Built to Last: Dedication to Quality - Yaquina Head - Newport, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 40.583 W 124° 04.696
10T E 414538 N 4947567
A history sign at Yaquina Head, Newport, Oregon
Waymark Code: WMWTVP
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 10/13/2017
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
Views: 1

One of three history signs located in front of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
Text of sign:

Built to Last: Dedication to Quality

In the mid-1880s the U.S. Light-House Service vowed to improve the agency with a new dedication to structural and architectural quality in its lighthouses.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse reflects this change in values and the new focus on skilled craft and artistry. Completed in 1873, Yaquina Head’s sturdy construction and beautiful design included thick brick walls, granite decorations, marble floors, and ornate iron work — even though the lighthouse served a remote wilderness location where few people would visit.

Text of image captions:

In 1851 an economically built iron lighthouse in Massachusetts, Minot’s Ledge, toppled in a storm. Two lighthouse keepers died. In its place, the U.S. Light-House Service erected a sturdy stone structure and began featuring the new lighhouse on keepers’ hats as a symbol of quality.

Early U.S. lighthouses used an inefficient and poorly built light system made up of a series of small lamps burning whale oil. Each lamp consisted of a flame, a curved reflector, and a 9-inch lens.

As part of its emphasis on quality in the last half of the 19th century, the U.S. Light-House Service equiped new lighthouses with French-made Fresnel lenses.
Yaquina Head’s huge lens contained a lamp measuring 9 feet tall, which was lit by burning lard oil. The Fresnel lens prisms magnified the lamp’s 3.5-inch flame by bending its light rays into a horizontal beam visible to ships 20 miles out at sea.

Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse, Massachusetts, 1851
Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Oregon, 1873
Compare the two lighthouse drawings. Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse was built with spindly iron legs. Yaquina Head Lighthouse features thick brick walls and an attention to architectural details, such as decorative braces and granite tile patterns.
Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: BLM

Marker Type: Trail

Region: Coast

County: Lincoln

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

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Volcanoguy visited Built to Last: Dedication to Quality - Yaquina Head - Newport, Oregon 09/25/2017 Volcanoguy visited it