UPCOMING EVENTS & NEWS
To our members and friends of Points Northeast Historical Society:
As we navigate this “new normal,” many people are left feeling disconnected. At PNEHS, we want to assure you of our ongoing dedication to our mission, to preserve, promote and celebrate the history of Browns Point, Dash Point, and Northeast Tacoma. Though we have had to re-imagine our direction and our operations, our enthusiasm and dedication has not been put on hold. Here are some updates for your information:
Now used as the Historical Society’s History Center, which houses our administrative office, archives, and library, this building at Browns Point Lighthouse Park is undergoing much-needed refurbishing. With a $4,800 grant from LEP (Lighthouse Environmental Programs), new windows and a new door, to replicate the original 1950’s construction, were recently installed. Barry Linn, a skilled volunteer, who last year restored exterior areas of the Lightkeeper Cottage repaired, prepped, and painted the building. The “Points Northeast Historical Society” sign above the building’s entrance was restored by members John and Bev Ott. Many thanks to Jim Harnish and all our outstanding volunteers!
The interior of the recently restored Generator Building received a fresh new coat of paint, preparing it for new historical displays and artifacts. The paint colors carefully replicate the those used by the Coast Guard when the building housed generators for emergency auxiliary power for the Lighthouse beacon. Our thanks to volunteer Bob Robinson for taking the lead on this project and seeing it through!
PNEHS received a grant from Port Of Tacoma to fund the beautiful new interpretive signs displayed throughout Browns Point Lighthouse Park. Thank you to Linda Van Nest and Diane Jahnke, who each volunteered dozens of hours to design the signs and implement their fabrication.
Volunteers Making A Difference
When Metro Parks Tacoma closed their 58 Tacoma area parks, due to the pandemic, and furloughed over 500 employees, last spring, there was no one to water, weed, and maintain gardens in Lighthouse Park. Weeds took over, grass grew tall, and thousands of bedding plants were left to die. Thanks to the help of volunteers like our members, Nancy Pawlicki and Pat Harnish, and countless others, the gardens were revived and saved for everyone’s enjoyment. Our small army of volunteers turned out to mow, weed, power-wash, prune, and repair broken irrigation lines. With every contribution of their time, they demonstrate the true spirit of volunteerism. Thank you all for making a difference!
Meetings and Bylaws Amendments
The Executive Committee (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Co-Secretaries, and Curator) met electronically every two weeks from March 16th through July, to keep astride of everchanging conditions and conduct the Business of the Historical Society. The By-Laws were updated to allow electronic meetings in this emergency, and were amended again in August to allow electronic meetings for the entire Board of Directors. It was a pleasure to meet via Zoom with the full PNEHS Board of Directors on August 10. We will continue to meet virtually each month, until it is safe to hold meetings for the group, in person, again.
Museum and Cottage Closures
Most of the Historic Society’s operating income is from renting the Lightkeeper’s Cottage to vacationers. Difficult and vital decisions had to be made about continuing to rent the Lightkeepers Cottage. A special committee was formed to research and report their findings. A “Safety Plan” was submitted, cleaning and sanitizing protocols were identified, documented, and carried out. Ultimately, it was not worth the risk of COVID-19 exposure to our guests, the general public, and our volunteers and staff, to rent the cottage at this time, during the pandemic. The Lightkeeper’s Cottage remains closed until further notice.
The Cottage Museum and the Boathouse Museum are also closed until further notice. Sorry, all our community events and public and private tours are cancelled. But park visitors can still learn about the history of the area thanks to nine new interpretive signs that were installed pre-Covid-19.
Browns Point Lighthouse Restoration Project
The 1933 lighthouse structure is the last of the seven buildings at Browns Point Lighthouse Park to be restored by Points Northeast Historical Society. A PNEHS “Steering Committee” was formed in 2019 to plan and direct the $150,000 restoration, which will include painting, replicating the original windows and door, repairing the concrete platform and stairs, and installing a replica of the “lantern,” the structure around the light which has been missing for decades. This will complete restoration of the original historic art deco design.
Funding already includes a Metro Parks contribution of $20,000 for permits and a new fence, already installed. A detailed Historic Structure Report with architectural drawings was previously funded with a grant and Historical Society monies.
We are thrilled to report that $85,000 has been committed to the restoration with two large grants and a generous contribution by a local resident. A community fundraiser is being planned to raise the balance of $40,000. Look for details, to be launched soon!
How can I help?
Thank you for asking!
Points Northeast Historical Society is self-supporting, receiving NO funding from the US Coast Guard, taxes of any local, state, or federal entities.
Due to COVID-19, our primary source of income (Lightkeeper’s Cottage Vacation Rental) is closed. This income is vital to fund our daily operations, support and maintain all the buildings and museums at Browns Point Lighthouse Park.
Here is how you can help:
Stay safe, and stay tuned! We are working for you! Join us!
Nancy Bess, President
Lighthouse Park & Points NE Historic
Present Browns Point Lighthouse 1933
First Browns Point Lighthouse 1903
Dash Point Dock Today
Dash Point Dock 1917
Northeast Tacoma Neighborhood Today
Airstrip in Undeveloped NE Tacoma
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