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Granting light once more

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 11th, 2013

Nearly 100 people gathered June 8 to watch the light turn back on at Heceta Head Lighthouse, north of Florence. photos by Ryan Cronk/siuslaw news

Heceta Head Lighthouse reopened Saturday after two years of restoration during the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s official unveiling that welcomed nearly 100 supporters to Heceta Head State Scenic Viewpoint, about 12 miles north of Florence.

Many of those in attendance were involved in the restoration work. The lighthouse had been closed since August 2011.

“You can’t believe how important this lighthouse is to Lane County, how iconic it is,” West Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich said. “Twenty years ago, I had my first visit to Oregon, and one of the first places I visited was this lighthouse. It’s the symbol of the Oregon coast for our county.”

Bozievich, as well as State Sen. Arnie Roblan and University of Oregon Professor of Architecture Emeritus Don Peting, spoke briefly about the lighthouse, which draws nearly 750,000 visitors a year and generates $13 million in annual revenue to the area.

“It’s a beautiful place, a place we need, and I am proud of the parks department working with the transportation and all the other people who came together to make this last another hundred years,” Roblan said.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commissioner Cal Mukumoto from North Bend emceed the June 8 event.

The speeches were followed by the uncovering of the lighthouse’s original first-order Fresnel lens and the relighting of the 1,000-watt quartz bulb with its signature of one white flash every 10 seconds.

“For me, as an engineer, it’s a fascinating thing. The lens is an amazing piece of engineering optics,” Bozievich said. “It’s the most powerful light on the coast.”

Attendees then enjoyed tours of the tower and refreshments on the lawn of the Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast, run by a concessionaire of the U.S. Forest Service.

For the complete article see the 06-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-12-2013 paper.

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