California island offers $130,000 for new lighthouse keepers


milky way over Castlepoint lighthouse

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

New Year, new you, new job … looking after a lighthouse in California? On an idyllic island in the San Pablo Bay, the East Brother Light Station — a lighthouse-turned-inn with a showstopping view of the Golden Gate Bridge — is seeking a pair of new keepers.

The position offers $130,000, split between two people. For the money they’ll be expected to keep this historic tower up and running.

Historic beacon

East Brother Light Station dates back to 1874, it was established to help sailors navigate the misty waters surrounding San Francisco.

Automated in the 1960s, the lighthouse is still operating — it’s owned by the US Coast Guard and maintained by non-profit group East Brother Lighthouse Inc. It’s been a West Coast bed and breakfast staple since 1979.

“I’ve been working on it for nearly 40 years and initially it was abandoned and we rehabilitated it and then we looked for some way to produce an ongoing revenue to maintain it,” local mayor of Richmond, California, Tom Butt tells CNN Travel.

Butt’s also the head of the non-profit that runs the lighthouse.

“It’s in a unique location, it’s in San Francisco Bay on an island and it’s one of the few — maybe the only — bed and breakfast inns that operates in a lighthouse on an island,” he adds.

Unique experience

The East Brother website describes visiting the lighthouse as “an adventuresome outdoor experience” — accessing the island includes climbing from a boat up a vertical ladder that, depending on the tide, is sometimes 12 feet high.

Once you’re there, it’s a unique experience — water’s in short supply so showers are only available for guests staying upwards of one night.

There are five rooms available, all named after the view from the room’s window — from the Marin room to San Francisco.

East Brother prides itself on serving high quality culinary options, the current house breakfast specialty is a delicious-sounding French Toast Soufflé.

Funds earned by the inn go towards restoration and maintenance of the historic building.

Experience needed

Applicants need to have past experience in hospitality and a seafaring nature — sadly, it’s not enough to just be enamored with the romantic idea of living in a lighthouse.

You’ll need a US Coast Guard commercial boat operator’s license.

“Unfortunately a lot of people who respond to this, they say ‘Oh, surely I can get a license?’ They think it’s like getting drivers’ license — and it’s not, if you don’t have it, you’re not going to get it,” says Butt.

Other job requirements include serving high quality food, housekeeping and ferrying guests from the mainland to the island.

The inn’s open four days a week and also hosts special events, including weddings.

The two keepers don’t have to be a couple, but they will share close quarters — so buddying up with someone you get on well with is probably advisable.

“The other thing is you need to have an outgoing personality. When people stay in a place like that, they want to have somebody who is cheerful and makes them feel at home,” says Butt.

The outgoing lighthouse keepers are Jillian Meeker and Che Rogers — Meeker’s a skilled cook, while Rogers is a talented boatman who’s sailed all over the world.

After two years living and worked at East Brother, the couple are ready for pastures new.

The new inn keepers will start in mid-April 2019, following two weeks training.

Butt says he’s had interest in the job from across the globe.

“For some reason this went viral, it’s getting inquiries from all over the world — Asia, Russia, Ukraine,” he says.

He also clarifies that to do the job, you need the right to work in the United States.

If you fit all the requirements and you’d like to apply, direct your applications towards Butt now.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News