Lighthouse Park Interpretive Center, Skipanon, Warrenton
Astoria, Warrenton, Gearhart Virtual Tour
In Warrenton, right around the big marina that hugs the Skipanon River, there's an unknown lighthouse on the Oregon coast.
In actuality, it's not a working lighthouse nor has it ever been. It's called the Lighthouse Park Interpretive Center and it's a history museum, with the entire building and grounds dedicated to memorializing those worked in the Astoria-Warrenton area's fishing industry over the last almost 200 years.
Inside, there's not just documentation of shipwrecks and those lost at sea, but a variety of objects from the region's maritime and fishing past, photos, paintings and more. There's a model lighthouse, fishing relics as public art, a variety of rather intense memorials, and time-tripping photos and keepsakes of the canning industry that so fueled Astoria's growth 100 years ago.
It's eye-opening and moving at the same time.
Outside, remnants of the north Oregon coast's fishing industry past abound. An old, crusty anchor from the 1860s that was caught in a fishing net once. A memorial to the dead under a charming gazebo. There's a bell from a US Coast Guard ship lodged here, and a pair of harpoons used almost two centuries ago. Then there's the faux lighthouse itself: the top of the white house that imitates a sentinel, recalling those old days of seafaring and its ocean hazards.