PROJECT DETAIL

Tatoosh & Waadah Islands

Mitigation documentation of Navy structures removed from Tatoosh and Waadah islands

In 2013-2014, Artifacts prepared mitigation documentation for the Makah Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) to record a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligible derrick removed from Tatoosh Island and seven NRHP eligible Armco huts removed from Waadah Island. This mitigation documentation was completed using the standards set forth by the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) Level II requirements. The project collected histories, drawings, and conducted photographic documentation of the properties prior to their removal.

The derrick on the main island of Tatoosh Island, a small, rocky locale off of Washington State’s Cape Flattery at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is significant for its association with Washington state’s navigational aids. Derricks like this one were typical at lighthouse stations with challenging topography. The earliest known derrick on the island appears to have been constructed by the 1890s, on a northern bluff overlooking the island’s narrow beach. Used to hoist supplies up to the remote island’s plateau, the derrick played a significant role in transferring supplies and personnel from ships to land. The derrick was replaced at least three times over the years and its location shifted to the northernmost bluff. Associated resources included a hoist house (removed) and landing platform. The derrick became obsolete with the automation of the Cape Flattery Light Station and the discontinuation of the other federal uses of the island.

The Armco huts on Waadah Island were significant for their association with the strategic importance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca during World War II and as architectural examples of Armco huts utilized during World War II. Built ca 1941 by the US Navy, the northermost of the general storage huts was also used in 1956 to support the laying of antisubmarine cable across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The DAHP Level II Mitigation Documentation was conducted as a mitigating measure in response to removal of National Register of Historic Places eligible properties through the Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program (NALEMP). This program addresses environmental impacts due to former U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) activities.


Leaving Tatoosh Island

Short video taken from a helicopter while departing from Tatoosh Island on a field survey visit, September 2013.




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Tatoosh Island
Tatoosh Island

1890 view of Makah potlatch gathering on Tatoosh Island. The Tatoosh Lightstation and associated buildings are visible on the plateau above. Photograph taken by Samuel G. Morse. Courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives, State Library Photograph Collection.

Derrick on Tatoosh Island
Derrick on Tatoosh Island

Photo taken ca. 1943 of the derrick on Tatoosh Island. The derrick lifted supplies and personnel from ships to the island, and vice versa. Courtesy of Photographs of Aids to Navigation, compiled 1942 - 1958, Record Group 26: Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, 1785 - 2005, National Archives and Records Administration.

Tatoosh Island
Tatoosh Island

2013 bird's eye view of Tatoosh Island, off Cape Flattery. The former derrick is visible in the background on the far side of the island.

Armco hut on Waadah Island
Armco hut on Waadah Island

2014 photo showing one of the Armco huts on Waadah Island, once used for military storage.

Armco hut exterior on Waadah Island
Armco hut exterior on Waadah Island

2014 photo of a typical Armco hut exterior on Waadah Island.

Derrick on Tatoosh Island
Derrick on Tatoosh Island

“The Basket”, Cape Flattery Lightstation, ca. 1943 - ca. 1953. Source: Photographs of Aids to Navigation, 1942 - 1958, Record Group 26: Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, 1785 - 2005, National Archives and Records Administration.