Sunday, October 2, 2016

Yaquina Head | Inside The Lighthouse

In The Fall of 2013, we had the opportunity to visit this lighthouse. Yaquina Head is located in Lincoln County, near the mouth of Yaquina River. It is north of Newport, Oregon.In the early days it was known as the Cape Foulweather Lighthouse
It is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. The tower stands 93 feet tall .
The lighthouse was featured in a few movies. 
  1.  It was the setting for the "Moesko Island Lighthouse" in the film "The Ring" (2002) 
  2.  "Hysterical" (1983) 
  3. In the 1977 television series, Nancy Drew Mysteries, in the episode "The Mystery of Pirate's Cove".

The Lighthouse tours are available on a 1st come, 1st serve daily,  with the exception of  Wednesdays, noon to 3:00 p.m. 

This is the desk inside the lighthouse.

 Above are the containers that held the fuel to light the wicks.The light has been active since Head Keeper Fayette Crosby walked up 114 steps, to light the wicks on the evening of August 20, 1873.
 The oil-burning fixed white light was displayed from sunset to sunrise. 
Today, the fully automated first order Fresnel lens runs on commercial power and flashes its unique pattern of 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day. The oil burning wicks have been replaced with a 1000 watt globe.

The nightly vigil of watching the light is gone as are the resident keepers and their quarters, but the staff of the Bureau of Land Management, who are now responsible for the tower, would love to guide you through the lighthouse with tales of yesteryear. 
History of The Yaquina Head Lighthouse
The lighthouse was made in Paris in 1868 and shipped to Oregon. The Yaquina Head Light was first lit August 20, 1873, and automated in 1966. 
The two-story keepers' dwelling was built at the time the lighthouse tower and its adjoining oil house were constructed. In 1923, a one-story keepers' house was added a short distance to the east. In 1938, a one-story building replaced the original two-story dwelling. Both dwellings and all outbuildings (a shed, a garage, etc.) were then demolished in 1984.The space is now a grassy area.
Yaquina Head typically had three lighthouse keepers under the U.S. Lighthouse Service; a Head Keeper, and First and Second Assistant. The Head Keeper as well as the First Assistant usually stayed in the two-story keepers' dwelling with their families and the Second Assistant was usually a bachelor. In 1939 the U.S. Coast Guard took over the management. During World War II, 17 servicemen were stationed at Yaquina Head to keep a lookout for enemy ships.


The lighthouse still uses its original 1868 French-made, 1st order, Fixed Fresnel lens. It is visible  for 19 miles (31 km) out to sea. In 1993, the lighthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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