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
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.
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.