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Archive for the ‘Lighthouses’ Category

It’s National Lighthouse Day!

Posted by Jody on August 7, 2014

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon

I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse.

They were built only to serve. They weren’t built for any other purpose…

~ George Bernard Shaw


Inside the Light Station

Inside the Lighthouse

It’s not at all a scary climb in this historic lighthouse!

The View from Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse View

Here’s a look at the lovely view from the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse to the sandy beaches below.

“A piece of Oregon history sits atop a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River. It is the Historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874. It was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation on December 7, 1996. It is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing.” Source: Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses

Helpful links: American Lighthouse Foundation

The Association of Lighthouse Keepers

The United States Lighthouse Society


Posted in Lighthouses | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Happy Birthday, USA!

Posted by Jody on July 4, 2013

New York City, New York

~And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

America the Beautiful – Words by Katharine Lee Bates

Statue of Liberty trivia: “At the time of its dedication in 1886, President Grover Cleveland placed the Statue of Liberty under the administration of the U.S. Lighthouse Board, since it was categorized as a federal lighthouse. Although the Statue’s torch had been electrified for use as a lighthouse in 1886, the Statue had not been designed for this purpose and was not very effective. In 1901, the Statue was transferred to the U.S. Department of War.” (National Park Service)  Lady Liberty has been maintained by the National Park Service since 1933.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!


Posted in Lighthouses, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Honoring Memorial Day USA

Posted by Jody on May 26, 2013

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”

~ Maya Angelou

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Oregon Coast

Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site, Oregon Coast

The Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site overlooks the mouth of Yaquina Bay and its entrance into the Pacific Ocean. The property was given to the state by the U. S. Lighthouse Service in 1934 and 1971. It is a spruce and pine forested bluff containing an historic lighthouse, later used as a lifeboat station. The lighthouse has been restored and is open to the public. The park originally was developed for day use in 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The old lighthouse at the harbor entrance was erected in 1871 but was discontinued in 1874 in favor of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse several miles to the north. The Yaquina River is named for the Indian tribe that traditionally occupied the drainage territory. The adjoining city of Newport is a busy fishing and commercial port, very popular with summer travelers. In 1988, a Yaquina Bay State Park cooperative association was created by agreement with the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Division. The group provides information for visitors and tours of the lighthouse.

Source: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department


Posted in Lighthouses, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Posted by Jody on April 22, 2013

Looking up at the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon coast:

Yaqina Head Light, Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon

Gazing up 92 feet:

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon

Peering up inside the Yaquina Head Lighthouse tower – 114 stairs to the watch room:

Inside Yaquina Head Light

Inside Yaquina Head Lighthouse Tower

When the lighthouse was constructed in 1872, the children of lighthouse keepers and lighthouse visitors were not permitted to climb the 114 stairs in the tower to the watch room because the US Lighthouse Service feared they would trip and fall on the steep stairs or squeeze between the posts of the handrails. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse retains its historic stairs and handrails and thus the safety of children climbing the stairs is still a concern. Today, children must be at least 42 inches tall to climb the stairs of the tower. Additionally, adults must accompany and assist children ascending the lighthouse tower.

Source: Bureau of Land Management

I will vouch for that justifiable feeling of fear on the part of the US Lighthouse Service! On our last visit to this splendid lighthouse and the surrounding Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, our 5 year old grandson was “tall enough” to climb the 114 stairs to the top of the tower. I confess to being the big sissy of the group. The little guy waited patiently with my understanding hubby and quizzical son-in-law as I whizzed by them to climb to the top and back by myself. My very prudent and proper “respect” for heights seems to quickly blossom into a full blown scardey-cattedness when I’m with little ones (I know I’m not alone in this*)!

Come on up!

Glancing up at the first order Fresnel lens, manufactured in Paris in 1868 by Barbier & Fenestres:

Yaquina Head Light

Yaquina Head Lighthouse Lens

About the light:

The light has been active since Head Keeper Fayette Crosby walked up the 114 steps, to light the wicks on the evening of August 20, 1873. At that time the oil burning fixed white light was displayed from sunset to sunrise. Today, the fully automated first order Fresnel lens runs on commercial power and flashes its unique pattern of 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day. The oil burning wicks have been replaced with a 1000 watt globe.

Source: Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses

A view from the top of Yaquina Head Lighthouse toward the beaches of the Oregon Coast

Looking north from the top of Yaquina Head Lighthouse toward the beautiful beaches of the Oregon Coast

It was a “Great Day for UP!”

