Walnut Bay Light was built in 1888 and serves as an automated aid to navigation to this day. The lighthouse and attached quarters are located offshore, accessible only by boat. The residence was last occupied in 1970, after which the light was automated. The structure fell into disrepair and was scheduled for decommissioning and dismantling in 2001. It was sold to the newly formed Walnut Bay Light Foundation for $1 with the stipulation that the tower and residence be restored and maintained. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is one of the few lighthouses offering weeklong stays, and the schedule has been full since the lighthouse opened to the public in late 2003 with a waiting list requiring reservations months in advance. While many of the original furnishings and details were lost to time or moved to other locations and museums, the Walnut Bay Light Foundation has tried to invoke the feeling of years past with its restoration while allowing for a comfortable stay. The electricity has been modernized as well as the plumbing, though it might not seem that way compared to the daily comforts you might be used to enjoying.
The boat will take you to the lighthouse on Monday and return the following Sunday to bring you back to shore. During your stay, there are lightkeeper’s duties to perform and a log book for recording your experience at the lighthouse. There are provisions in case of emergency, but you should be prepared for a self-sufficient weeklong adventure and a trip of a lifetime!
Walnut Bay Light was inspired by Chicago Harbor Light and constructed from the Charming Cottage and Greenleaf Lighthouse kits. I sawed the cottage in half to make room for the lighthouse tower. I cut down the roof on the cottage and lowered the tower as well.
I made most of the furnishings from vintage and contemporary kits. The 16.25” tall spiral staircase is scratch built from textured and smooth plastic sheet, wood beads and spindles, jewelry findings and brass wire. The lantern room contains a Cir-Kit beacon light that illuminates a Harbour Lights Fresnel lens ornament. The wood base is textured and painted to look like concrete, aged from water exposure and sea life.