Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

When you visit Newport, one place that you should see is the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in the Yaquina Bay State Park. The lighthouse has been  restored and is open to the public. You can marvel up-close the architecture of the structure and wonder at it’s history. Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is a quaint two-story structure located on top of a hill overlooking the northern side of the entrance to Yaquina Bay.

The lighthouse was completed in 1871 with the purpose of guiding the traffic into the bay. Three years later it was closed by the Lighthouse Board. It remained empty until it was used to house a crew from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1888 to 1896. Ten years later the U.S. Lifesaving Service used it as quarters and even constructed a lookout station nearby. Later on the U.S. Coast Guard used the facility until 1933 when it was abandoned again.

Ghost stories started circulating with regards to the old lighthouse and in 1951 it was ordered to be demolished. But thanks to a preservation campaign it was spared and from there a movement began to get national recognition for the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. It was only in 1956 that Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was dedicated a historical site by the Lincoln County Historical Society. For the next eighteen years it was used as a county museum. In 1974, the old deserted lighthouse, said to be haunted, was restored through the efforts of the Historical Preservation Program. The Lincoln County Historical Society conferred the lighthouse to the Oregon State Parks Department.

Today the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is completely restored and furnished with period furniture. It’s light was reactivated in 1996 utilizing a 250mm modern optic. At present it is an official U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse privately maintained to help navigation in the area with it’s white light visible up to six miles off the coast. A visit to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is not complete without buying some souvenirs from the gift shop in the basement. You can take a tour around it and hear a ghost story or two along the way.

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is located at the end of the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site where visitors can enjoy picnicing, fishing, trail walking, and the beach. These are just some activities you and your family can enjoy while in the vicinity. Plus there are no fees collected to use the park.

You might also want to visit other attractions nearby like the Newport bayfront, Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

3 Responses

  1. Alecia Barnes August 3, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    I have always loved the Oregon coast, and the lighthouses are the icing on the cake. Great article…

  2. Anna August 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Me too – and thanks 🙂

  3. tree service eugene oregon January 18, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    That is a nice place to have picnics and trail walking. But there is really something creepy about lighthouses. Maybe because they are used by horror stories.

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