Burrows Island Light Station
photos by Linda Hudson
Anacortes, Washington 98221
About Burrows Island Light Station
The rocky cliffs, sharp drop-offs, and dangerous shoal and reef of Burrows Island proved too much for the many ships that passed by Burrows Island. After the loss of several vessels, a light station was erected in 1905 to help ship captains navigate through the often rugged conditions of Rosario Strait.
Captain James Hermann and his assistant Edward Pfaff were the first keepers at the station, which then consisted of four buildings: the lighthouse, boathouse and shop, coal and oil building, and a keeper’s house.
While most light stations had a warning bell, Burrows Island had a 14-foot trumpet powered by two gasoline engines to sound fog warnings, such were the precarious conditions of the area. While the light station once held a fourth-order Fresnel lens, it was upgraded to modern optics in 1972. And where the keeper’s home once stood there is now a helicopter pad for easier Coast Guard access.
Proceeds from the sale of Washington Lighthouse license plates have helped keep Burrows Island Light Station shining with the following restoration projects:
- 2011 – Stabilize roof, windows and improve safety $5,000
- 2012 – North duplex porch repairs $3,159
- 2013 – Restore boathouse to make it habitable $2,754
- 2014 – Keepers’ Quarters Roof - Lower Roof Repair and Upper Roof Prep, $5,000
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