Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

• Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is the second-oldest standing lighthouse in Oregon
• This is the only wooden lighthouse in Oregon

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Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is a historic landmark sitting right at the mouth of Yaquina River in the Yaquina Bay State Park at Newport. The lighthouse is considered to be the oldest building in Newport, the second-oldest standing lighthouse in Oregon, and also the only lighthouse in Oregon with living quarters.

The two-story lighthouse was constructed by Ben Simpson in 1871 and first lit on November 3, 1871. This is a 42-foot station standing 161 feet above sea level.

However, it was in service for three years only until 1874. The lighthouse was built for purposes to enter Yaquina Bay at night. However, in real life, because of the shallow, rock-strewn entrance, ships would not never venture to sail into the harbor at night and during low tide.

Also, a few miles north, in 1873, Oregon's tallest Yaquina Head Lighthouse was established. The construction of the new powerful station with a beam that can be seen further away made Yaquina Bay Light obsolete. In 1946, Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was scheduled for demolition.  In an effort to save the historical site of the Oregon Coast, the Lincoln County Historical Society was created. It ended up being recognized as a historic site and later in 1970 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department with the help of Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses, and other agencies and people initiated restoration. In 1996, steady white light, visible for six miles, was re-lit by modern optic. Controlled by a photocell, it shines from dusk to dawn as well as on dark days.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Tour

The building is located on the hill and accessible by a walkway with a staircase.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is open for tours and admission is free. Two flights of stairs will take you up to the watch room where you can enjoy the view. Unfortunately, the lantern room is closed to visitors. In the basement, you can learn more about the lighthouse's history and the events surrounding it through the interpretive display and a history video.

The lighthouse is rumored to be haunted. The ghost story of Lischen M. Miller about a girl who disappeared in the building was published in an 1899 issue of Pacific Monthly magazine. This legend was later rewritten by other authors.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse hauntedHaunted Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

A teenage girl who enters a disused lighthouse is fodder for a tale about not venturing where you shouldn’t enter. A lamb to slaughter despite the juxtaposition of the lighthouse being a literal and metaphorical beacon of safety.


Yaquina Bay Lighthouse | Facts

Tower Height: 51 feet (16 m)
Focal Height: 160 feet (49 m)
Built: 1871
Operation: Deactivated in 1874

Location: Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site
Open: Year-round from October through Memorial Day from 12 pm to 4 pm; in the summer from 11 am to 5 pm
Accommodations: Lodging in Newport

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is located:

  • 1 mile south of Newport
  • 82 miles west of Salem
  • 133 miles southwest of Portland.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

From Newport,

  • Travel 1.3 miles south on Highway 101 to Lighthouse Drive and turn right to the Yaquina Bay State Park entrance.

Address: Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site, Newport, OR
Phone: 541-265-5679

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