St. Helens in Columbia County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Warrior Rock Fog Bell
In October 1856, the U.S. Lighthouse Board entered this fog bell and Cape Disappointment Lighthouse into service, thus establishing the first light station on the Oregon and Washington coast. Positioned on the north side of the entrance to the Columbia River, the bell and lighthouse warned ships off the rocky shoals of the notoriously dangerous bar. In 1888, the Lighthouse Board transferred the bell to Warrior Rock Lighthouse on Sauvle Island, one mile SE of this location. The bell’s clear peal was heard from here on foggy days. In 1969, the U.S. Coast Guard mustered the historic bell out of service and donated it to the care of Columbia County.
This history is contributed by the Columbia County Museum Association
Erected by Columbia County Museum Association.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Historic Bells 🔔, and the Lighthouses series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1856.
Location. 45° 51.822′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 230 The Strand, Saint Helens OR 97051, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. down the trodden path... (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis & Clark Discovery Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Woodland Community Veterans Memorial (approx. 3½ miles away in Washington); Deer Island (approx. 5½ miles away); Early Highway of the West (approx. 7.2 miles away in Washington); Fort Vancouver (approx. 7.2 miles away in Washington); The Finn Hall (approx. 7½ miles away in Washington); Thomas McKay (approx. 8.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Helens.
More about this marker. Marker is a flag granite tablet, mounted directly on the cement, in front of the subject bell.
Also see . . .
1. Warrior Rock Lighthouse Bell.
Cast in Philadelphia in 1855, the bell was first used at Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River. The winds, land contour, and roaring seas made it difficult to hear the bell, so the bell was replaced and moved to the West Point Lighthouse in Puget Sound before eventually ending up at Warrior Rock in 1889. There it remained until May 27, 1969, when a barge ran into the lighthouse causing considerable damage to (Submitted on January 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Warrior Rock Lighthouse.
The bell has the distinction of being the oldest fog bell in the Pacific Northwest. Cast in Philadelphia by J. Bernhard & Co. in 1855, the bell was first used at Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River. The winds, land contour, and roaring seas at the cape made it difficult to hear the bell, so the bell was discontinued in 1881 and transferred to Puget Sound’s West Point Lighthouse. Two years later, the bell was shipped to Warrior Rock. The striking apparatus for the bell was brought in from Washington’s Ediz Hook Lighthouse, which had recently received a stronger one. During its first season of operation at Warrior Rock, the bell was tolled a single blow every fifteen seconds for 316 hours. Joseph Haybrun, the station’s first keeper, recorded in the station’s logbook that he had “trouble with the bell” and that the “lamp kept blowing out.” Lightkeeper Frank DeRoy, who served at Warrior Rock for a decade, nicknamed the bell “Black Moria” because the striking mechanism would often break and he would have to ring (Submitted on January 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.
When Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was first lit on October 15, 1856, it became the eighth active light on the West Coast. The brick tower at Cape Disappointment stands fifty-three feet tall, has a focal plane of 220 feet above the sea, and tapers from a diameter of fourteen feet four inches at its base to ten feet six inches at the lantern room. The station was supplied with a 1,600-pound fog bell, but it was found to have little value due to the roar of the surf and the distance at which mariners needed to hear it. (Submitted on January 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 22, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 112 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.