COLLABORATION ALERT! Our friend Walter provided the photo for this awesome Northwest lighthouse, and we did the research to tell you about its origins and early keeper. Now that’s what we call teamwork. (And we welcome collabs from friends, so if your pooch goes anywhere old and cool, snap a pic and send it to us, along with the address. We’ll see what we can dig up.)
The town of Mukilteo, Washington was established in the early 1900s. But Native Americans used the land now known as Mukilteo Lighthouse Park for thousands of year, with local tribes often holding conferences there.
Once the town was established, residents began building homes in the area. The lighthouse was built in 1905, with the lamp first being lit March 1, 1906. Peter N. Christiansen was its lightkeeper, having earned that job because of his experience as a merchant marine for 11 years, 10 years of service in the United States Navy, and keeper of the Turn Point Lighthouse in San Juan County for almost 12 years.
Born in Norway in 1858, Christiansen (born Peder Nicolaij Kristiansen), his town of Stavanger was on the seaport, so his family’s draw to another one makes sense.
Unline many lighthouses, Mukilteo’s was in close proximity to a community with schools and shops. Christiansen, with his wife, Theodine and three children not only had easier access to necessities, but also had much more space than most lightkeeper’s families. Each keeper lived in their own two-story house, offering much better accommodations than Peter’s previous post, where they lived in one side of a duplex.
He kept his job at Mukilteo Lighthouse until his sudden death — presumed to be caused by a heart attack — in 1925. His wife, Theodine, took over his post temporarily until Edward Brooks became its second lightkeeper.
The Christensen’s oldest daughter, Anna, married George Losvar — the boy who lived next door to the lighthouse. Together, they had five children (one of which died at age 12).
It is on the Washington State Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places.