Oklahoma couple turn their back on city life for a month to live in an abandoned


An Oklahoma couple decided to ditch city life for a month and move to an abandoned lighthouse on a secluded island in Alaska – where their only neighbors are a pod of humpback whales.

Five Finger Island Lighthouse, which sits in the body of water known as Frederick Sound off the coast of Alaska, has a white light focal plane of 68 feet and is hours from mainland North America. 

The deserted island and its beaming lighthouse have even been the setting for murder mystery novels in the past – but the non-profit group that maintains it has promised that visitors won’t find a hidden corpse in the brambles. 

Briana and Don Drury are currently the official lighthouse keepers on the island, reports KTOO. 

The deserted island and its beaming lighthouse have even been the setting for murder mystery novels in the past

The deserted island and its beaming lighthouse have even been the setting for murder mystery novels in the past 

Pictured: Briana and Don Drury inside the lighthouse. The Drurys say that their life on the island gives them an escape from the rough and tumble of modern life - but they still have to work to keep their surroundings prim and proper

Pictured: Briana and Don Drury inside the lighthouse. The Drurys say that their life on the island gives them an escape from the rough and tumble of modern life – but they still have to work to keep their surroundings prim and proper

Five Finger Island Lighthouse, which sits in the body of water known as Frederick Sound off the coast of Alaska, has a white light focal plane of 68 feet and is hours from mainland North America

Five Finger Island Lighthouse, which sits in the body of water known as Frederick Sound off the coast of Alaska, has a white light focal plane of 68 feet and is hours from mainland North America

The married couple, from Oklahoma, work remotely from their computers, as well as manning the lighthouse itself – and admit that the job is perfect for people who enjoy ‘solitude and whale watching.’ 

Five Finger Lighthouse Society director Jeff Erickson travels to and from the mainland to take visits to see the lighthouse and learn about its history. 

The water surrounding the island is filled with an abundance of sea life – including humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals,  killer orca, sea otters, and hundreds of fish species. 

Briana told KTOO: ‘There is a lot of work that needs to be done around here. Tons of projects — we’ve been working on the solar array, and the batteries, water pumps, and tracing down electrical issues… And just general cleaning.’

The Drurys say that the island gives them an escape from the rough and tumble of modern life – but they still have to work to keep their surroundings prim and proper.

The island, which has a helipad, is surrounded by waters that are filled with marine life. The couple say they love whale watching from the top

The island, which has a helipad, is surrounded by waters that are filled with marine life. The couple say they love whale watching from the top

The water surrounding the island is filled with an abundance of sea life - including humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals, killer orca, sea otters, and hundreds of fish species

The water surrounding the island is filled with an abundance of sea life – including humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals, killer orca, sea otters, and hundreds of fish species

Pictured: The inside of the lighthouse house. Five Finger Lighthouse Society director Jeff Erickson travels to and from the mainland to take visits to see the lighthouse and learn about its history

Pictured: The inside of the lighthouse house. Five Finger Lighthouse Society director Jeff Erickson travels to and from the mainland to take visits to see the lighthouse and learn about its history

The island, which has a helipad, is surrounded by waters that are filled with marine life. The couple say they love whale watching from the top

The island, which has a helipad, is surrounded by waters that are filled with marine life. The couple say they love whale watching from the top

Although the beacon’s light is illuminated by the US Coast Guard, the couple still have to work to keep the structure and surrounding green land intact.  

Don and Briana have to manage their waste carefully while living on the island – as there is only one boat that can take it from the Five Finger Lighthouse every few weeks.

Briana added: ‘I think it’s the most beautiful place on the planet. So, when the board said they needed lighthouse keepers for three weeks at the end of the season, we said, ‘Absolutely!’

‘We actually haven’t had visitors come ashore yet. If we don’t have the money to fix something, it doesn’t get fixed.’

The island, which has a helipad, is surrounded by waters that are filled with marine life. The couple say they love whale watching from the top. 

Briana added: ‘You can just kind of close your eyes and hear these just massive animals making these just kind of primal, primordial sounds.

‘In the evening, they start bellowing and making these really deep rumbling sounds that you feel almost more than you hear.’

For the Five Finger Lighthouse Society, the small things are still big wins. 

After the lighthouse installed a new boiler, Jeff Erickson said: ‘What was accomplished today — we finally got our heating system. 

‘The boilers are hooked up, and we got heat in the lighthouse, which was a big accomplishment. It’s never been hooked up. So, it’s a really exciting day for us.’



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