Have you ever climbed the stairs of a lighthouse? Wondered what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper? Viewed a working lens? Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses invite you to visit Yaquina Head Lighthouse, where these questions and more will be answered, as you tour this historic structure, however the lighthouse will remain closed during the renovation expected to take several months.
The 93 foot tower, Oregon's tallest, is located on a narrow point of land jutting due west into the Pacific Ocean north of Newport, at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Winds and rain have buffeted this lighthouse since its beginning in 1872. It took approximately one year, and over 370,000 bricks to construct Oregon's tallest lighthouse.
The light has been active since Head Keeper Fayette Crosby walked up the 114 steps, to light the wicks on the evening of August 20, 1873. At that time 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 that according to the US Coast Guard, keepers of the aid to navigation, generates over 130,000 candlepower.
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, guide you through the lighthouse with tales of yesteryear.