The Heceta Head Lighthouse is known as one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. I contributed to that claim over the past several days. This lighthouse viewpoint, located on Oregon Coastal Highway 101, is wonderfully scenic and one cannot help but to pull over and take some kind of picture for a memory keepsake.
The headland is named for Don Bruno de Heceta. He was the first European, sailing under the direction of the Royal Spanish Navy in 1775, to record this high precipice, which rises over 1000 feet above the ocean. The lighthouse itself, is 206 feet above the ocean and it's 56 feet tall.
We missed the lighthouse tour by a few minutes but they were only allowing people in the small connecting building, not up into the tower.
Construction of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, begun in 1892, was completed in 1894. At that time, materials used were unloaded from ships and rowed to shore or they were carted by house-drawn wagons from the town of Florence. The bricks were brought up from San Francisco.
The only original structures that remain are the lighthouse, the assistant lightkeeper's house and the 2 oil houses.
Heceta's first order Fresnel Lens is almost like Bodie Island Lighthouse's first order Fresnel Lens (North Carolina Coast). This is the only active Chance Bros.-made Fresnel Lens in the US. The electric light was added in 1934 and was fully automated in 1963.
A view of the cove and beach area below the lighthouse head.
...and a view of the historic Cape Creek Bridge built in 1932.
Of course, we drive just a little bit further north to see what the tides are doing to the wave action at Cook's Chasm and Thor's Well.
The fog stays away this day and we get to walk out on the north jetty of the Siuslaw River.
We also find a huge collection of drift wood. It gets deposited there by wave and whirlpool action during those rough winter storms.