Mary Island is located between Felice Strait and Revillagigedo Channel, about 25 miles (40 km) north of the Canadian border and 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Ketchikan, Alaska. Mary Island was named in 1880 by W.E. George, a local ship pilot. Mary Island is also the name of an abandoned customs house and community on the northeast coast of the island.
Mary Island was named for Admiral John A. Winslow’s daughter, who cruised past the island with her father in 1872 aboard the USS Saranac. The USS Saranac would later sink in Seymour Narrows, British Columbia after striking Ripple Rock. The U.S. Government established a customs house on Mary Island in 1891, making it the first stopping place for vessels sailing into Alaska from Canada.
The Mary Island Light Station, Alaska’s fourth lighthouse, was built here in 1902, although it was lit for the first time on July 15, 1903. By 1961, the light station consisted of a boathouse, oil houses, a cart-house, and several light keepers dwellings. Today all of this is gone except for the lighthouse itself, and it is a concrete shell with a solar-powered light. Read more here and here. Explore more of Mary Island here: