New book focus on history of Patos Island Lighthouse

Submitted by Arcadia Publishing

Since 1893, a light has been shining from Patos Island, the northernmost island in Puget Sound. Built to guide ships through treacherous waters, the lighthouse was also a happy home for many, including Edward Durgan and his family in the early 1900s.

Boundary waters smugglers and rumrunners once visited the island to stash their contraband, and it was a front-line guard for the nation during World War II. Manned for 81 years by the U.S. government, the light was automated in 1974 and is now maintained by the Coast Guard. Join authors Edrie Vinson and Terri Vinson, members of the Keepers of the Patos Light, as they explore the history of this unique Washington landmark in their new book, “Patos Island Lighthouse,” available on March 29.

Edrie Lee Vinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and English from Carroll College and a Master’s in history and archaeology from Montana State University. She has worked in historic preservation and environmental sciences. Since retirement, she has volunteered at the Orcas Island Historical Museum as the first vice-president of the board of directors and museum archivist. Currently, she serves as president of the Keepers of the Patos Light, an all-volunteer organization.

Terri Vinson holds a degree in Asian studies from The Evergreen State College. She attended graduate studies at the University of Hawaii. Her interest in local history was inspired by her grandmother, Edrie Vinson. She began volunteering at the Orcas Island Historical Museum doing archival organization and research, and she eventually became the program director for the oral history program. Terri Vinson now serves as the secretary for the Keepers of the Patos Light.