Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

A number of people had wonderful expectations for Yaquina Bay and the Newport area. As a result, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was built to begin the expected migration of settlers into this fertile land. The lighthouse was lit for the first time on November 3, 1871. It is the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic PlacesBoth before and after the completion of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse people argued over where the lighthouse should have been built. As a result, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse was built just two years later. Then, just one year after that, on October 1, 1874, Yaquina Bay's light was extinguished.

Because of the short amount of time that this lighthouse was in operation, there are few stories to tell. However, there is a short Yaquina Bay Lighthouse story written by Lischen M. Miller that details a sea captain's daughter who was never to be seen again after entering the abandoned Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

This story as well as the lighthouse's historical presence is what kept it alive through the years, as this house Yaquina Bay Lighthouse spent a number of decades in shambles. It wasn't until 1974 that Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was fully restored by the Oregon State Park Group. Today, visitors from all over visit this house. It is one of the few that are open all year, and can be viewed from the inside. Several of the rooms have memorabilia of Oregon's maritime past that are on loan from the Oregon Historical Society.

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