The first known full-scale restoration of the exterior of one of Oregon’s most historic structures is underway at Yaquina Head Light.
The 93-foot tall Yaquina Head Lighthouse is being restored to its original 1873 appearance in a $1 million restoration project being funded by the Bureau of Land Management, which owns the lighthouse.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse, with its magnificent first order Fresnel lens has served as an active aid to navigation since it began service back in 1873. During restoration, a temporary beacon atop the scaffolding will serve as the beacon, but will only be visible for approximately eight miles compared to the power of the first order lens which beams its light 21 miles out to sea.
Although the lighthouse is normally open for tours, it will be closed during the restoration. However, it will soon again be open for public tours, with the public offered the opportunity to climb its 110 steps to the top and hear interpreters explain the life of the keepers and their families who lived at Yaquina Head and tended the light for much of its history.
After restoration of the exterior, the historic lighthouse will also be returned to its original white, black and gray colors. The interior of the lighthouse was restored in 2001.
The nonprofit group, Yaquina Lights, Inc., which also works for the preservation and care of the lighthouse and grounds, runs a gift shop at the site as well as at the nearby Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. Yaquina Head Lighthouse is located in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area near Newport, Oregon.
Photos by George M. Collins, Yaquina Head Light historian.
This story appeared in the
March 2006 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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