Time for Oregon Coast lighthouse number two. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is probably the oldest structure in Newport, OR. It is also the only remaining wooden lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. Built in 1871, the bay lighthouse could not be seen from the north so a new, more visible lighthouse was built, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Due for demolition twice over the years, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was declared an historic site in the 70’s and was restored under the Historic Preservation Act in 1974.
One of the most interesting aspects of this lighthouse is that it is haunted. Well, most lighthouses are haunted but this one has a unique haunting story. Here is a link to the most common one: http://ouroregoncoast.com/newport-area-guide/1461-yaquina-bay-lighthouse-an-oregon-coast-ghost-story.html Muriel’s friends also reported seeing a man at the lighthouse before they left. When you know the story and visit the lighthouse, it becomes quite real.
The kitchens in the lighthouses display so much of life at the time. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is the only one that houses both the family home and the light within the same structure. The kitchen shows the work that the woman of the house did daily with its wood stove and iron pots and all the implements of the day.
If you have ever cooked on a wood stove you know how tricky it can be. I finally learned how to make great pancakes on a wood stove that I was initially unable to make on a modern, electric one. Not sure why that was but I enjoyed the wood stove in spite of the work involved. These women managed them daily, three times a day, every day—not just on a camping weekend.
The house is 3 stories with the bedrooms on the second floor and this winding stairway is at the back of the second floor leading to the watch and lantern rooms.
Well worth the climb, at the top is the keeper’s watch room. He had to keep the light burning all night long and also keep a log pertaining to his duties with the light and anything else that might happen.
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is located in the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site at Newport, OR, just west of the north side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. It is easily accessible when open which is most of the time except holidays. Check online for dates and times. Manned by volunteers, there is no charge to tour the house and view the video in the basement. Don’t miss the framed braided hair artwork. This is a working lighthouse that was officially relit December 7, 1996. The lantern room is not open to the public but there is a replica of the light on the first floor. I visit here every time I am in Newport, Oregon.