Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Tillamook, Oregon - 1881 (1881**)

Photo of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

History of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

This lighthouse is one of the greatest engineering feats to ever be accomplished in the late 1800s. So many people had called the task impossible. But none the less, a construction crew landed on the basalt rock in 1879, and by January of 1881, the massive first-order Fresnel lens was lit. There is a tragic story of a shipwreck just days before the light was lit. The story is that of the Lupatia which was reported that the ship went out of site of the construction crew in a tremendous storm. The next day the crew found pieces of the ship on the rocks below. All crew members lost, only the ship's dog managed to survive. The lighthouse was manned until 1957 when the light was replaced by a buoy. It was never automated.

NOTE: If you are ever looking for fascinating lighthouse stories, this is one light to read up on. There have been stories of massive waves from the Pacific crashing again the rock and splashing up and over the lighthouse. There is nothing to break the waves before they reach the lighthouse. Because of this, many keeper's nicknamed the place "Terrible Tilly." Keepers and supplies were sent across on a cable / pulley system. Simply fascinating!

Directions: The lighthouse sits several miles off shore. The best view would be from the water. However, there is a decent view to be had from Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach. There is a $3.00 fee to enter the park. After heading into the park, head to the left hand side. It will take you a short distance to a parking area. From here, if you walk up to the ocean, you can see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. I used a 1000mm telephoto lens for this picture.

View more Tillamook Rock Lighthouse pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: 62.00'
Focal Plane: 133'
Active Aid to Navigation: Deactivated (1957)
*Latitude: 45.93700 N
*Longitude: -124.01900 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.