Greg MacDonald, (past) President
New Dungeness Light Station Association
Note: Greg MacDonald is a past president of the
New Dungeness Light Station Association. Current president is Sarah Miller.
“The New Dungeness Lighthouse is, perhaps, Sequim’s most iconic landmark, and, at 164 years of age, certainly one of the oldest. Authorized by Abraham Lincoln three years before he became president, it attracts visitors from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries. The lighthouse is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The museum and tower are open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily, including holidays.
“As president of the New Dungeness Light Station Association, I coordinate the management and maintenance of the lighthouse and property. NDLSA is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that was formed in 1994 with the sole purpose of operating and maintaining the historic Sequim lighthouse for the benefit of this and future generations. Since that time our organization has provided the management and maintenance of 100% of the lighthouse property under a lease agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard.
“In a normal year we have approximately 10,000 visitors make the 11-mile round-trip trek to visit out lighthouse and museum. Even during the COVID year we hosted more than 6,000 guests--all within COVID guidelines.
“The Light Station, which includes the Lighthouse, Keepers Quarters and three other historic buildings on 32.5 acres, is located at the end of the 5.5 miles long Dungeness Spit. There are picnic tables, a drinking fountain, a clean public restroom and lush green grass for our visitors. Take a tour of the museum and add a stamp to your U.S. Lighthouse Society passport book (available for purchase).
“In the last 27 years since the NDLSA has existed, more than a quarter of a million visitors have made the hike to the lighthouse. They come to visit the facility, tour our museum, and climb the 74 steps up the tower to the lantern room.
“The New Dungeness Lighthouse Keeper Program provides folks a unique opportunity to spend a week at the light station located at the end of the Dungeness Spit. You and your party are driven to and from the Lighthouse in a four-wheel drive transfer vehicle. Keeper duties during your stay include greeting visitors who have made the 5-mile trek out and provide tours of the Lighthouse.
“A minimum of four adults (18 years or older) are required on the Station for any given week and children keepers must be at least 6 years of age. Reserve one or two bedrooms or the entire keeper’s house. Reserving the whole house (8 persons maximum) comes with a discount and is great for family reunions, a gathering of bird watchers or photographers, or a get together for a group of friends. Keepers must be NDLSA members. More details about the Keeper Program are detailed at https://newdungenesslighthouse.com/keeper-program/.
“Before retiring and moving to Sequim, I lived in Missoula, Montana where I was a Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana. I also served as president and CEO of the Montana Broadcasters Association.
“I first learned of Sequim from one of my students whose mother had taught at Sequim High School back in the 1960s. They painted such a serene picture that my wife and I decided to see for ourselves and booked a little cottage on Sequim Bay for a week to look around. We have lived in Sequim six years now.
“After meeting several members and spending a few days as volunteers painting the interior of the tower, we made the decision to join the association. Who would have thought that scrapping, patching and painting a 65-foot tower could be so much fun?
“What makes Sequim unique? Great weather. When friends ask, “Why Sequim?” my short answer is always “Cooler summers, warmer winters and no snow, unless we want it and then it's twenty minutes away in Olympic National Park.” Also, the community, our local businesses and the many organizations run by volunteers. Whenever we met new people the most often asked question is not “Where do you work?” but “Where do you volunteer?”
“As a “destination” facility we also maintain a strong web presence for our out of community audience. We love having locals and out-of-town visitors, school groups and scout troops, families and adventurers, historians and seafarers. We look forward to your visit!”
For more information about the New Dungeness Lighthouse, tide charts, weather conditions, and the Keeper Program, visit https://newdungenesslighthouse.com/.