It has been one year since we announced the Cape Flattery Lighthouse as a National Treasure at the annual Makah Days Festival in Neah Bay, WA. Makah Tribal Council chairman, Nathan Tyler, publicly introduced the Treasure with local U.S. Coast Guard base commander Joel Abstretar in attendance. We manned a booth along the parade route with a photo banner and a petition, talking with locals and visitors alike about the important role the lighthouse plays in the community. Amid the food, fun and traditional celebrations, the overwhelming support of the community for the historic lighthouse was gratifying!
On September 27, we joined Chairman Tyler, Janine Ledford, Makah THPO, Rebekah Monette, Deputy THPO, and the Washington SHPO, Allyson Brooks, in a meeting with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee to share the announcement of the Treasure. Since then, meetings with representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard have occurred, culminating in a long-awaited visit to Tatoosh Island by Coast Guard representatives on May 31, 2018. While building deterioration continues, they were able to do some clean-up, conduct minor shoring work, and apply sealant to the building. Coast Guard representatives also delivered materials and supplies to the site so that repair work could continue on future visits and indicated that next steps would be to complete shoring (as identified by National Trust consultants in their emergency repair plan). The Coast Guard also made clear that they do not have specific funding for the Lighthouse rehabilitation (as identified in the February 2017 Site Study funded by the National Trust), although they have indicated that they are trying to identify potential resources.
Meanwhile, the Makah are working on a Preservation Plan for the long-term use of the lighthouse with funding from the National Park Service and the National Trust. An early step in that process is to gather information from the community. This week a sign at the Cape Flattery trailhead has gone up encouraging visitors to engage in the planning process and a brief survey will be provided to users of the trail and the Makah Museum.
We are pleased that the U.S. Coast Guard is working with the Makah Tribe to repair and stabilize this amazing historic structure. We are hopeful that more progress can be made to identify the funding necessary to rehabilitate the lighthouse so that future generations will know this true beacon of our shared heritage.