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Central Oregon Coast's Heceta Head Light Celebrates 128 Years, March 30

Published 03/07/22 at 5:52 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Central Oregon Coast's Heceta Head Light Celebrates 128 Years, March 30

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(Florence, Oregon) – Way back in 1892, construction began on what would become a major icon for the Oregon coast. On March 30, 1894, the Heceta Head Lighthouse was finished and lit up for the first time, spending the next 80 or so years guiding mariners away from a dangerous reef and serving as marker for the entrance to Florence's Siuslaw River. (Photo courtesy US Forest Service)

At the end of this month, the legendary Oregon coast light, gift shop and Keeper's House that is also a BnB celebrate 128 years in action, with food, music, whale watching and a whole lot of outdoor fun.

The Heceta Head Lightstation celebration goes from 4 to 7 p.m. on March 30, a family-friendly and free event that takes place at the Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast in the Keeper's Home.


Courtesy Heceta Head Lightstaion

Taylor's Sausage will be grilling up free hot dogs as live musicians perform. Local experts will answer questions from the public about the natural features and history of the lighthouse, along with volunteers from the Heceta Lighthouse Interpretive Center at the Keeper's House and Oregon State Parks volunteers at the lighthouse tower.

The park is located on the central Oregon coast, just off of Hwy 101 and about 13 miles north of Florence. Parking is available at the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic View Point and parking is $5 per vehicle.

This party also kicks off a special raffle held by the Keepers of the Heceta Head Lightstation, happening all summer long. Donate to the non-profit for a chance to win prizes from Heceta Lighthouse B&B, Ona Restaurant and Lounge, and Sea Lion Caves, plus many others.

The last big celebration of the lighthouse was 2019 when they had events happening at Heceta Head as well as a parade in Florence.

For more information contact Heceta Lighthouse B&B at (866) 547-3696 or keepers@hecetalighthouse.com.

Fun Heceta Head Lighthouse Facts


Courtesy Heceta Head Lightstaion

The groups running the lighthouse had to stop giving tours to the top several years ago because the spiral staircase was becoming unduly stressed by all the foot traffic. Back in 2019, officials told Oregon Coast Beach Connection that the staircase was not built for that kind of wear and tear. Beyond that, it's a unique spiral stairway in that it's only connected at the top, with no landings along the way.

A long-standing rumor about the Oregon coast icon is that you can feel it move in really big wind storms, but officials say that's not true. The staircase itself may get a little jiggly with people on it, so that is likely part of the source of that legend.

As one ranger told Oregon Coast Beach Connection: “when the wind is really blowing, and there’s puffs of air that come through, you swear it’s moving.”

The lighthouse is actually still used for navigation, even with GPS and satellite technologies normally in use. While mariners are not completely dependent on it, it serves enough of an official capacity that maritime agencies are to be notified if the light goes out.

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