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Lincoln City Had a Lighthouse. Sort of: Trippy Oregon Coast History

Published 01/12/21 at 5:46 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Lincoln City Had a Lighthouse. Sort of: Trippy Oregon Coast History

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Nearly 100 years ago, tt was the days that Highway 101 was just getting going along the Oregon coast. Tourism, in spite of the Great Depression, was on the rise in this region. Tents were still most of the means for lodging out here – but things were shifting rapidly to sturdier structures like cabins and motor lodges. (Photos and historical material courtesy North Lincoln County History Museum)

And Lincoln City was about to get a lighthouse.

Well, sort of.

First of all, there was no Lincoln City. The area was divided up into five or more separate little villages with names like Oceanlake, Taft, Nelscott, etc. In Delake – now where the D River area is – a gas station sprang up.

It was called the Lighthouse Service Station, and part of it was a sizable faux lighthouse. The towering structure was a bit more than three stories high; about 40 feet, perhaps. What it was made of, no one knows, unfortunately. According to Jeff Syrop of the North Lincoln County History Museum, there don’t seem to be any records of that part.

“Basically, it opened in 1932, changed hands a few times, and the lighthouse was torn down in 1960 during remodeling,” Syrop said.

Still, the structure could be seen from quite a ways away. You can see by the shot taken in a snow-covered Delake it stood out above most everything else in the village. It was likely the tallest structure in the area at the town and undoubtedly prominent as soon as you rounded the bends from either direction.

According to documents at the museum, a man called W.E. Seago of Arlington came into town in June of 1932 to operate the Lighthouse Service Station. He brought his whole family here that summer, making their home in the village of Delake.

An article in the museum’s possession – from something called The Beach Resort News – is dated June 16 of that year. It makes note of some lodging development going into the tiny Oregon coast place.

“Work will shortly begin on a number of fine cottages to be erected near the service station. These will be strictly modern, of frame construction and stucco work.”

This is likely a reference to the fact many places to stay along the Oregon coast at the time were still tents, and this was part of the move away from that in the early ‘30s.

The stucco construction is also interesting because the lighthouse itself looks as if it could be that material.

Where was this faux lighthouse? According to Syrop, right where Lee’s Chinese Restaurant is these days, across from the D River Wayside.

The other photo of the place was taken by Francis Hall, Syrop said. He owned the biz by this time in the 1940s, and the shot was a proof for a publication called “Who’s Who in Oregon.”

Then in 1960, just four years before Lincoln City came to be, the lighthouse was torn down for the redo of the gas station. The hazy microfilm photos show that rather spectacular end.

More Lincoln City history at the museum.

Syrop said the gas station continued operating after the lighthouse was gone, eventually replaced by the restaurant. More photos below

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D River area below


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