Near Newport in Lincoln County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
A Keeper's Work Was Never Done
By modern standards, the regular routine of a lighthouse keeper was monotonous. It was, however, sometimes interrupted by unexpected moments of drama.
"Last night lightning struck the office and storeroom building. It tore off the copper, lead and shingles where the roof joins on to the tower…"
- Keeper's Log, Yaquina Head, October 18, 1920
Keeping the light
By 10 a.m. every day, the lighthouse lamp was refueled and its five wicks trimmed. Throughout the day, the lens and windows were cleaned and repairs made to keep everything shipshape. At dusk the lamp was lit – then watched from the watchroom until sunrise.
What else did keepers do?
They greeted tourists
”…Sea quite smooth. Keepers painting the watchroom and working the road today. Had two visitors today."
- Keeper's Log, Yaquina Head, April 28, 1877
They submitted to inspections
”…they never knew when an inspector was going to come. He came about four times each year. He would just come in the house like he belonged there and he would go through it just to see if the women kept the houses up."
- Philena Nelson, friend of the keeper's children (1916-18)
They painted, painted, and painted some
"Keepers painting the bracketts and getting stage [scaffold] ready and mixing paint to paint tower"
- Keeper's Log, Yaquina Head, May 27, 1891
They aided victims of shipwrecks
"Keeper sent 2nd Asst. to Newporte for assistance of a tug. The keepers gave the three men that got ashore necessary assistance done all in there power to make them comfortable.”
- Keeper's Log, Yaquina Head, March 28,
Erected by U.S. Department of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management.
Location. 44° 40.608′ N, 124° 4.774′ W. Marker is near Newport, Oregon, in Lincoln County. Marker can be reached from Northwest Lighthouse Drive west of Oregon Coast Highway (U.S. 101). Touch for map. Marker is located beside the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, at the end of NW Lighthouse Drive, within the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, about 4 miles north of Newport, Oregon. Marker is in this post office area: Newport OR 97365, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Family Affair (here, next to this marker); It's a Long Way Up (here, next to this marker); South to Newport (within shouting distance of this Newport, Oregon (approx. 3.3 miles away); United States Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat CG 36503 (approx. 3.7 miles away); Yaquina Bay (approx. 3.8 miles away); Yaquina Bay Bridge (approx. 3.8 miles away); Devil's Punchbowl (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
The following report, dated October 18, 1920, was filed by the keeper of Yaquina Head Lighthouse. “Last night lightning struck the office and storeroom building. It tore off the copper, lead, and shingles where the roof joins on to the tower; it struck all four corners and followed the water pipes down to the ground and shattered tiles that the pipes run into. It also tore off the molding in the hallway. It struck another place near the ground and scorched and blackened the paint and tore up the ground about 6 feet.” The office and storeroom are housed in a small brick building connected to the base of the tower by a passageway. This structure was not equipped with a lightning rod, as it was thought (Submitted on January 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Yaquina Head Light.
Yaquina Head typically had three lighthouse keepers under the U.S. Lighthouse Service; a Head Keeper, and First and Second Assistant. The Head Keeper as well as the First Assistant usually stayed in the two-story keepers' dwelling with their families and the Second Assistant was usually a bachelor. In 1939 the U.S. Coast Guard took over the management. During World War II, 17 servicemen were stationed at Yaquina Head to keep a lookout for enemy ships. (Submitted on January 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 104 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 7. submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 8, 9. submitted on April 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 10, 11. submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 12. submitted on April 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 13. submitted on April 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.