Heceta Head Lightstation marks 125 years

This year marks the 125h anniversary of the Heceta Head Lightstation, located halfway between Yachats and Florence. In celebration, a variety of events and activities are being planned. (Courtesy photo)

The Heceta Head Lightstation, locatedhalfway between Yachats and Florence,is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

The Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast, next to the lighthouse, will be celebrating all year with a calendar of special events that allows more people to experience the historic lightkeeper’s home and raise funds to support the interpretive center and restoration of the property.

Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast resides in the Lightkeeper’s Home, a duplex built in 1894 for the two assistants and their families. The head lightkeeper’s house was sold and dismantled when the lighthouse was able to operate via electricity in the early 1930s. This makes the assistant keeper’s home a true treasure as it is one of very few lightkeeper’s homes remaining.

The interpretive center fills the first floor of the home with historic photos and artifacts found on site. B&B guests enjoy the first floor with two parlors containing fireplaces and views of the ocean, a large dining room where the seven course breakfast is served, a full size guest kitchen and the wrap-around porch with views of the Pacific and the Lighthouse Tower, and their sleeping quarters are on the second floor, which consists of six bedrooms and five bathrooms renovated with antiques, period adornments and stunning views out each window.

Docent led tours of the interpretive center are held Memorial Day through Labor Day on a regular schedule, but private tours can be arranged throughout the year. During this 125th birthday year, a few winter and spring events have been created for the public to experience what it was like to be a lightkeeper.

Here’s the line up:

A gourmet, seven course brunch, along with a docent-led historic home tour, is scheduled for Thursdays, Feb. 7 and March 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This not only includes a tour of the first floor, but a rare opportunity to tour the second level of the lightkeeper’s home. The cost is $60 per person, service charge included. Advance reservations are required.

Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast is also introducing the Speaker in the Parlor Series, offering homemade baked pastries and fresh fruit along with local Green Salmon coffee and Oregon Stash teas. Guests will enjoy listening to special guest presenters who will share historical stories of what life was like as a lightkeeper and lightstation resident. Some topics will be Captain “Cap” Herman’s (Heceta’s longest managing Head Lightkeeper) personal journal entries, readings from the personal letters of one of the school teachers who taught in the small school house down by Cape Creek, and an overview of logbook entries from the Head Lightkeepers’ log book that was recently found at the National Archives in Washington D.C.   These tales and stories about the families and visitors who were dedicated to being keepers of the brightest light on the Oregon coast are sure to be entertaining and thought provoking in the home’s warm, intimate setting. The dates for the series will be monthly throughout 2019 but starting Wednesdays, Feb. 20, March 13 and April 24, from noon to 2 p.m., for $25 per person. Advanced reservations are required.

The Exclusive Sunset Wine Tasting with Tyee Wine Cellars is a special opportunity to taste the extraordinary wines of Tyee served personally by the Tyee family, who has owned the local farm where the winery is located and the grapes are grown for 134 years. Heceta Lighthouse B&B will provide light appetizers to complement the current wine selection being served. The tasting will be on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., for $35 per person. Advanced reservations are required.

Springtime brings a Spring Tea & Mother’s Day Tea. The culinary team will serve a selection of fruit, sandwiches, desserts, and local Oregon Stash teas amidst fresh flowers and artful table settings in the main dining room and parlors. A brief history talk and visit to the gift shop will be available for those who are interested. The Spring Tea, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mother’s Day Tea is scheduled on Mother’s Day. Sunday, May 12. from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Both teas are $60 per person, service charge included. Advanced reservations are required.

Feeling adventurous?  An hour-long Spring Equinox hike will be led by a local guide on trails around Heceta Head Lightstation at 4 p.m. after the Spring Tea. Meet in the culinary gardens behind the keeper's home at 3:50 p.m. This will be a beginner-to-moderate level hike. No reservations are required, dress weather appropriate.

March 30 marks the day that Heceta Head’s First Order Fresnel Lens was lit and set into operation. Come to the Heceta Head Lightstation Birthday Party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. that day to celebrate 125 years. This is a free community event where people can enjoy hot dogs from Taylor Sausages, refreshments, cupcakes, live entertainment and special presentations by local agencies that all have been a part of Heceta Head Lightstation’s history. The interpretive center is open to tour, meet docents and many interesting community folks.

Are you interested in another date for one of these offerings? Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast can provide personal experiences for private parties, weddings and events on other dates and tailor special experiences for you with custom services for day or overnight retreats.  

Are you interested in being a part of the history? The Heceta Lighthouse Interpretive Center at the Keeper’s House is accepting applications for interpretive center volunteers to help with research, tours and special projects.

Space is limited for the teas, brunches, wine tasting and speaker in the Parlor Series, so reserve now by calling 866-547-3696.

Keep an eye on the Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast Facebook page and website — www.hecetalighthouse.com for more up-to-date information.


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