Umqua River Lighthouse

The Umqua River Light is located just south of Reedsport at the entrance to Winchester Bay. This is the second light to be contructed here. The first was built in 1857 and was the first lighthouse on the Oregon coast. However, because of the unstable ground and the eroding sands, this light fell into the sea in 1861. Two new lights were commissioned at the same time, the Umqua River and Heceta Head. They were designed by the same company and to be built at the same time.

The Umqua River Lighthouse encountered several problems along the way. First, their contractor went bankrupt putting a halt to the building. Once back on track, their lens was delivered but they were not yet ready to install it so it was sent up the coast to Heceta Head and installed there. When they were finally ready, a new lens arrived but it didn't fit. It was bigger and used a slightly different rotating system than originally designed so they made the modifications and finally installed their light. Umqua River Lighthouse was first lit on December 31, 1894.

This lighthouse is unique in that it has a red and white light signature. There were only 6 lens of this type ever manufactured and today the light at Umqua River is the only one still complete and still standing on it's original structure, a rare find indeed!

Tours are available for this wonderful lighthouse and Bob, your tour guide, is absolutely fascinating. You will hear the complete history of the light, enjoy a few laughs AND get to go up and see inside this fabulous lens.

inside lens inside lens

Newest Additions June '07

We shot these from the "view point" on Hwy 101 above. You can see the rare and unique red colored lens, even without a zoom lens or binoculars.

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all photos R.Wrede, C.Wrede
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