Board of Directors

Thomas Butt

Board President

Peter Martin

Vice Board President

Kristen Gates

Board Treasurer

Charles Duncan

Board Secretary

Desiree Heveroh

Board Member

Shirley Butt

Board Member

Charles Lewis IV

Board Member

Jobs - Keepers Search

Accepting Applications for Innkeepers for East Brother Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast

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San Francisco Bay 




Contact (Media Only – No Applications): Tom Butt 510/220-1577, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Richmond, CA: East Brother Light Station, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, is seeking applicants for innkeepers of the bed and breakfast inn at East Brother Light Station, an island in San Francisco Bay that is the home of an intact 1874 lighthouse and fog signal. 

After a 15-month hiatus due to COVID-19 closing, we are targeting reopening on September 1, 2021.

East Brother Island has an operating light and fog signal and is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard but maintained for public use by East Brother Light Station, Inc. Since 1979, it has been operated as one of California's best-known and unique bed and breakfast inns. The income from operations is used by a group of volunteers to maintain the buildings and other structures, which are both a California State Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

The successful candidates will be a two-person team or couple, one of whom must possess a Coast Guard commercial boat operator's license. They will operate the five-room inn, serving both dinner and breakfast, as well as providing ferry service for guests and all other tasks from chef to maid.  High-quality culinary experience and capability will be a critical qualification. The inn is open four days a week, and the island is also available for day use and special events. The new keepers will start operations on September 1 following training.

Compensation is a function of the level of business, occupancy level and the economy. In the last year (2019-20) the inn was fully operational compensation was $140,000, trending upward, for the couple. Compensation includes a health plan and living quarters on the island.

East Brother has consistently garnered five stars from Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Applicants can apply at Only applicants with at least one US Coast Guard license will be considered. Applicants must be COVID-19 vaccinated and must be non-smokers.

Please, NO PHONE CALLS from potential applicants!


You may have heard about our recent power failure. Here is the latest:

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 landside 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.


Can You Provide A Detailed Job Description?

The Lighthouse Keepers are a "couple" who, as employees of the organization, manage and run the bed and breakfast inn and day-use programs at East Brother Island. The five-room inn is currently open four evenings a week, Thursday through Sunday, and the island is available for day-use visitors on summer weekends. Duties include boat transportation, tours, dinner and breakfast preparation and serving, and cleaning. Assistance with island maintenance is by a volunteer group. A copy of the Personnel Manual is available on request.

Define What You Mean By "Couple?"

We use the word "couple" loosely because the job requires two persons who must live and work together in close quarters. They do not necessarily have to be a married couple.

What Are The Minimum Qualifications?

One of the individuals must possess a valid U.S. Coast Guard commercial operator's license for a boat carrying at least six passengers. If you do not have this, please do not waste your time and ours by applying. Keepers must have culinary experience or abilities, must be warm and presentable to the public, and must be enthusiastic and self-motivated. Children are incompatible with this job, as are pets. Smoking is not permitted. Previous food service or hotel-type experience may be helpful but is not required.

How Can I Get A Coast Guard License?


Compensation And Housing

Compensation is a function of the level of business. Essentially, 40% of the gross is taken by the non-profit corporation for maintenance and capital improvements. The remaining 60% goes to the Keepers after subtracting the expenses of operation, principally food, beverage, gasoline, etc. In 2019-20, the Keepers’ gross pay was about $140,000 annually, trending upward, for the couple, plus about $10,000 in health insurance. Typically, keepers take 2-4 weeks of vacation. Modest housing is available on the island, but some keepers in the past have elected to live off the island during days off. We prefer the keepers live on the island full time.

Pets And Children

The job is incompatible with children, and pets are strongly discouraged, especially dogs.

Why Would We Want This Job?

Incomparable views; meet a lot of interesting people; one of California's best-known bed and breakfast inns; hard work but pretty good pay for a young couple (or a couple of any age) doing something unique; birds, marine mammals, fresh air, boats; and history. East Brother is a registered California Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

How To Apply

Click here to apply.

History of the Light Station

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.

East Brother Lighthouse Station History


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.


About the Innkeepers


Even though the island is closed during the pandemic, we have dedicated caretakers watching over East Brother Light Station, with more news to follow soon.


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.

Lighthouses Are Expensive To Run

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.

Maintaining A Lighthouse Is A Never-ending Task

kristen-on-wickie-dayThe 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.

How To Volunteer


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 1600 the same afternoon.

For more information, please contact our volunteer manager at e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seeking Innkeepers

Job: Keepers Search

We are seeking applicants for Keepers of East Brother Light Station. The new keepers will start in August 2021. Click to learn more and apply.

Critical Work Continues!

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.

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In The News

“You can sit and watch big ships and little seals cruise by, or gaze at the reposing birds or the rushing tide below the dock. There’s a sense of intimacy here and a feeling of remoteness, even though it’s just a short distance to the mainland.”

- Doug McConnell, Bay Area Backroads