Sunday, October 22, 2017

HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE

hl-articleNamed for the Spanish sailor Don Bruno Heceta who discovered the location in 1755, the Heceta Head Lighthouse sits in a beautiful location on the coast of Oregon just north of Florence and is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the United States.

Heceta Head Lighthouse serves as both a navigational aid to mariners and a popular tourist spot offering a 549-acre park of trails, viewpoints, tide pools, wildlife habitat and sandy beach formerly known as Devil's Elbow State Park. The area has since been renamed Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint known and includes the cove south of the lighthouse and the lighthouse itself.

The lighthouse tower itself is 56 feet tall and sits 205 feet above sea level. The Heceta Head Lighthouse is known to be the most powerful light on the Oregon coast. Its light can be seen 21 miles out to sea and is hampered only by the curvature of the earth.

Construction of the lighthouse began in 1892. The project completion was hampered and delayed by the cliff-top site since nothing could be done until the roads were built in order for the supplies to be brought up to the site. Although the complete project was said to have taken about 5 years, the light itself was lit for the first time in March of 1894.

The original construction consisted of the lighthouse tower, a single building that served as a home for the head keeper, a duplex building where the two assistant keepers lived and several storage type buildings. The single building was demolished in 1940 and the lumber was used to build The Alpha-Bit Cafe in Mapleton, Oregon, about 14 miles east of the lighthouse. The lighthouse was automated in 1963 and there was no longer a need for a lightkeeper.


Provided by nps.gov

County: LANE
U.S.C.G. District: 13
Year Station Established: 1894

 

NPS photo by Candace Clifford, 2001
Existing Historic Tower:
Year Light First Lit: 1894
Is the Light Operational? YES
Date Deactivated: N/A
Automated: 1963
Foundation Materials: NATURAL/EMPLACED
Construction Materials: BRICK/STUCCOED
Markings/Patterns: WHITE TOWER/GREEN LANTERN/RED DOME
Shape: CONICAL ATTACHED TO WORKROOM
Relationship to Other Structures: ATTACHED
Tower Height: 56
Original Optic: FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL
Year Original Lens Installed: 1894
Present Optic: FIRST ORDER, FRESNEL
Year Present Lens Installed: 1894
Height of Focal Plane: 205
Fresnel Lens Disposition: ORIGINAL LENS STILL IN OPERATION
Has tower been moved? NO
Previous Tower(s): N/A

Modern Tower? NO

 

Existing Keepers Quarters? YES
Year Constructed: 1893
Number of Stories: 2
Architectural Style: QUEEN ANNE
Construction Materials: WOOD
Other Structures: 2 OIL HOUSES (1 NOW SERVES AS GENERATOR HOUSE), GARAGE/HORSE BARN; 1 OF 1893
KEEPERS WAS RAZED

 

Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION IN NATIONAL FOREST/STATE PARK; KEEPERS SERVES AS B&B

Owner/Manager: U.S. FOREST SERVICE (KEEPERS)/OREGON STATE PARKS & RECREATION (TOWER) W/USCG ACCESS TO OPTIC

Open to the Public? YES (Go to Lighthouses to Visit for access information)

National Register Status: LISTED Reference #78002296
Name of Listing: HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE & KEEPERS QUARTERS
On State List/Inventory? YES; Year Listed: 1970

Miscellaneous:
SIUSLAW NATIONAL FOREST/HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE STATE SCENIC VIEWPOINT