Friday, August 12, 2016

Oregon Coast Lighthouse #3

Blogger friends,

It has been quite a week for my family. My older daughter, while on vacation in Wisconsin, suffered a mild stroke on August 1. Because of her nursing knowledge (nurse practitioner) and some cool heads among her friends, she was life flighted to a stroke center in Duluth, MN. Now a week later, she has no serious residual effects except for some sensation issues in her hand and face. Praise the Lord for that! They have found the source of the stroke in one of her carotid arteries, so she is now seeing doctors to find out what if anything can be done except to be on anti-cholesterol drugs and such. She is seeing a vascular surgeon and will have some decisions to make going forward. For those of you who follow me, this is Carson's mom. He is only nine. Since she is on "house arrest" as she calls it, I'm spending time with her to keep her from running at her usual 90 miles per hour!

This is the third lighthouse we visited on our tour south on the Oregon Coast. It's called the Umpqua Lighthouse. Here's the write up on Wikipedia:

Located at the mouth of Winchester Bay, Oregon, the first Umpqua River Light was built in 1855 and lit in 1857. Built along the river channel, the original light was vulnerable to seasonal flooding. This led to yearly erosion of the sand embankment of the light. In October 1863, the building's foundations had become too unstable and the structure soon collapsed. Before its collapse, the Light House Board had foreseen the need to build a new light at the location. However, it was 1888 before Congress approved of a construction of a new light.[1]
Construction started on the new light in 1892, and it was first lit in 1894. Built at the same time as Heceta Head Light, it was built from the same plans and is virtually identical to its more northern sister.[2] Unlike its predecessor, the new light had several advantages over the original light. Built 100 feet (30 m) above the river, the new light was safe from flooding. This was partly due to the Light House Board's insistence that ships be able to plot a course based on visible lighthouses. The original light was not visible at sea and was only usable as an aid to ships approaching the river. The new light used a clockwork mechanism to rotate the Fresnel lens, and was eventually automated in 1966. The rotation mechanism served in the light for 89 years before it finally broke down and was removed. The Coast Guard, in charge of the light at this point, wanted to replace the mechanism with a new one. However, strong public outcry forced those plans to be aborted, and in 1985, the old mechanism was returned to its position after being fully restored.[1]
The structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.[3]
Visitors can tour the lighthouse and adjacent Coastal History Museum from May through September. The museum is located in a historic U.S. Coast Guard station and features exhibits on the lighthouse, local history and the U.S. Coast Guard history on the Umpqua River.[4]
All lighthouses are beautiful to us. Be sure to watch for the one I post next week, as it is one of my favorites.
Linda Kay
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