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The current Cape Arago Lighthouse, first lit in 1934, is the third of its kind built at what is orignally known as Cape Gregory. The first one, a wrought-iron tower standing 25 feet and supported by metal stilts, was illuminated on November 1, 1866. A lantern room sat at the top of the octagonal tower with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.
The second was a house built 25 feet higher and with a Daboll trumpet fog-signal. The first lighthouse built on that site was only the second lighthouse built on the Oregon Coast, the first being the original Umpqua River Lighthouse that slid off the dunes into the Umpqua River.
Attempts to improve the lighthouse were made in 1896 when the existing wrought-iron structure was encased in bricks and covered with stucco. Also, a fog building, equipped with a Daboll trumpet, was constructed adjacent to the tower and a duplex for the inkeepers was also made. The tower was similar in construction to one that had recently been constructed in Mukilteo, Washington.
The third such structure on the site was built in 1934, constructed of concrete using the plans from the Point Robinson Lighthouse in Washington. The wooden lighthouse was moved to another spot on Chief's Island and served as the light keeper's office. Along with the high bridge that was built in 1934, the only surviving structure is the third lighthouse as the others were razed during the 1960s. The lens was removed and put on display at the Coast Guard Air Station in 1993. The light at the Cape Arago Lighthouse was turned out on January 1, 2006.
Currently inaccessible, the Cape Arago Lighthouse may be viewed at Sunset Bay State Park near Charleston. It is one of the view Oregon Coast lighthouses that can only be viewed from a distance.
Cape Arago Highway
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