Hard Work - Heceta Head, Lane County, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
N 44° 08.193 W 124° 07.546
10T E 409949 N 4887655
Historical marker describing life as a lightstation keeper
Waymark Code: WMHVG7
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 08/16/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

This marker describes the history and life of the keepers of the Heceta Head Lighthouse. It is located west of the Keeper's House.

Hard Work

At a Lonely Light

Would you make it as a Heceta Head Lighthouse keeper?

Imagine living here, part of a tiny, isolated community whose lives revolved around the beacon of Heceta Head Light. You would:

Work day and night to keep the light in good repair, alternating dusk to dawn shifts with your assistant keepers.

Tend a large garden, plus chickens, horses, and cows.

Hunt elk and fish for salmon and smelt.

Send your children to the little wood schoolhouse.

Look forward to the arrival of the lighthouse tender ship, which brings supplies, news, and new faces.

Celebrate with a barn dance or a day-long wagon trip to Florence!

Three keepers were needed to keep Heceta Head Light shining true. In addition to nightly duties - winding the light's clockworks, keeping the lamp lit, and monitoring the beacon - they cleaned, polished, repaired, and painted the station during the day.

Photo captions:

  • The U.S. Coast Guard stayed here during WWII.

  • Children of the Lightstation keepers rode horses around the yard. The concrete steps beside you are the same shown in the bottom left of this photo. These steps were used to help mount and dismount horses, carriages and buggies, circa 1895.
  • The schoolhouse was a simple cabin down by Cape Creek, circa 1920.
  • Lighthouse keepers' garden.
  • The residence included yards, gardens, horse barn and chicken coop, circa 1910.
  • Lighthouse keepers' children combed the beach with hand carts, circa 1900.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Clifford "Cap" Hermon, head lighthouse keeper 1925-1956, circa WWII.
  • Lighthouse keepers and their families, 1902. Back row: Frank DeRoy, Paul Goodwin, Lilly Smith (Teacher), William Smith, Bessie Smith (Daughter), Olaf & Annie Hanson. Front Row: Gertrude Hanson, Willie Smith (Teacher's Son), Themla, Irene, Adele, Mildred and Howard Hanson, and an unknown boy.

Click a photo to enlarge

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Forest Service

Marker Type: Trail

Region: Coast

County: Lane

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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kJfishman visited Hard Work - Heceta Head, Lane County, Oregon 09/30/2018 kJfishman visited it
Volcanoguy visited Hard Work - Heceta Head, Lane County, Oregon 05/20/2013 Volcanoguy visited it

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