Today is National Lighthouse Day and while the landlubber Ranch hands don’t live anywhere near a lighthouse, I am a big fan of the Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence, Oregon where I visited a couple of years ago when my daughter still lived in the area. Living in a land locked state, I originally thought I’d have to draw or paint a lighthouse to participate in this blog hop hosted by Rosy and her brothers and then realized in the middle of the night I might actually have a photo from that trip. Voilá!
Obviously Colorado has no lighthouses, so it seemed somewhat fitting to use this particular image which is more like a hint of one because you can only see a smidge of the house (far right) and its beacon at dusk. I’ve visited it twice now, viewing it only from the beach below.
Built in 1894, the 56-foot tall lighthouse shines a visible beam for 21 nautical miles (around 39 km/24 mi.), making it the strongest beacon along the Oregon Coast. It was named after Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta, who explored the region in the late 18th century. It had been used as a fishing and hunting area used by native tribes who hunted sea lions and gathered sea-bird eggs among the shoreline rocks. Legend has it area tribes built a great stone wall (which is now the cliffs) and tricked the Grizzly Bear brothers to their deaths there. White settlers moved to the region around 1888 claiming the surrounding land and the US Lighthouse Service approving the building a lighthouse the same year with construction beginning in 1892. Stones were brought from the nearby Clackamas River with bricks coming from San Francisco. The entire project consisting of lighthouse, a light keeper’s house and a couple of kerosene oil storage buildings were completed in August 1893 for a cost of $80,000. Heceta Head Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 for their architectural and engineering significance. The lighthouse is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint, a state park.
Both times that I visited this area, the coastline was shrouded in clouds and somewhat eery (even when I visited it during the day before digital cameras were popular, thus explaining no clearer image from that trip). It seems natural that a lighthouse was built to guide ships along Oregon’s rocky and cloudy coastline.
Happy National Lighthouse Day. We hope all your travels are well-lit with no crashing into rocks.
Live, love, bark! 🐾