The Rockwell Lighthouse is privately owned and located at the northwestern end of Galankin Island in Sitka Sound, about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Sitka, Alaska. The lighthouse was built in 1983 by Burgess Bauder, a local veterinarian who spent 18 months hauling the building materials and constructing the lighthouse on the high point of a one-acre (0.4 ha) private island. The lighthouse is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard as an active aid to navigation.
Galankin Island is 0.8 miles (1.3 km) long, and was first named “Ostrov Peschanyy” meaning “Sandy Island” in 1809 by the Russian navigator Ivan Vasiliev. In 1850, the island was renamed “Ostrov Galankin” by Captain Mikhail Dmitriyevich Tebenkov of the Imperial Russian Navy who derived the name from “galanka” meaning “brick stove”. In 1880, Captain Lester Anthony Beardslee of the U.S. Navy, who commanded the USS Jamestown, named it “Thompson Island” for Richard Wigginton Thompson, who was Secretary of the Navy under President Hayes in 1877-1880.
In 1883, William Healey Dall of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey applied the name Galankin Islands to a larger group of islands that includes Bamdoroshni, Galankin, and Whale Island, with many surrounding smaller islands including the Gilmore Islands, the McClellan Group, Ball Islets, Beardslee Islands, Sheep, Katz, Rockwell, Breast, and Kutkan Islands. The Ball Islets form the eastern part of the Galankin Group and were named in 1879 after Colonel Mottrom Dulany Ball, the Collector of Customs at Sitka, who presided over the HMS Osprey Incident. Read more here and here. Explore more of the Galankin Islands here: