This week’s Friendly Friday photo challenge, ‘Illumination,’ reminded me of the many lighthouses we saw on our recent trip to the Oregon Coast.
Heceta Bay Lighthouse stands 205 feet above the Pacific Ocean on Heceta Head north of Florence. The light shining from the 56-foot-high tower flashes white every ten seconds and can be seen 21 miles from land, the strongest on the Oregon Coast.
Umpqua River Lighthouse is almost identical architecturally to the one at Heceta Head except for the lens. It’s the only lighthouse on the Oregon Coast to emit a red and white light; a red flash is followed by two white ones during a 15-second interval.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse served for the shortest period of time. Built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874 it was made obsolete when Yaquina Head Lighthouse was built. It sits on top of a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River, and is the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse is Oregon’s tallest at 93 feet, and made Yaquina Bay Lighthouse obsolete when it was constructed in 1873.
Coquille River Lighthouse near Bandon, was built in 1896 to guide ships across the treacherous bar at the entrance to the Coquille River. It is no longer operable.
Lighthouses warn mariners of rocky coasts, shallow waters and other hidden dangers, and help guide them safely into harbors. Even though GPS and other electronic devices now assist mariners with navigation, lighthouses still provide illumination as an important backup when other systems fail.