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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Florence in Lane County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Hard Work at a Lonely Light

 
 
Hard Work at a Lonely Light Marker <i>(click on photo to enlarge)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
1. Hard Work at a Lonely Light Marker (click on photo to enlarge)
Inscription.
Would you make it as a
Heceta Head Lighthouse keeper?


Imagine living here, part of a tiny, isolated community whose lives revolved around the beacon of Heceta Head Light. You would:

Work day and night to keep the light in good repair, alternating dusk to dawn shifts with your assistant keepers.

Tend a large garden, plus chickens, horses, and cows.

Hunt elk and fish for salmon and smelt.

Send your children to the little wood schoolhouse.

Look forward to the arrival of the lighthouse tender ship, which brings supplies, news, and new faces.

Celebrate with a barn dance or a day-long wagon trip to Florence!

Three keepers were needed to keep Heceta Head Light shining true. In addition to nightly duties – winding the light's clockworks, keeping the lamp lit, and monitoring the beacon – they cleaned, polished repaired and painted the station during the day.
 
Location. 44° 8.195′ N, 124° 7.547′ W. Marker is near Florence, Oregon, in Lane County. Marker can be reached from Cape Creek Road west of Oregon Coast Highway (U.S. 101) when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint,
Marker detail: Lightkeepers' Houses circa 1895 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
2. Marker detail: Lightkeepers' Houses circa 1895
Children of the Lightstation keepers rode horses around the yard. The concrete steps beside you are the same shown in the bottom left of this photo. These steps were used to help mount and dismount buggies.
on Summer Street, overlooking the assistant lightkeepers' house, beyond the path leading uphill from the parking lot. Marker is at or near this postal address: 725 Summer Street, Florence OR 97439, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Road Behind And Sea Beyond (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Designed for Seafarer Safety (about 500 feet away); A Battle With the Elements (about 600 feet away); Heceta Head Lightstation (approx. 0.2 miles away); Technology Spans (approx. ¼ mile away); Giant Spruce of Cape Perpetua (approx. 10.1 miles away); Harbor Theater (approx. 11.8 miles away); Welcome to Historic Old Town (approx. 11.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
 
Also see . . .
1. Heceta Head Lighthouse.
The first head keeper responsible for the light was Andrew P.C. Hald. With a highway buzzing past the station today, it is hard to imagine the trouble Keeper Hald had in making the transfer from Cape Meares. He first had to walk eighteen miles to Astoria, where he caught a train to Newport by way of Portland. From Newport, Hald walked twenty-four miles down the beach to reach Heceta Head. Hald’s wife and household furniture took an even more circuitous route, sailing from Cape Meares to San Francisco,
Marker detail: Lighthouse Keepers and Their Families <i>(click on photo to enlarge)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
3. Marker detail: Lighthouse Keepers and Their Families (click on photo to enlarge)
left: Mr. and Mrs. Clifford “Cap" Hermon, head lighthouse keeper 1925-1956, circa WWII.

right: Lighthouse keepers and their families, 1902.
Back row: Frank DeRoy, Paul Goodwin, Lilly Smith (Teacher), William Smith, Bessie Smith (Daughter), Olaf & Annie Hanson.
Front row: Gertrude Hanson, Willie Smith (Teacher’s Son), Thelma, Irene, Adele, Mildred and Howard Hanson, and an unknown boy.
then back to Newport, and finally by tug down to Heceta Head. During Hald’s five years at isolated Heceta Head, his wife suffered a serious illness and his baby daughter died from lack of medical attention. (Submitted on January 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Many keepers and families lived at the light station, which had its own post office and one-room school house. Last keeper at the lighthouse was Ossie Allik, who had the distinction of being the last keeper at Tillamook and Heceta Head. He turned the lights off July 20, 1963, when it became automated. (Ossie Allik died a year after retiring in 1963. He suffered a heart attack while aiding a motorist whose car went off the road.) (Submitted on January 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Heceta Head Light and Keepers Quarters.
The site originally included several other buildings — farm buildings and the single-family head lighthouse keeper's house, which was demolished in 1940, and was very similar in size and design to the remaining house. Due to electrification, the head lighthouse keeper was no longer needed, and the house was bought for $10 and dismantled for its lumber, which was used to build Alpha Bit bookstore/cafe in Mapleton, still standing today. The remaining keepers' house is a duplex that housed the first and second
Hard Work at a Lonely Light Marker (<i>wide view; Assistant Keepers' house in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
4. Hard Work at a Lonely Light Marker (wide view; Assistant Keepers' house in background)
Note: Head Keeper's house was removed in 1940; it was located between the marker and the Assistant Keepers' house.
assistant lighthouse keepers and their families. After the light was automated in 1963, the last keepers moved away. The porch of the Queen Anne-style house underwent restoration in 1981. (Submitted on January 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
Assistant Keepers' House (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
5. Assistant Keepers' House (view from near marker)
Assistant Keepers' House (<i>front view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
6. Assistant Keepers' House (front view)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 80 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on January 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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