*My case in point: The Coastal Path, 36c – Kingsdown to St Margarets at Cliffe


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Up


Posted in Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Posted by Jody on April 5, 2013

Color ~ The Old Point Loma Lighthouse Lens

Color ~ The Old Point Loma Lighthouse Lens

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse – Illuminating the Past

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. What seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, had a serious flaw. Fog and low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished and the keeper moved to a new lighthouse location closer to the water at the tip of the Point.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Today, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still stands watch over San Diego, sentinel to a vanished past. The National Park Service has refurbished the interior to its historic 1880s appearance – a reminder of a bygone era. Ranger-led talks, displays, and brochures are available to explain the lighthouse’s interesting past.

Source: National Park Service

About the light: The original Old Point Loma lighthouse lens was hand crafted by Frenchman Henry-Lepaute. His beautiful master work was constructed with polished brass and several hundred hand-ground crystal prisms. Classified as a 3rd Order Fresnel lens, and weighing in at 1985 pounds, the light measures 5’2″ in height. When in operation, the beacon could be seen from more than 20 miles out to sea.

The beautifully maintained Old Point Loma Lighthouse is still quite a lovely sight to see!


Related link: A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Posted in Lighthouses | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The Monday Morning Blues

Posted by Jody on March 11, 2013

Cape Meres Lighthouse, Tillamook County, Oregon

Cape Meares Lighthouse, Tillamook County, Oregon

The Cape Meares Lighthouse was built in 1889. Commissioned on January 1, 1890, the tower is the shortest lighthouse on Oregon’s Pacific coast. It stands only 38 feet high! That’s because this beacon is situated on a headland that rises 200 feet above the ocean. It’s a bit of a drive from Tillamook to Cape Meares but it’s well worth the time. The views from the lighthouse are outstanding!

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is located 10 miles west of Tillamook, Oregon on the north end of the beautiful Three Capes Scenic Route. The park is open daily, throughout the year, from 7 am to dusk with no day use fee.  The trail head to the Big Spruce, Oregon’s largest Sitka Spruce, is located near the park entrance. Features within the park include Cape Meares Lighthouse, an informational kiosk, interesting viewpoints where visitors can view off-shore rocks for native birds and the annual whale migration, the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, nature trails, and the Octopus Tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree. A picnic area that can accommodate small groups is located adjacent to the parking area plus picnic tables are situated in the center of the parking circle. More information: Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse & Wildlife Refuge

Another helpful link: Oregon State Parks



Posted in Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Posted by Jody on February 11, 2013

Hog Island Lighthouse view from Nassau on the island of New Providence, The Bahamas

Hog Island Lighthouse, The Bahamas

Oh, what a beautiful mornin’
Oh, what a beautiful day.


Built in 1817, the Hog Island Lighthouse stands at the western tip of the what is now called Paradise Island, The Islands of The Bahamas. This photo was taken on a beautiful morning from the beach at Nassau on New Providence Island.

Hog Island Lighthouse details:

Paradise Island (Hog Island, Nassau Harbour)

1817. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); flash every 5 s, generally white, but the light changes to red when conditions are dangerous for entry. 19 m (63 ft) round old-style brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red… This is the oldest and best known lighthouse in the Bahamas and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. Located at the western end of Paradise Island (formerly Hog Island) marking the northwest entrance to Nassau Harbor. Site status unknown. Good view from cruise ships entering the harbor.

Source: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Lighthouses of the Bahamas)


I’ve got a beautiful feelin’
Everything’s goin’ my way.

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ ~ Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II


Posted in Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Weekend’s Rock!

Posted by Jody on January 19, 2013

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Tillamook Rock

Built on a rocky island 1.2 miles offshore of Tillamook Head, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse represents an engineering and construction feat that overcame great obstacles. From 1880 when the lamp was lit until 1957 when it was decommissioned, “Terrible Tilly” served the maritime industry. Five keepers attended the lighthouse: four on duty at the lighthouse and one onshore on leave. No families lived at the lighthouse. Rotations were every three weeks for that’s when a boat returned the man on leave and brought provisions and mail. Because of the danger and isolation, these lighthouse keepers were paid more. Giant waves battered the lighthouse often shattering the protective glass around the light. During a storm in 1896, a rock weighing 135 pounds crashed through the roof and into the kitchen of the keeper’s quarters. After decommissioning, the lighthouse was abandoned for two decades. Under private ownership in 1980, the lighthouse was renovated and converted to a columbarium cemetery. Since 1994, the rocky islet has also been designated a federal wildlife refuge filled with nesting common murres and cormorants. The lighthouse can be seen from Ecola State Park and from Highway 101 south of Cannon Beach. It is not open to the public.

Source: Oregon Coast Visitors Association

Don't forget your binoculars! ~Ecola State Park, Oregon

Ecola State Park, Oregon

Don’t forget your binoculars! 

