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Heceta Head Light
Heceta Head Light - View of Heceta Head Light showing Heceta Head
View of Heceta Head Light showing Heceta Head
Location: Heceta Head,Florence, Oregon
Coordinates 44°08′15″N 124°07′40″W / 44.13737°N 124.127835°W / 44.13737; -124.127835Coordinates: 44°08′15″N 124°07′40″W / 44.13737°N 124.127835°W / 44.13737; -124.127835
Year first lit: May 30, 1894
Automated: 1963
Foundation: Natural/emplaced
Construction: Brick/stuccoed
Tower shape: Conical attached to workroom
Height: 56 ft (17 m)
Original lens: First order Fresnel lens
Range: 21 mi (34 km)
Characteristic: Flash white, 10 seconds

Heceta Head Light is a lighthouse located on the Oregon Coast 13 miles (21 km) north of Florence, Oregon and 13 miles (21 km) south of Yachats, Oregon, United States. It is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint (a state park) midway up a 205-foot (63 m) tall headland. Built in 1894, the 56-foot (17 m) tall lighthouse shines a beam visible for 21 miles (34 km), making it the strongest light on the Oregon Coast.[1]

The light is maintained by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, while the assistant lighthouse keepers' house, operated as a bed and breakfast, is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. The lighthouse is 2 miles (3.2 km) away from Sea Lion Caves.


History and construction

A closeup of Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head is named after the Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta, who explored the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century. Before him, Heceta Head was a spot of frequent fishing and hunting by the Native American tribes that sparsely populated the area. In 1888, white settlers moved into the area and claimed 164 acres (66 ha) of the surrounding land. That same year U.S. Lighthouse Service approved the building of the lighthouse, and the government bought 19 acres (8 ha) (out of the 164 previously purchased) for the lighthouse structures.[2]

The lightkeepers' houses, circa 1900. The house on the right was razed in 1940.

In 1892, a crew of 56 constructed the light. Because of the site's seclusion, building materials were either shipped in if the weather and tide permitted, or brought from Florence by wagon, the latter usually taking four or five hours. Stones were brought from the Clackamas River and bricks came from San Francisco. Completed in August 1893, the entire project cost $80,000[2] and consisted of:

  • The lighthouse
  • Houses for the head lightkeeper, the two assistant lightkeepers and their families
  • A barn
  • Two kerosene oil storage buildings — if one caught on fire, there was a secondary source

Heceta Head Light and Keepers Quarters was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 for its architectural and engineering significance.[3] The site originally included several other buildings—farm buildings and the single-family head lighthouse keeper's house, which was demolished in 1940, and was very similar in size and design to the remaining house. The remaining keepers' house was a duplex that housed the first and second assistant lighthouse keepers and their families. After the light was automated in 1963, the last keepers moved away and the remaining house was leased to Lane Community College in 1970 by the U.S. Forest Service, which had taken over management of the building. The porch of the Queen Anne-style house underwent restoration in 1981.[4]

See also


External links

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