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

Heceta Head Lightstation

Illuminating the Darkness

 
 
Heceta Head Lightstation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
1. Heceta Head Lightstation Marker
Inscription.
Lighthouses are not just scenic structures – they are life-saving innovations.

In the 19th century, most traffic sailed by offshore. To steer true, and to avoid hazards such as reefs and shoals, ship captains needed land-based beacons, as illustrated on the map (right).

Between 1850 and 1870, the U.S. Lighthouse Service built a string of Lightstations that dotted the Oregon coast. However, this section along the Oregon coast remained “dark"

Components for the Heceta Head Lightstation were shippedd in and unloaded onto the shore, then carried up the hillside on wagons.

In 1894, the five-wick oil lamp at the new Heceta Head Light was lit, helping to illuminate that darkness.
 
Location. 44° 8.129′ N, 124° 7.369′ 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). Touch for map. Marker is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint, near the parking lot, along the path leading uphill to the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Marker is in this post office area: 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. Technology Spans (about 600 feet away, measured
Marker detail: Trail to Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
2. Marker detail: Trail to Lighthouse
Continue along this short trail to discover the Historic Heceta Head Lightstation, maintained today as a partnership between the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Forest Service. Along the way, you'll find spectacular views of the coast as you learn about the lightkeeper's house and lighthouse preservation.
in a direct line); Hard Work at a Lonely Light (approx. 0.2 miles away); Road Behind And Sea Beyond (approx. ¼ mile away); Designed for Seafarer Safety (approx. ¼ mile away); A Battle With the Elements (approx. 0.3 miles away); Giant Spruce of Cape Perpetua (approx. 10.2 miles away); Harbor Theater (approx. 11.7 miles away); Welcome to Historic Old Town (approx. 11.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Oregon Coast Lighthouses
 
Also see . . .
1. Oregon Lighthouses - Beacons of a Bygone Era.
Throughout Oregon maritime history, ships loaded with cargo from the world’s seaports sailed up and down the rocky Oregon Coast. And the treacherous waters and vicious Pacific storms wrecked many a ship against the rocks and shifting sand bars. Most of the lighthouses in Oregon were built in the late 1800’s, and are now over one hundred years old. The kerosene beacons in the lighthouses were converted to electricity in the 1930's. By the 1960’s, all light keepers were removed from
Marker detail: Oregon Coast Lighthouses image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
3. Marker detail: Oregon Coast Lighthouses
the lighthouses, and now the beacons are fully automated. (Submitted on January 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. History of Heceta Head Lighthouse.
The construction of the lighthouse and lightkeeper's house started in 1892, and the lighthouse first cast its powerful light over the Pacific Ocean in 1894. For many years, conditions were hard for the lightkeepers and their families, until highway US101 was built through the small community of Heceta Head. (Submitted on January 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. The Gray Lady at Heceta Head Lighthouse: An Oregon Coast Ghost Story.
Named for the Spanish sailor Don Bruno Heceta who discovered the location in 1755, the Heceta Head Lighthouse sits 205 feet above sea level. The Heceta Head Lighthouse is known to be the most powerful light on the Oregon coast. Its light can be seen 21 miles. The spirit of a lady nicknamed Rue, or the "Gray Lady" is reportedly the resident ghost of Heceta House. Although no official records have been found of a child being born at Heceta Head, the grave of an infant girl was found on Lighthouse grounds. Many believe that she might have been The Gray Lady's child and that is why she is hanging around. (Submitted on January 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. Heceta Head Light. Heceta Head is part of the Siuslaw Indians' traditional lands. Heceta Head was a spot of frequent fishing and hunting by the
U.S.S. Rose tender and other ships carried supplies to the Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
4. U.S.S. Rose tender and other ships carried supplies to the Lighthouse
Native American tribes that populated the area. They hunted sea lions in the area and gathered sea bird eggs from the offshore rocks. In 1888, white settlers moved into the area and claimed 164 acres of the surrounding land. That same year, the United States Lighthouse Service approved the building of the lighthouse, and the government bought 19 acres, out of the 164 acres previously purchased, for the lighthouse structures. In 1892, a crew of 56 began construction the light. Because of the site's seclusion, building materials were either shipped in if the weather and tide permitted, or brought from Florence by wagon, the latter usually taking four or five hours. (Submitted on January 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
Path to Lighthouse (<i>view from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
5. Path to Lighthouse (view from marker)
Heceta Head Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 26, 2015
6. Heceta Head Lighthouse
Oregon Lighthouses image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner
7. Oregon Lighthouses
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 65 times since then. Last updated on February 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1. submitted on January 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7. submitted on April 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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