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Lighthouses
Lighthouses hold a particular attraction to me. There's something about the durability of the towers. Most were built in the 19th Century, and have held up under extremely harsh conditions. There's also something romantic about them....the guiding light, helping ships find a safe harbor.
I have been fortunately enough to visit and photograph dozens of lighthouses, on both the east and west coasts of the United States, and even a few in Canada. Yet, I know I've only scratched the surface.
Ive now added some brief history to each, and a second page of lighthouse images. Enjoy!
For detailed information on these and other lighthouses, visit LighthouseFriends.com.
Bass Harbor Light 1
Bass Harbor Light
Heceta Light Beam
Heceta Light Beam
Yaquina Head Sunset
Yaquina Head Sunset 
Umpqua @ Night
Umpqua at Night
Popnce de Leon Light
Ponce de Leon Light
West Point Lighthouse
West Point Lighthouse
Nobska Lighthouse
Nobska
Sunset Through The Lens
Sunset Throught The lens
Lime Kiln Glow
Lime Kiln Glow
East Chop 2
East Chop 2
North Head Sunset
North Head Sunset
St. Augustine
St Augustine
Chatham Sunrise
Chatham Sunrise
Edgartown Lighthouse 2
Edgartown Lighthouse 2
West Chop
West Chop
Yaquina Bay
Yaquina Bay Light
e-mail: pat@patschilling.com

Unless otherwise noted, Pat Schilling owns exclusive copyright to all photographic images on patschilling.com. ANY use is prohibited, unless explicitly granted by Pat Schilling. 




























































Bass Harbor Light 1
Bass Harbor Light
# MN-101

The lamp in the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse was lit for the first time on September 1, 1858, and the beacon began guiding mariners into Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay. The lighthouse's white cylindrical tower is only 32 feet high, but its light is 56 feet above sea level thanks to the granite bluff on which it stands.The lighthouse, like most today, is automated, but remains an active aid to navigation. The grounds are open to the public, although the lighthouse itself is not. Perhaps one of the more photographed lighthouses in Maine, Bass Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine....the same island as Acadia National Park.





































Heceta Light Beam
Heceta Light Beam
# OR-130
The light at Heceta Head shown for the first time on March 30, 1894. Heceta Head Lighthouse is 56 feet tall and sits on a breathtaking bluff 150 feet above the sea. The most powerful light along the Oregon coast, the light can be seen 21 miles out to sea and is only stopped by the curvature of the earth. Today, the tower is owned by Oregon State Parks, and the keeper's dwelling by the U.S. Forest Service. The keeper's quarters are used as a bed and Breakfast. The grounds open, the dwelling/tower open for tours in season.  Heceta Head, just north of Florence, on the coast of Oregon, is found in one of the more picturesque settings in the state. It's a must-see for lighthouse enthusiasts.





































Yaquina Head Sunset
Yaquina Head Sunset
# OR-127
After almost two years of toil, Yaquina Head Light, shone for the first time on August 20, 1873. At ninety-three feet, Yaquina Head is the tallest light tower on the Oregon coast and is also a sibling to Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California and Bodie Island Lighthouse, North Carolina. The light shines 162 feet above the ocean and can be seen nineteen miles out to sea. The lighthouse is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and is part of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. The Park Gate is open from Sunrise or 7 am, whichever is later, to Sunset every day. The tower is open during posted hours. Yaquina Head is located just north of Newport.






































Umpqua Night
Umpqua at Night
# OR-129
The original Umpqua River Lighthouse, the first on the Oregon coast, shined for the first time on October 10, 1857. The lighthouse was similar to others built at the time, a large Cape Cod duplex with a tower rising from the gabled roof, 92 feet above ground. But the lighthouse foundation, built on sand, quickly foretold it's doom. Within 7 years, several violent storms eroded the land, and made the structure unsafe. A week after it was abandoned in late January, 1864, the tower collapsed. It was 30 years before another lighthouse was built overlooking the Umpqua River. The new lighthouse, a sibling to Heceta Head, is a 65-foot tower which stands 165 feet above sea level. Today the light is still shining. The lighthouse is located adjacent to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park and is managed by Douglas County, whose Umpqua River Lighthouse Museum is located 100 yards north of the lighthouse in the historic former U.S. Coast Guard Station Umpqua River. Umpqua River Lighthouse, located just south of Reedsport, is not isolated, like many. ...it's closely stuck between houses. 




































