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Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is an overlooked beauty on the Oregon coast |

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is an overlooked beauty on the Oregon coast

Bedrooms upstairs are filled with period furniture and accessories, as are the kitchen and living rooms downstairs. The life of a lighthouse keeper could be lonely indeed, but the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse feels like any other 19th century home – one that happens to be perched atop an oceanside cliff.

The lighthouse was first lit in 1871, commissioned to aid the ships that were fast making Newport one of the most bustling ports on the coast. Two years later, however, officials deemed nearby Yaquina Head to be a better spot for a lighthouse, making the light at Yaquina Bay suddenly obsolete. It was decommissioned in 1874, and its Fresnel lens was shipped to a new lighthouse in California.

Over the next 40 years, the building was used by the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard as a living quarters and a lookout. While the coast guard was there, it built the eight-story observation tower that still stands beside the lighthouse. In 1934, state officials bought the buildings and surrounding land for a state park, but by 1946, the historic lighthouse was slated for demolition. 

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