Celebration To Mark Heceta Head Lightstation's 125th Birthday

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
Portland, Ore. March 23, 2019 6:15 p.m.
A lightkeeper stands atop the Heceta Head Lighthouse north of Florence, Ore., in an undated historical photo.

A lightkeeper stands atop the Heceta Head Lighthouse north of Florence, Ore., in an undated historical photo.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Region

Heceta Head Lightstation on the Oregon coast is turning 125 years old Saturday, March 30.


Located about 13 miles north of Florence, the 56-foot lighthouse is one of the most photographed lighthouses in America.

The light from its lens reaches about 21 miles off of the Oregon coast.

A birthday celebration event will take place at the lightstation from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, March 30. It will be open-house style with live music, food and refreshments, said Terry Abeyta, program development specialist with the lightstation.

"This is to commemorate and celebrate when the lens was lit, back in 1894, and the completion of the Heceta Head Lightstation including the lightkeepers' homes,” Abeyta said.


There were originally two houses, though one was removed when the lighthouse switched from oil to electricity and needed less staffing, she said.

Now, the Heceta Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast operates out of the remaining house, which is where the event will take place.

The U.S. Coast Guard will kick off the event's opening ceremony. There will also be docents from Oregon State Parks and from the Heceta Lighthouse Interpretive Center to speak about the area.

Abeyta said members of the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum's Heritage Players will be dressed in historical period attire.

"Maybe about a half-dozen of them will be helping out and roaming around in period wear," Abeyta said of the Heritage Players. "They love history and they agreed to help us make this more festive and just represent life at the lightstation in different periods of time."

She said the lightstation is looking to start a nonprofit in order to fully restore the lightkeeper's house.

"We eventually want to add back onto the lightkeeper’s home, two wings. This will restructure the home back to its original historical footprint. It’s a precious piece of history that we want to preserve here in our region," Abeyta said. "We can then add an ADA lift and extend our commercial kitchen which will allow more people to experience our interpretive center and learn what it was like to be a lightkeeper."

She said she hopes the nonprofit organization can start within the next few years.

Both the lighthouse and lightkeeper's house are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.