Ponce de Leon Light
Ponce de Leon Light
# FL-101
The first lighthouse at this location, was named Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse. Mosquito Inlet served as the exit point for two rivers: the Halifax River to the north and the Hillsborough River, later named the Indian River, to the south. Th lighthouse was a 45-foot, conical, brick tower and a dwelling, completed in February, 1835. However, during a violent storm in October, the dwelling was washed into the inlet and the foundation of the tower was undercut, and the lighthouse eventually collapsed in April of 1836.  A site for the new lighthouse was selected on the north side of the inlet to prevent the southward moving inlet from claiming a second tower. Over a million bricks would be used to construct this lighthouse, which slowly grew to its preordained height of 175 feet, six-and-a-half inches from the ground to the tip of the lightning rod. The only taller brick lighthouse in the country is Cape Hatteras. The tower was lit for the first time on November 1, 1887. Though accurate, the name Mosquito Inlet proved a deterrent to increased settlement in the area. To correct this problem, in 1927, the name was officially changed to Ponce de Leon Inlet in honor of the famed explorer, and the lighthouse became the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Today, the lighthouse is owned by the Town of Ponce Inlet and managed by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association. The grounds, dwellings and tower are open. It is said, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is one of the finest light stations in the United States. For my first and only visit, I arrived there an hour or so before sunrise, hoping to explore the area a bit before first light. Imagine my pleasant surprise to find it illuminated at night....and a nice crescent moon to boot! 







































West Point Light
West Point Lighthouse
# WA-110
Since West Point Lighthouse started operation on November 15, 1881, it has guided countless vessels into Seattle's Elliot Bay, located just south of the point. When the Lake Washington Ship Canal was completed just north of West Point in 1917, the lighthouse also served as a marker to the entrance of this liquid link between Puget Sound and Lake Union and Lake Washington.  In 1985, West Point was the last light station in Washington State to be automated. The West Point Lighthouse is now part of Discovery Park, Seattle's largest city park. it remains an active lightstation.




































Nobska Lighthouse
Nobska Lighthouse
The original Nobska Point Lighthouse was in the typical Cape Cod-style with an octagonal tower atop a keeper’s house, which had three rooms on the first floor and two small ones upstairs. While a common lighthouse design, unfortunately, it was a poor one. Time and the elements quickly took their toll. In 1876, Nobska was rebuilt as a 40-foot, cast-iron tower lined with brick.  A new 1.5-story wood-frame dwelling was also built. A covered walkway connecting the tower to the keeper’s house was added in 1899, and in 1907 a second dwelling was constructed to house an assistant keeper. Today, the lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard. Grounds are open, tower is open during open houses, and the dwelling is closed. 







































Sunset Through The Lens
Sunset Through The Lens
# OR-126
Cape Meares lighthouse sits at the north end of the beautiful 20-mile Three Capes Scenic Loop along the Oregon coast.  The lighthouse was built in 1889 and commissioned on January 1, 1890. The tower stands 38 feet high and is the shortest lighthouse in Oregon, although it's  located on a 217-foot cliff, and can be seen for 21 miles.  The tower is made of sheet iron lined with bricks, the only one of its kind on the Oregon coast.  The lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard and managed by Oregon State Parks. Grounds are open,and the tower is open in season.  It remains an active light. 






































Lime Kiln Glow
Lime Kiln Glow
# WA-111
Lime Kiln lighthouse is located on the west side of San Juan Island, the largest island of the archipelago, and watches over the whales and waterways of the entrance to Haro Strait. The lighthouse gets its name from the lime kilns built nearby in the 1860s. Beginning operations in 1914, it was the last major light established in Washington. The lighthouse has a 38-foot octagonal concrete tower rising from the fog signal building. In 1985, the lighthouse and surrounding sea were dedicated as a whale sanctuary and research station for marine mammal scientists. The scientists based in the lighthouse track the movements and behavior of the orca whales, which reside in the area. The lighthouse is owned by Washington State Parks. Grounds are open, and  the lighthouse is open during tours.






































East Chop 2
East Chop 2
# MA-102
The conical cast-iron tower of East Chop Lighthouse, stands 40 feet tall, and was erected in 1878, along with a one-and-a-half-story keeper's house. The lighthouse was painted white at first, but in the 1880s it received a coat of reddish-brown paint and became popularly known as the “Chocolate Lighthouse.” In 1934, when the light was being automated, the keeper's house and oil house were removed. In 1988, its daymark was returned back to white, as the dark color was causing excessive heat and condensation in the tower.  East Chop Lighthouse remains an active aid to navigation. It is owned by the Coast Guard and managed by the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society. Grounds are open to the public, and the tower is open during scheduled tours.





































North Head Sunset
North Head Sunset

Construction of North Head Lighthouse began in 1896. It was lit for the first time on May 16, 1898. The tower is brick masonry with a cement plaster overlay built on a sandstone foundation. The lantern room is 65 feet from the ground and 194 feet above sea. North Head is one of the windiest places in the United States. On January 29, 1921, winds were clocked at 126 mph before the instrument blew away. They have frequently been measured at over 100 mph.  The keepers' dwellings, located about a ½ mile into the woods from the tower have been restored, and both the keepers' duplex and the single-family dwelling are available for overnight stays. The lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard. The grounds are open, and the tower is open in season.






































