Lighthouses

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Location: Heceta Head, Florence, Oregon

Year Built: 1892

Height: 56 Feet

Lodging: Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast

Active: Yes

Open For Tours: Yes

With a beam of light that is visible for 21 nautical miles, the Heceta Lighthouse is the most brilliant light shining on the Oregon coast. Named after the Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta, the area was a popular spot for fishing and hunting by local Indian tribes. Located on the Siuslaw Indian’s traditional lands, the site also inspired a legend. The way the legend tells it, the cliff was created when the Animal people built a great stone wall because the Five Grizzly Bear Brothers were eating their people. The Animal people tricked the bears into coming to the Heceta Head, and then threw all of the brothers to their deaths except for Waldport who escaped before the Animal people could throw him over.

Construction began in 1892. Materials were shipped in when the weather was good, and brought in via wagon from Florence when the sea didn’t permit delivery of supplies. With a budget of $80,000, the complete project included the lighthouse, a houses for the lighthouse keeper, a duplex house for the two assistants, a barn and two kerosene oil storage buildings.

In 2001, the lighthouse was closed to the public, and more than 100 contractors and craftsmen were employed to complete much needed repairs and restoration. The exterior concrete stucco that had been retaining moisture was removed, and the structure was allowed to air out in the coastal air. The tower’s metalwork and masonry were repaired, new windows were installed and repaired the rotating mechanism on the lens.

In 1940, the lighthouse was connected to the budding electrical grid and the head keeper was no longer needed. The head keeper’s house was purchased for $10 to be torn down to recover the lumber. The lumber was used to build the Alpha Bit Bookstore in Mapleton, Oregon, which still stands today. The remaining keepers in the duplex moved in 1963, when the lighthouse was automated.

Have you enjoyed a stay at the Heceta Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast or visited the lighthouse? What did you think? We’d love to hear about it. Please share your stories in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Karen Childress Said,

    We stayed in theQueen annes room and was so BEAUTIFUEL

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