Nothing promotes the coast more than the Oregon coast lighthouses. The surviving coastal lighthouses serve as visible and accessible links to the past. They are Oregon's maritime heritage.
Going back to the 1870s, the Oregon Territorial Act promised two lighthouses to the territory of Oregon, spanning the mouth of the Columbia.
Once those two lighthouses were built, a string of Oregon coast lighthouses were planned along the coastline, each about 40 miles apart from one another, in an effort to improve nighttime commerce to the Willamette Valley.
Although unoccupied by resident light keepers since the arrival of modern technology, some of the unique, classic lighthouse structures remain as part of Oregon's rugged, coastal landscape.
Built on prominent headlands or near major estuaries supporting maritime activity, most of these stations were established by the former US Lighthouse Board between 1870 and 1896, with design and construction aid provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Ultimately, the US Coast Guard became the caretaker of the properties and keepers of the lights.
After installing automated beacons to the lighthouses on the Oregon coast in the 1960s, the Coast Guard began transferring their lighthouse holdings to other government agencies.
The transfers prompted vigorous restoration efforts to preserve the predominately brick towers and frame dwellings that once sheltered the light keepers.
All nine of the Oregon Coast lights have been named to the National Register of Historic Places, and many are now open for public inspection and regularly scheduled summer tours.
Lighthouses On The Oregon Coast
Aided by interpretive displays, historical accounts and a little imagination, you can now gain some insights into what life was like for the light keepers who lit the way for mariners off Oregon's perilous coastline.
Climb to lantern or tower watch rooms and experience the panoramic sights once enjoyed by the light keepers.
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Thanks to the Oregon State Parks for this terrific information