St. Augustine
St. Augustine
# FL-102
A Spanish watchtower, built in the late 1500's was the predecessor of the present St. Augustine Lighthouse. St. Augustine is the site of the oldest aid to navigation in North America. The original watchtower became Florida's first lighthouse in 1824. However, by 1870, the tower was threatened by shoreline erosion and construction began on the current lighthouse. The new tower was completed in 1874. The St. Augustine Lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps. The lighthouse is owned by the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. Grounds/tower/dwelling open.
 This tower is illuminated at night. Unfortunately, on my only trip there (so far!), I couldn't work that time frame into my schedule. Next time!








































Chatham Sunrise
Chatham Sunrise
# MA-103
The original light station at Chatham, built in 1808, had two towers, to distinguish it from Cape Cod "Highland" Light, the Cape's first lighthouse at the nearby  Highlands of Truro. However, built of wood, Chatham's two tower began to deteriorate quickly. Two new 30 feet tall brick towers were constructed in the summer of 1841. However, their location proved problematic...an eroding shoreline was quickly decreasing the towers' distance to water. The authorities took note of the rampant erosion and moved quickly to rebuild the station, across the road and much farther from the edge of the bluff. Two 48-foot, conical cast-iron towers were erected in 1877, along with double one-and-one-half-story wood-frame keeper's quarters. By the early 1900s, the Lighthouse Board began phasing out twin light stations as an unnecessary expense. The north light was moved up the coast to Eastham to replace the survivor of the "Three Sisters" in 1923, ending 115 years of twin lights at Chatham. Today, the lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard. Grounds and tower open during scheduled tours, the dwelling is closed to the public. It remains an active aid to navigation, and the 1877 keeper's dwelling is used for Coast Guard housing.






































Edgartown Lighthouse 2
Edgartown Lighthouse 2
# MA-104
The first lighthouse was a two-story wooden house with a lantern on the roof, built in 1828.  The house had three rooms on the first floor and two on the second.  The lighthouse sat offshore on pilings, meaning the keeper originally had to row a short distance to reach the mainland.  In 1830, a wooden causeway was built to the lighthouse.  As with so many wooden lighthouses, the elements began taking their toll.  The dwelling and walkway were continually repaired through the years.  The hurricane of September 21, 1938, pretty much finished off the old building.  In 1939, under the direction of the Coast Guard, the 1881 45-foot cast-iron tower from Crane's Beach in Ipswich was disassembled and brought by barge to Edgartown.  Over the decades, sand gradually filled in the area between the lighthouse and the mainland, so that today Edgartown Light is on a beach.  The lighthouse is still owned by the Coast Guard and managed by the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society.  Grounds open, tower open in season.






































West Chop
West Chop
# MA-105
The two areas of land known as West Chop and East Chop define the harbor at Vineyard Haven, on the north shore of Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyard Haven was formerly known as Holmes Hole and was one of the earliest settlements on the island. The first lighthouse at West Chiop was a 25-foot rubble stone tower and an accompanying stone dwelling measuring twenty by thirty-four feet and went into service on October 5, 1817. The location proved problematic, with the sea began encroaching within a short short time. A new conical stone tower and keeper’s house were built in 1846 about 1,000 feet southeast of the original tower.  By the 1890s, West Chop had become a popular and fashionable summer vacation spot, and the houses that had sprung up in the area were beginning to obscure the lighthouse beacon. To remedy this, a 45-foot cylindrical tower, was constructed in 1891 to replace the shorter 1847 tower. This new redbrick tower was painted white in 1899. West Chop remains an active light station. The lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard. Grounds/dwelling/tower closed.  But because the grounds cover a fairly small area, pictures are easily captured.





































Yaquina Bay
Yaquina Bay Light
# OR-125
The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, a charming two-story clapboard structure, is located on a hill overlooking the northern side of the entrance to Yaquina Bay, just north of Newport, OR.  Its beacon shown for the first time on November 3, 1871.  However, with increased maritime traffic along the Oregon Coast, the Lighthouse Board decided the area would be better served with a coastal light at Yaquina Head, just four miles to the north. The completion of Yaquina Head Light in 1873 eliminated the need for the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. On October 1, 1874, Yaquina bay's light was extinguished. For most of the next almost 100 years, the lighthouse remained vacant.  In 1974, the old deserted and dilapidated lighthouse was restored under the Historical Preservation Program, and later accepted on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lincoln County Historical Society conferred the lighthouse to the Oregon State Parks Department.  On December 7, 1996, the light was re-lit. The light is an official U.S. Coast Guard privately maintained aid to navigation displaying a fixed white light visible for six miles. The lighthouse is owned by Oregon State Parks and managed by Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses. Grounds/dwelling/tower open.