your own camping gear and pitch your tent in the beautiful docent campsite on the bluff overlooking Active Cove. You’ll open the lighthouse for several hours each day and welcome visitors to view our historical and cultural exhibits. You’ll have plenty of free time to wander the trails, observe nature, and take photos. It’s a very enjoyable way to spend a day (or several).
Work party members go out to the island via state park boats on specific days- once a month throughout the spring and summer. As part of the crew you’ll keep island trails passable and mow the field near the lighthouse. This is a cool way to check out seasonal wildflowers and spot wildlife, including marine mammals. You’ll leave Orcas Island in the morning, have lunch at the lighthouse, then return to Orcas by mid afternoon.
Being on Patos is a unique and wonderful experience. Plus, all 2023 KOPL volunteers received a beautiful embroidered patch to wear on a favorite cap, jacket or backpack. Interested?
GETTING TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER...
In addition to our annual Lighthouse Birthday Party the first weekend in August, KOPL volunteers hope to provide info at Farmers' Markets throughout the San Juan Islands this summer. Come join us or just stop by to say "hi."