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Admiralty Lighthouse under new leadership

John Shoosmith is the new lighthouse programs coordinator for Island County’s WSU extension. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
John Shoosmith is the new lighthouse programs coordinator for Island County’s WSU extension.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

The cool veil of winter has burned off and Whidbey’s most unique attractions are open and ready for the onslaught of summer tourists.

One such landmark, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse in Fort Casey State Park, will be especially stunning this summer after a major renovation that closed the structure for most of last summer for roof and window replacements, said John Shoosmith, the new lighthouse programs coordinator for Island Countys WSU Extension.

Shoosmith ran educational programs at Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement in Virginia for the last 14 years, he said.

WSU Extension also received a new director, Dr. Timothy Lawrence, to fill the shoes of former director Judy Feldman.

A lighthouse interpretive volunteer program run by the extension hosts tours through the lighthouse and volunteers are still needed, Shoosmith said.

The Admiralty Lighthouse is supported through special-order license plate sales with a design based on a watercolor by Coupeville artist Janet Orso, public donations, grants, tours and on-site wedding contributions.

The nonprofit Lighthouse Environmental Programs include WSU Waste Wise and WSU Beach Watchers programs.

Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders of Freeland is constructing a new and more historically accurate lantern house to replace a lantern installed in the 1950s. Oak Harbor, Coupeville and South Whidbey High School students will work with Nichols Brothers on the project and learn manufacturing techniques in the process.

The lighthouse is open Thursday through Sunday in May and every day from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. in June and July. Visit www.admiraltyhead.wsu.edu or call 240-5584 for more information about the lighthouse volunteer program.

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