A job search sure to stoke fantasy and envy is now under way for two keepers who will be based at the East Brother Light Station, which has lit up the northern reaches of San Francisco Bay since 1873. Although they will share the salary and require qualifications that will rule out many would-be applicants, there has already been broad interest in the positions.
A local group saved the station from planned demolition in the 1970s, lobbying for its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places and working to restore and manage it as a bed and breakfast. Upon arrival, guests receive champagne and hors d’oeuvres. After a tour of the little station complex – the Victorian quarters; the lighthouse, which remains operational; a centuries old-rain cistern – they enjoy a multi-course dinner and a gourmet breakfast the next morning.
The job is certainly alluring, concedes Jillian Meeker, one of the outgoing lighthouse keepers. It’s also a whole lot of work.
Since the keepers, usually a couple, are the station’s only workers, the necessary skillset is as unique as the place itself.
Keepers must cook those gourmet meals, clean, provide spotless customer service, organize supply runs, and pilot the station’s single boat, which requires a captain’s license from the US Coast Guard.