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Cape Meares Lighthouse
(January 1, 1890)

Cape Meares LighthouseThe 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 Oregon coast.

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 civilization.

Cape Meares Lighthouse In 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.

Cape Meares Lighthouse It 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 Oregon Lighthouses.  
Epicenter Press Inc.  1994.

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