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, Oregon Coast

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, Oregon Coast


Lighthouse trivia: Today, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse serves as a columbarium. A columbarium is a vault, building, or room with niches for storing urns containing ashes of the deceased. This site no longer accepts new urns.

Here are a couple of interesting related links: Oregon History Project, Seaside, Oregon


Posted in Lighthouses, Pacific Coast Beaches, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

A Point Cabrillo Christmas

Posted by Jody on December 20, 2012

Point Cabrillo Light Station, Mendocino County, California

Point Cabrillo Light Station, Mendocino County, California

Years ago Greg and I spent a few days immersed in the rich history and natural beauty of the Point Cabrillo Light Station in Northern California’s scenic Mendocino County. At that time, the head light keeper’s house was a charming little bed and breakfast with just a few guest rooms upstairs. We were fortunate enough to visit during the Christmas season when the whole house was decorated in a very tasteful holiday style. In the evenings, it was as if we had the entire coastline to ourselves. We could wander the property and enjoy the serenity that seems to encompass this portion of Northern California’s rugged coast.

Head Light Keeper's House, Point Cabrillo Light Station

Head Light Keeper’s House, Point Cabrillo Light Station

We were told by the inn keeper that if you stood in a specific spot near the lighthouse during the dark of night you could catch sight of the four beacons of its rotating light heading out in all the different directions at the same time. He was absolutely right, of course. It was a pretty amazing perspective!

Greg and I had the opportunity to explore the historic light house on a personal tour for the inn’s guests one evening, and in the daytime, we headed to the tiny, sheltered beach at Frolic Cove (aka: Pottery Cove), named for the clipper brig that lies shipwrecked just off shore. Our entire stay was one unique and fascinating experience after another!

Cristmas at the Head Light Keeper's House

Christmastime at the Head Light Keeper’s House

The Beautiful View from the Head Light Keeper's House

Lighthouse View from the Sitting Room, Head Light Keeper’s House

View from the Lane

View of the Keepers’ Quarters from the Lane

Sunset at Point Cabrillo

Sunset at Point Cabrillo

Does the scenery look familiar to you? The point on which the lighthouse stands sentinel is the sight of the fictional town of Lawson’s welcome home celebration for Luke Trimble in The Majestic starring Jim Carry.

Today, the Point Cabrillo Light Station no longer hosts a quaint bed and breakfast. The head light keeper’s house is now available as a four-bedroom vacation home rental, instead. Two additional cottages are also available for overnight stays.

*State Park website: Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park

*Here’s a wonderful reference:

*Dillon the Docent Dog spends a lot of time at Point Cabrillo Light Station and the surrounding area.  You may want to check out his personal blog!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!


Posted in Lighthouses, Northern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Christmas with Sanibel Style

Posted by Jody on December 7, 2012

Island beaches, seashells, a lighthouse and Christmas! Does it get any better than this?

The Sanibel Island Light, Sanibel Island, Florida

The Sanibel Island Light, Sanibel Island, Florida

Christmastime ~ The Sanibel Island Light

Christmastime ~ The Sanibel Island Light

Merry Christmas on Sanibel Island, Florida

A Merry Christmas on Sanibel Island, Florida

The striking Sanibel Island Light stands on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, Florida.  Located on the Gulf of Mexico, it was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay to guide the ships calling at the port of Punta Rassa (across San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island). The surrounding grounds are open to the public, but there is no entrance to the functioning lighthouse itself.

Seashell strewn Lighthouse Beach wraps from the Gulf side of Sanibel Island around to the bay side.  This area of the beach is very popular with beachcombers looking for “minis,”  the teeniest-tiniest of seashells. We’ve seen folks equipped with long surgical type tweezers patiently examining nearby seashell piles.

To find Sanibel Island Light  just turn left on Periwinkle Way from Causeway Road. Head all the way to the end of the road. Here you’ll also find a fishing pier and a boardwalk nature trail winding through the island’s native wetlands.  Facilities include restrooms and outdoor shower,  plenty of 24 hour paid parking in the large lot and fee-free bike racks. Pets must be kept on a leash around the lighthouse grounds, and on the beach.

Would you like more info on Sanibel’s world renowned shelling beaches? Here are just a few more posts on Sanibel Island:

Beachcombing? Shelling Regulations Abound. Know Before You Go!

Top Ten Florida Beaches for Seashells

Sanibel Island, Florida: A Beachcomber’s Bonanza

But wait, there’s more! 🙂 You might also want to type “Sanibel” into the search box (Treasure Hunt!) on the top left of this page.                    

Merry Christmas and Happy Beachcombing!


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Friday Finds, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Lighthouses, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 28 Comments »

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