Coquille River Lighthouse 1896 - Bandon, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 43° 07.437 W 124° 25.456
10T E 384142 N 4775563
Dating from 1896, the Coquille River Lighthouse sits at the mouth of the Coquille River on the north jetty of Bandon, Oregon. Now undergoing painstaking restoration, the lighthouse is open for visitors, one of the most scenic sites on the coast.
Waymark Code: WM6BPW
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 05/10/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
Views: 11

The Coquille River Lighthouse was first lit on February 29, 1896. The station consisted of a 40-foot tower and octagonal fog signal room. The tower housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens. The oil house stood on an adjacent platform.

The lighthouse was built on an island and connected to the mainland by a wooden walkway. The keeper's residence was a duplex on the mainland. When the north jetty was completed at the turn of the century, the lighthouse was connected to the mainland.

In September 1936, a forest fire swept through the town of Bandon. Of the 500 buildings in town, only 16 survived. The town went bankrupt. The resulting decline in shipping led to the station's closure in 1939. The lighthouse was replaced by an automated light on the south jetty.

The abandoned lighthouse deteriorated due to neglect and vandalism. When Bullards State Beach Park was created, park personnel evaluated the site with the intention of restoring the lighthouse as a park attraction. A major restoration of the lighthouse took place from 1976-1979. A new solar powered light was installed in 1991. The revival of the lighthouse paralleled the revival of Bandon, which is now a seaside resort town.

- Rudy Alice Lighthouse Net - Coquille River Lighthouse

A major restoration project is now being undertaken by a group of private citizens, Friends of the Lighthouse, and volunteers have made educational displays at the lighthouse and conduct tours to the top from May to October. They also maintain a web site with more information and photos of the lighthouse.

"As part of the Bandon centennial celebration in 1991, a solar-powered light was placed in the tower. The lighthouse is further illuminated in December, when it is decorated with festive lights.

Violent winter storms deposit piles of drift wood on the beach near the lighthouse and have eaten away at the lighthouse’s foundation. To correct this problem, a restoration effort, costing over $600,000, was carried out during the summer of 2007. The project included removing damaged stucco, repainting the exterior, replacing the roof, adding a false chimney, and repairing copper flashing. The colors used to paint the lighthouse were reportedly found on some older layers of stucco, but some locals strongly oppose the new color scheme and insist that white is the historically accurate color."

- Coquille Lighthouse Friends


This lighthouse, officially the Coquille River Lighthouse, stands today as a reminder of a past era when safe shipping depended on a lightkeeper and his light. From within the stuccoed brick walls of the adjoining 47 foot tower was a fixed, fourth-order light which beaconed 28 seconds, eclipsed two seconds. The light guided boats safely across the shallow beach at the mouth of the Coquille River until 1939 when it was abandoned and replaced by an automatic light on the south jetty.

In 1983, the Oregon State Parks Division leased the lighthouse and surrounding acreage from the Army Corps of Engineers for park purposes. Together these two agencies restored the weatherworn and deteriorated lighthouse in 1978.

Of the eight lighthouses remaining on the Oregon coast, the Coquille River Lighthouse was the last constructed. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: State of Oregon

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Coast

County: Coos

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": [Web Link]

Web link to additional information: [Web Link]

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skramble visited Coquille River Lighthouse 1896  -  Bandon, OR 11/18/2011 skramble visited it
CharlyBaltimore visited Coquille River Lighthouse 1896  -  Bandon, OR 09/27/2011 CharlyBaltimore visited it
Volcanoguy visited Coquille River Lighthouse 1896  -  Bandon, OR 09/02/2009 Volcanoguy visited it
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