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Located in Bandon where the river flows into the Pacific Ocean, the Coquille River Lighthouse was first lit on February 29, 1896. The need for a lighthouse arose after the construction of a jetty at the river's entrance, which was authorized by Congress in 1880, due to the difficulties an increasing number of ships had navigating it.
Upon the flattened Rackleff Rock rests this lighthouse, which was constructed from brick and encased with stucco. a wooden walkway was built to the keepers' duplex 650 feet away. A fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed in the cylindrical tower that was afixed to an elongated, octagonal room where a large trumpet was installed from its western wall and used as a fog signal. On March 1, 1896, the fog signal was used after a snow storm began there.
The lighthouse was decommissioned after the Coast Guard gained control of it in 1934, as it was deemed unneccessary. An automatic beacon was installed at the south jetty, the dwelling disassembled, and the lighthouse abandoned.
After 24 years of neglect, the Coquille River Lighthouse was incorporated into the newly created Bullards Beach State Park. Responsibility for the lighthouse on its 11-acre grounds was turned over to the Oregon State Parks. In a joint effort with the Army Corps of Engineers that began in 1976, repairs were made to the roof, bricks were replaced, and it was painted. Additional work began in 1991 during Bandon's centennial anniversary a solar-powered light was installed in the tower. At this writing, additional work is being done to shore up the lighthouse's foundation.
Plans call for the restoration of the lantern room and the installation of a fourth-order Fresnel lens to be installed in the tower. Additional work to repair the stucco, and a replica foghorn have also been planned.
The lighthouse is situated two miles north of Bandon along Park Road. The tower and interior are open for certain hours May through October. Photographs may also be taken from across the Coquille River in Bandon.
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Please don't climb up the lighthouse. It's tempting, especially for those of you who enjoy rock climbing, but it's dangerous and illegal. It also attracts seagulls, which makes the whole thing a complete mess. Please show respect when approaching this landmark.