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The above photo is of the lightkeeper’s house at the Yaquina Bay Light, in Newport, Oregon. The lighthouse was constructed in 1871, and is one of the rarest kind of lighthouses, because the lighthouse keeper’s house is actually part of the lighthouse building. The lighthouse was active for only three years. It was replaced by the Yaquina Head Light–with which it is often confused–in 1874.

Today the lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage have been preserved as a historical monument. The house has been restored to what it looked like in the 1870s, when the lightkeeper’s family first lived here. This is what drew my attention. Newport in the 1870s was a very small and isolated place, and the family that lived here was basically cut off from the rest of civilization. I don’t recall much about the lightkeeper’s family, except I do know they had young children. What must it have been like living here, year round, in this small house on the stormy coast with so little to divert you? It must have been like being frozen in time. In fact, I’ve considered setting a portion of my ongoing lengthy novel The Valley of Forever–which is all about being frozen in time–at the Yaquina Bay Light.

Oh, the lighthouse is presumably haunted. Here’s a story about the ghost, dating from 1899.

Here are some more photos of the lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage. Click for larger versions. I took these on my last visit to the site in 2004.

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