Cape Hinchinbrook Light, southern end of Hinchinbrook Island adjacent to Prince William Sound, Valdez-Cordova, Alaska
CAPE HINCHINBROOK LIGHT
Location: ENTRANCE TO PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND
Station Established: 1910
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1934
Automated? YES 1974
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE/SURFACE ROCK
Construction Materials: REINFORCED CONCRETE
Tower Shape: OCTAGONAL ATTACHED TO FOG SIGNAL BD
Markings/Pattern: WHITE ART DECO
Relationship to Other Structure: ATTACHED
Original Lens: THIRD ORDER, FRESNEL 1910
- The Cape Hinchinbrook Lighthouse was first established in 1910 to mark the entrance to Prince William Sound. Congress authorized the construction of a lighthouse at this point in 1906 appropriating $125,000 for its construction. However, the full amount was not authorized in one lump sum. The money was appropriated over a number of years with $25,000 in 1906, $50,000 in 1907 and the remainder in 1908. As a result construction did not begin until 1909. Construction was slow and hampered by bad weather. In the winter of 1909 a temporary fixed white light was established on the second story of the building under construction. As a result a keeper and his wife remained on site to tend the light. Total cost was $100,323 û less than had been estimated.
- In 1912 the lighthouse tender Armeria wrecked on the rocks off Cape Hinchinbrook. The lighthouse keepers rescued the mariners who were delivering coal to the station.
- A more powerful fog signal (diaphone) was installed in 1922-23 because of the amount of maritime traffic and the frequent dense fog in the area.
- In 1931 a six-mile trail was built by the U.S. Forest Service to link the lighthouse station and English Bay at Port Etches.
- Earthquakes in 1927 and 1928 caused instability in the cliff around the lighthouse. It was felt a new light should be built on solid rock. A new tower was completed in 1934.
- Automated in 1974
- A solar powered Vega lens is now installed. The original third order Fresnel lens is on display at the Valdez Heritage center in Valdez, AK.