Yaquina Lighthouses

And yes, lighthouses plural is correct.  The town of Newport, Oregon has two lighthouses.  Saturday morning, when I arrived in Newport from the south I crossed this bridge to get to the main part of town:


Immediately after getting to the north side of the bridge I got off Highway 101 and headed out to see the Yaquina (pronounced  ya-KWIN-ah) Bay lighthouse.


This lighthouse (which is shuttered only because it wasn’t open for tours yet) is the second oldest standing lighthouse in Oregon, but was only in use for a few years – from 1871 to 1874.  A taller, brighter lighthouse was built 3 miles further north in 1873.  This lighthouse was reactivated by the Coast Guard (the modern tower you see to the right is a Coast Guard watchtower) in 1996 with a fixed (steady) white light visible for six miles to aid boats getting into the Newport harbor in Yaquina Bay.

I will return to this lighthouse later in the post.

I drove further north of Newport to the newer Yaquina Head lighthouse.  This looks more like the lighthouses I am accustomed to seeing on the east coast.


This lighthouse, first lit in 1873, is 93 feet tall and sits at 162 feet above sea level.  It is still is use.





I spent quite a bit of time here, mainly watching birds on the various rock formations just offshore.  On my way back to Yachats later in the afternoon I stopped again at the Yaquina Bay lighthouse, which would now have afternoon sun and would be open for tours.



This is the only lighthouse in Oregon made of wood, and is the only one where the living quarters for the lighthouse keeper was in the same structure.

And here’s another look at the beautiful Yaquina Bay bridge, now in afternoon sun:


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