(January 1, 1890)
Cape Meares Lighthouse resides 200 feet above the Pacific
Ocean just beside steep cliffs. This lighthouse doesn't
offer many stories of peril like its sister lighthouses on the
On January 1, 1890 Cape Meares was lit by Anthony Miller (the
first principal keeper) and his two assistants. At this
time, the lighthouse consisted of a fire-wick kerosene lamp
and an eight-paneled lens that had both red and clear panels
to create a red flash every minute. Cape Meares' light
could be seen for 21 miles.
The story of Cape Meares reads much like "Little House on
the Prairie." A number of families took care of
this lighthouse through its years. Cape Meares
Lighthouse experienced weddings, childbirth, and one death.
A keeper, and new father, by the name of George Hunt became
sick and died from severe pneumonia on July 10, 1903.
While tending a lighthouse may seem like a fun job, it comes
with a price. Most lighthouses, including Cape Meares,
were a good distance and difficult journey from the rest of
1963 the original lens was replaced by a flashing light.
The lighthouse no longer needed someone's careful eye. A
few years after this, the Oregon State Parks took control of
the area. You can now view the lighthouse by visiting
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. The parking lot you will use
was once the keeper's dwelling and barn. The path you
follow down to the lighthouse is the same path that the
keepers once used.
is highly recommended that you pay a visit to this lighthouse
and park. There is no charge to visit, and the view of
the Pacific Ocean from high above is majestic. You will
also find the "Octopus Tree" nearby. This is
another terrific attraction in the area. This tree is a giant Sitka Spruce
that is 50 feet in circumference, and has six limbs that are 12-feet around.
To visit these attractions, follow the signs to Oceanside (9
miles west of Tillamook,
Oregon). Look for signs to Cape Meares State Park just
before you get to Oceanside. It might be a little out of
your way, but it is well worth the time, and should be no problem to find.
* Nelson, Sharlene & Ted. Umbrella Guide to
Epicenter Press Inc. 1994.
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