Yaquina Bay, OR - $4.95
Built of wood instead of stone, like most of the other lighthouses along the Pacific Coast, the white-frame Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon, has stood the test of time. Recently restored in 1996, it remains active and in excellent condition almost one and a quarter centuries after it was first commissioned back in 1871.
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon
Engineer Williamson, dispatched to search for sites to mark the entrance to Yaquina Bay, had recommended building a seacoast light at jutting Yaquina Head, four miles north of the estuary. He maintained that a light here was preferable to previously proposed range lights at the mouth of the bay. Williamson's detailed report was apparently overruled, since the board ultimately approved plans for a harbor light-an integrated tower and keeper's dwelling atop the bluff at the north side of Yaquina Bay. Established 3 November 1871, the three-story structure was fitted with a fifth-order, fixed Fresnel lens....
RE: The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse...One of the folks from the office has just returned from a trip to Oregon and loved this particular lighthouse. I think this will make a nice gift for them. By the way the railing is made from "whittled-down"flat toothpick ends and heavy thread stiffened with CA glue. The base is card weight paper over corrugated cardboard. I added a flag from the Montauk Point lighthouse reduced to 65%. I "rolled-my-own" columns from plain 20# bond and added the porches and picnic tables just because they were in the vacation photos. Thanks again for all the wonderful models. Though I don't know if I'll ever even manage to build 10% of the ones I already have, keep em coming.Your modelin' pal, Cecil (8/30/01)
Another nice model in the lighthouse series. There is a cosmetic problem with this one where the long addition glues to the building proper. The outline drawn on the main building is way fatter than the addition that glues to it. Not worth a re-draw as I am the only one who has noticed this on my model so far, but if it is ever re-done, this should be kept in mind. - Alan Wheeler
Another model good for beginners.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
Engineer Williamson, dispatched to search for sites to mark the entrance to Yaquina Bay, had recommended building a seacoast light at jutting Yaquina Head, four miles north of the estuary. He maintained that a light here was preferable to previously proposed range lights at the mouth of the bay. Williamson's detailed report was apparently overruled, since the board ultimately approved plans for a harbor light-an integrated tower and keeper's dwelling atop the bluff at the north side of Yaquina Bay. Established 3 November 1871, the three-story structure was fitted with a fifth-order, fixed Fresnel lens.
Before the new station was finished, however, government administrators had decided to go ahead with a more powerful light at Yaquina Head. An overriding factor was the discovery that Yaquina Bay Light was useless to southbound shipping; rugged Yaquina Head was obstructing its north-directed beams. The Yaquina Head station began operation in August 1873 and the Yaquina Bay Light station was shut down less than fourteen months later.
For more than a century, the Yaquina Bay property saw an unusual parade of tenants. Among them, US Army engineers "lived in" beginning in 1888, while overseeing construction of the stone jetties at the mouth of the river From 1908 until 1915, US Life-Saving Service crews made the place a full-fledged station. After the agency was absorbed into the Coast Guard, the latter branch built a lookout tower next to the light and stayed on until 1933.
By the late 1940s, officials had announced plans to demolish the much-decayed lighthouse. Local residents, stressing the historical importance of the structure, strongly objected. Concerned citizens formed the Lincoln County Historical Society to save the property. After years of community involvement, state officials agreed the site was worth preserving and leased it to LCHS for use as a museum.
During the 1970s, the Yaquina Bay station came under the aegis of the Oregon Parks Dept, whose crews accomplished a full scale restoration of the lighthouse building and furnished it with period pieces loaned by the Oregon Historical Society. After an official ceremony, the lantern was relit on 7 December 1996.
The lighthouse currently operates as a museum within Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site.
Directions: Access from US 101. From the north, turn right (west) at the north end of the Yaquina Bay Bridge (lighthouse sign) and follow the access road 0.15 miles to the station grounds. From the south, turn right immediately after crossing the Yaquina Bay Bridge (lighthouse sign), bearing right (under the bridge) for 0 2 miles, onto the access road to the station grounds. A 150-foot paved walkway leads from the parking area to the lighthouse.
Notes: The lighthouse is open all year, weather permitting: daily noon-4 (donations). Guided tours. Visitors may climb stairs to the watch room (lantern room closed).
The Lighthouse...shall be lighted and the lights exhibited for the benefit of mariners punctually at sunset daily...
...Every evening, half an hour before sunset, the keepers provided with a lighting lamp will ascent to the lantern of the tower and commence lighting the lamp, so that the light may have its full effect by the time twilight ends.
Lighthouse lights are to be kept burning brightly, free
from smoke...during the entire night from sunset to sunrise...Lightkeepers
are required to keep a careful watch ...and see that the lights
under their care are kept properly trimmed throughout each night:
and during thick stormy weather those keepers who have no assistants
must ...watch the light during the entire night...."
Built of wood, this white frame house has the 40-foot light tower attached. It was one of four wood frame lighthouse structures built in Oregon and is the only one remaining. The other three were the Willamette River Lighthouse built on pilings at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, Desdemona Sands Lighthouse on pilings at the Columbia's mouth, and Point Adams Lighthouse where Fort Stevens State Park is today.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was active only for three years (1871 to 1874). When Yaquina Head Lighthouse was built, there was no longer a need for this one and it was deactivated. Years later in the l940s this lighthouse was almost demolished. The weather-beaten old building was rescued by the Lincoln County Historical Society. Today Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a part of Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site. Open daily as a museum, it looks very much as it did in 1871.
The main floor and second floor rooms are open to the public with a gift shop in the basement. The public can go up in the tower to the top of the landing where the keeper had a bed and desk. The metal ladder going from there straight up to the light room is off limits for safety reasons. And you won't see any ghosts on your visit.
This lighthouse and museum are not haunted, in spite of what you may have heard. A, story written as a work of fiction by Lischen M. Miller (sister of poet Joaquin Miller) titled "The Haunted Lighthouse" in Pacific Monthly, Volume 2,1899, was retold over and over down through the years until people started believing it.
Because the lighthouse is on state park property, the camp hosts at South Beach State Park spend part of their time at the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse museum giving tours.
The volunteer group, Yaquina Lights, Inc., helps give tours, helps maintain the building and furnishings, and runs the gift shop. New plans are underway to build an interpretive center next door that will be a replica of the U.S. Lifesaving station at South Beach.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is located in Newport at the north end
of Yaquina Bay Bridge. For more information contact
the museum (541) 265-5679 or Yaquina Lights, Inc. (541)574-3129 or (541)574-3100
for Yaquina Head Hours & Tours