East Brother Light Station was built in 1873 as an aid to mariners in the San Pablo/San Francisco Bays. After many years as an automated station, and under threat of destruction and replacement with a light on a pole in the middle of the island, the facility was taken over by a non-profit 501 c3 California Corporation under license from the US Coast Guard.
Saving East Brother Light Station and making it accessible for the public to enjoy was a labor of love for many people. They, as well as the hundreds of others who also supported the project in smaller ways, can be justifiably proud of what their labors and donations have achieved. Click here to learn how you can help.
Click here to view the book.
This book was commissioned by the Board of Directors of East Brother Light Station, Inc., as a tribute to all who worked to make the project possible. But particularly, I would like to recognize the contributions of a few very special people: Lucretia Edwards and the women of the Contra Costa Shoreline Parks Committee who initially saved East Brother from destruction by successfully nominating it to the National Register of Historic Places; Commander Joseph Blackett and Wayne Wheeler of the Coast Guard who encouraged us and trusted us with government property; The Monday Morning Gang who continue to maintain and improve the island's facilities; and finally to Walter Fanning, engineer, carpenter, innkeeper, machinist, and skipper, who can do almost anything better than anyone I have ever known. His talents and dedication continue to be an inspiration to us all. Thomas K. Butt President, East Brother Light Station, Inc.
With intriguing backgrounds in television production, entrepreneurship and acting, Richard and Jude look forward to all of the different guests they will be servicing, entertaining and meeting at East Brother Light Station. As Bay Area locals, the two reside in the Berkeley Marina, aboard "Mariposa", their grand 43' cruising trawler when not tending to the island.
Richard graduated from the University of Houston obtaining a B.A. in Journalism then continued on to Boston University to receive a M.S. in Business Administration. After founding two video production companies in Dallas and Seattle and producing many nationwide video teleconferences, Richard went on to obtain a U.S.C.G Master of Steam or Motor Vessels License as well as a PADI Certified Open Water Diver license. From there Richard became a sailing instructor for Club Nautique as well as a Captain at Commodore Events.
Jude received a BA in Theater Arts at San Francisco State University and then continued on to the Neuro Linguistic Institute of California to receive her license as a Master Practitioner. She then helped start a non-profit theater company, working as a director and actress for a number of different plays. Jude has enjoyed the spontaneity of theater life and compares it to her life on the island. "We have a new season of fruits, vegetables, and people all the time, so I work to bring them all together to create an artistic, delicious and memorable time."
Please join us in welcoming them both.
East Brother Light Station was built in 1873 as an aid to mariners in the San Pablo / San Francisco Bays. After many years as an automated station, and under threat of destruction and replacement with a light on a pole in the middle of the island, the facility was taken over by a non-profit 501 c3 California Corporation under license from the US Coast Guard.
There’s a reason why governments were typically the ones who erected and maintained them, they’re the only ones who could afford the upkeep! Not having any governmental resources, in order to raise money for preservation and maintenance, we operate a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Inn on the island in the old lighthouse building four nights a week.
The keepers of old were nicknamed “Wickies” because of all of the time they spent trimming the wicks of the oil lamp so to keep the light burning strong and bright. While the old oil lamps are now history, the work of the lighthouse remains constant. Unfortunately, the proceeds from the operation of the Inn are not enough to do the whole job of preservation and restoration. As much of the maintenance of the facilities as possible is done by the volunteer group, the Wickies. There is need for all sorts of volunteers amongst the East Brother Light Station “Wickies” of today.
We have needs in every area, and donations of nearly all kinds can be useful. We especially need skilled people in diesel mechanics, construction, electricians, plumbers and donations of parts and equipment. Tasks include painting, gardening, carpentry, inventorying; whatever your skills or energy level, there’s a place for you.
To become an EBLS Wickie, begin by registering on the web site so you’ll receive the monthly invite to the work party.
Workdays are usually the second Saturday of the month, weather permitting. Each month, an “e-Vite” is sent out to all of the registered Wickies via e-mail. We have a limited number of available spaces on the workdays, so if you are able to join us, respond to the eVite as quickly as you can. When you respond, you’ll be able to see whether or not you’re on the confirmed list or on a waiting status. (If you’re on the confirmed list, and discover later that you can’t make it, please go back to the eVite to change your status so that someone else can take that place.
Workdays begin at 0900 with the short boat ride to the Island. We come back ashore by 4:00 PM the same afternoon.
For more information, please contact Angelina Schwark by e-mail at
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We need volunteers!Make friends, gain experience,help a historical landmark
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“Getting away from it all takes on new meaning at this one-of-a-kind inn, located on a tiny island in San Pablo Bay. Accessible only by the inn’s private launch, East Brother Island has unsurpassed views of most of the Bay Area, including the city of San Francisco to the South.”
- Mary Olmstead, Fodor’s California’s Best Bed & Breakfasts
East Brother Light Station is a lighthouse bed and breakfast located on the California coast near San Francisco, CA. Overnight lodging and day use are available at the light house.
Mailing Address: East Brother Light Station, Inc. 117 Park Place, Point Richmond, CA 94801 Phone: 510.233.2385
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