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History & Mystery
Published: 06/12/2008
 

Oregon's tallest lighthouse has stood guard over the Pacific shore north of Newport at Yaquina Head for 135 years. The lighthouse stands 93 feet tall on a bluff, sitting 162 feet above sea level, and its light can be seen by ships 19 miles out to sea. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse has a colorful and mysterious history, including compasses of nearby ships suddenly going awry and the ghost of a young woman roaming the beach. On its watch, the lighthouse has withstood hurricane force winds and rain and been hit by lightning, yet the stalwart sentinel remains unbowed. The lighthouse underwent extensive restoration and repairs that were completed in 2006 and the first order Fresnel lens is now illuminated by a 1000-watt electric light. With repairs and a fresh coat of paint, the lighthouse continues its solitary vigil. A spiral staircase with 114 steps will take hardy visitors to the top for a breathtaking view. During the summer, the lighthouse is open from 9am to 4pm. For the remainder of the year, hours are from noon until 4pm, with longer hours on weekends. Located in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, there is a nominal charge for vehicle entry. Ghostly sightings? See for yourself. - By Stella Bennett

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