Destruction Island, Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge

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Destruction Island, Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge

by | Mar 17, 2020

Destruction Island is part of the Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge and is located 3.5 miles (6 km) offshore, about 56 miles (90 km) southwest of Port Angeles and 17 miles (27 km) southeast of La Push, Washington.

The Island’s name is derived from two historical events. The first in 1775, when Spanish Navy explorer Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, dispatched a crew of seven men to the mainland in order to gather wood and freshwater on the beach near Point Grenville. The shore party was killed by local native tribes, leading Quadra to name the island Isla de Dolores (the Island of Sorrows). Twelve years later, Captain Charles William Barkley, an independent English fur trader, arrived in the ship Imperial Eagle and sent a party ashore from the island to a similar fate. Barkley named the river where the second massacre took place the Destruction River. Captain George Vancouver later transferred the name to the island when the river was given its local name, the Hoh River.

A lighthouse was built here and started operating in 1892. The U.S. Coast Guard permanently shut the light in 2008, and the structure is now under the management of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge, and is closed to the public. Read more here and here. Explore more of Destruction Island here:

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