CRITICAL Work Continues!

Richmond’s oldest structure, a 147-year-old lighthouse, in jeopardy!

CRITICAL Work Continues! image


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Richmond’s oldest structure, a 147-year-old lighthouse, in jeopardy!

Fate of historic East Brother Lighthouse... Much work is left to be done.

After electrical power was lost to East Brother Light Station on April 1, 2021, due to a damaged underwater cable, a team of volunteers with impressive expertise was able to cobble together an emergency repair nearly two months later on May 28, 2021. The existing cable was pulled up from the Bay enough to locate and cut out the damaged portion and splice the undamaged portions together. Much work is left to be done, including replacing and upgrading service equipment at both the land side and island side of the cable termination, all of which is in progress.

Like any building or infrastructure component, cables are not permanent, but for now, the repaired cable is our least expensive and most reliable alternative. The current cable was installed in 1991 by the US Coast Guard after a previous cable installed in the 1960s was irreversibly damaged by a lightning strike. To date, the US Coast Guard has refused to undertake any of the necessary repairs for the most recent failure. Nevertheless, the board of the non-profit East Brother light Station, Inc. is continuing to evaluate future strategies to guarantee a power supply to the island, essential to the operation of the bed and breakfast inn that provides the substantial revenue necessary, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, to maintain the island’s historic nearly 150-year-old structures,

The bed and breakfast inn has been closed due to COVID-19 since March of 2020. With power restored and COVID-19 in remission, the board is targeting reopening in September of 2021 and has begun the process of recruiting a new innkeeper team based on this schedule.

Even with power at least temporarily restored, East Brother still faces the imminent need for expensive repairs to its pier and gangway built in 1962 and suffering from some 60 years of saltwater-induced damage to its steel concrete reinforcing and steel supports. It seems the need never ends, but thanks to our guests, our dedicated volunteers, donors to our fundraising campaigns, and our business community partners, we will prepare East Brother to complete its second century.

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More information about East Brother Light Station Inc (EBLS): To preserve the lighthouse for generations to come.