Marrowstone Point Light and the “Triangle of Fire”

About October 1 1888 a lens lantern with a red light was mounted on a pole to mark the eastern entrance to Port Townsend Bay. In 1892 the Lighthouse board recommended a large fog bell be installed to warn of the sharp turn in the course when entering for leaving Puget Sound. $3,500 was allocated by Congress on March 3 1893 and a one and one half story six-room keepers house with a fog bell tower was built and put into operation on April 7, 1896. The huge 1,200 pound bell would strike twice every fifteen seconds during periods of fog or low visibility.

Seventy-year-old former sea captain Osmore H Morgan was the first keeper. He had spent the prior fourteen years as head keeper at the New Dungeness Lighthouse. His daughter, Nettie Race took over after his passing in 1907. A few months later Axel Rustad was appointed keeper and he and wife Karen took over. They stayed for ten years raising four sons in the keepers quarters. The only water for the family was rain water collected and stored in a 5,000-gallon redwood tank which was located in a shed behind the house.

In July 1903 the North Pacific, a side wheel steamer struck Craven Rock off Marrowstone Point in a dense fog. The steamer had 14 passengers aboard who were taken to shore by lifeboats and the tug boat C. B. Smith. Lighthouse keeper Morgan fed and sheltered them until they were taken aboard the steamer Mainlander which had run aground on Marrowstone Point that same morning but was afloat again at high tide. The North Pacific was a total loss as it sank in deep water.

In 1907 construction of Fort Flagler was completed. Fort Flagler joined with the guns at Fort Casey on Admiralty Head and the guns at Fort Worden near Point Wilson to form a “Triangle of Fire” to prevent enemy vessels from entering Puget Sound

Dense fog caused another mishap in August 1908. The 502-foot-long armored cruiser USS Colorado ran aground on Liplip Point the southeast tip of Marrowstone Island. This incident cast light on the need for more navigational aids in Puget Sound. On October 22, 1913 Congress appropriated $30,000 for improvements.

Marrowstone Point received a new fog signal and light in 1914. An experimental acetylene gun was installed in a wooden building thirteen yards northeast of the bell tower and took the place of the fog bell. Mariners were asked to report the efficiency of the gun to the lighthouse inspector in Portland.

A new acetylene gun was installed atop a concrete structure just two months later. At the same time, the light was changed from a fixed red to a quick two red flashes every six seconds. The acetylene fog gun was the first of its kind to be used in the United States.

Several improvements were made over the years until 1962 when it was automated. In 1972 the Coast Guard transferred the property to the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be used as a research facility. The keepers house is now used as a guest house for scientists who visit the Marrowstone Marine Field Station.

Still standing at the waters edge are the structure that held the light and fog signal and the light tower. The flashing white light is still functioning but the fog signal is no longer being used. The station is now being used as a marine ecosystem health and marine fish health research facility.

Fort Flagler is now Fort Flagler State Park. A military museum is located in the park. The Marrowstone Point Light is visible from the park’s beach but it is not open to the public.

The Hurdles Of Travelling Out Of The Country

Travelling out of the country seems to be fun and exciting. However, the hurdles that accompanied our thrill is unexpected. It starts with the Immigration at the airport and the Embassy where we are scrutinized thoroughly for the purpose of our visit to a certain country.

With my experience, I was almost left in the Immigration. I was held in the Embassy for almost 2 hours. They were very critical when it comes to tourists. But I do understand their protocol especially those who leaving and entering the country. Imagine the show money should be a maximum of US$ 10,000. Better that my purpose was research. But still all the files of my laptop were scanned as well as the Facebook messages and my emails. The good thing that happened was that from being suspicious, they become impressed with my work because I was able to make studies outside the country even if I was not able to visit them physically. I was really afraid to be left in the airport because I have spent much for this travel. My God, I did not sleep for 3 nights because of my immediate need for money to cover my round trip air fare, hotel accommodation and food not to mention to buy enough amount of US dollars in my pocket as a show money in case the Embassy will question my capacity to sustain my stay in Malaysia.

But after going through a lot in the Immigration, I was very happy because I can now go anywhere in the world as a researcher and a writer with no hassles at all. I was able to prove my credibility and identity to them that nothing is impossible if you put your mind into what you are doing.

Just never think that when you go out of the country, it makes you a nobody. You have a very important contribution to make a change especially in the lives of the significant people around you. Lots of people become successful because they are able to overcome all the odds on their way to achieving their dreams. Accept and adapt change! There is no sense in spending your days talking about who you used to be. It will only prevent you from creating a successful and meaningful life.

If you spend too much on talking about your ideas, gathering information, reading, researching, attending seminars, and listening to what everyone else is saying and not putting into action all that learning and knowledge to make your life happen, you are bound to fail.

When you are determined to do what you want, no one can stop you. It’s a matter of having self-confidence, perseverance and hard work.

Never hold yourself back, put worthwhile goals into action. Walk the talk and apply all the learning and knowledge you have to make things happen and make a difference in your life.

I Wanted To Embrace The Swedish Culture

Once I knew that I would be going to Sweden, Stockholm, I started to think about what it would be like. Going away didn’t consume my mind, though, as I was engaged with what was taking place in my life.

I wanted to go away, no doubt about it; but I wasn’t in a position where I needed to get away. What I was doing was fulfilling and this stopped me from getting too caught up in what I would be doing whilst I was away.

A Different Climate

What was different about this trip was that I would be going somewhere that was cold, and this made a change. In the past, I had generally gone to countries that were warm and were only a few hours away.

Yet, even though I was going somewhere cold and it would only take a few hours to get there, I thought that it would be unlike anywhere I had been before. So, when the time came for me to go away, I started to get excited.

The First Signs

On the plane, the safety video was in English and then it was followed up in Norwegian, due to the airline that I was flying with. But even though I wasn’t going Norway, this made it even clearer that I was going away.

Soon after this, I landed in Stockholm and when I got off the plane, heard people talking in another language. It wasn’t until I got outside and was exposed to the cold temperature that I fully realised that I was in another country.

Extremely Curious

It was incredibly cold and, as I didn’t go to sleep the night before, I just wanted to go to sleep. Nevertheless, now that I was away I wanted to find out more about Sweden and to experience their way of life.

The reason for this is that when I go away, I don’t expect to bring my way of life with me and to live how I would back home. I want to find out what is and what isn’t acceptable, what kind of food they eat, and to learn about their history, among other things.

One Moment

While I was walking around the city, I saw an advertisement that spoke about where I could find tapas to eat. Now, I have tried taps in the past and I enjoyed eating them, but I wasn’t in Sweden to eat tapas.

Similarly, I didn’t go to there to eat McDonald’s or to have a coffee at Starbucks; I was there to experience the Swedish way of life. I thought about how there is a fine line between adding things to a culture and enriching it, and adding things and completely destroying a culture.

No Different

When it come to the main shopping area, for instance, I could have been anywhere in the world; it was no different to being in London or Australia. The same could be said for the hotel that I stayed in.

After I started to walk around the old town I could see that I was somewhere different. This was a special place, and what helped was that I was with a friend from Sweden who could show me around.

A Wonderful Time

Seeing these buildings and finding out about the history of Stockholm, Sweden was thoroughly enjoyable. I even had the chance to write on the wall of a coffee shop – whoever goes there can leave a message or just write their name on the wall.

I wanted to see the Viking burial ground and the 17-century ship, but I didn’t have time in the end. There is plenty to see and do here if you are looking for somewhere different to explore.

Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand seven hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.