Heceta Head Light notecard

Umpqua River Light

Known as the first lighthouse on the Oregon coast, Umpqua River Light was built because where the area where Umpqua River and the Pacific Ocean met was too dangerous for ships.  The original tower was built in 1857 however flooding and erosion caused the lighthouse to collapse in January 1864.  The second tower was completed in 1894 at a height of 65 feet and was fitted with a first order Fresnel lens and flashing red and white lights.  Umpqua River is almost identical to nearby Heceta Head Light.
            In late1983 the carriage wheel stopped working, so a temporary rotating beacon was installed. The U.S. Coast Guard wanted to stop using the Fresnel lens but a group of citizens and lawmakers rallied to get the lens repaired. On January 14, 1985 Umpqua River was re-lit and still shines brightly to this day.


By Gail Borgman McGuire ©2017