Tillamook Rock Lighthouse . Tillamook Head . Oregon . Watercolor . 9" x 12"
... building a lighthouse on the top of this massive basalt rock, over a mile out... off the rugged coast of Oregon was an audacious project from the get-go. In 1879, on a 3rd try, one of the two men attempting to survey this rock for suitability, was swept away and lost at sea. Undaunted, work started the following month... but in 1880 a nor'easter struck and swept away all of the laborers' materials, provisions and shelter. The concrete, Tillamook Lighthouse was completed and lit a year later in 1881. The keepers lived under terrible conditions... and those conditions got much worse during a storm. Nonetheless, the light served until 1957, when a red floating buoy replaced it, anchored one additional mile, farther out into the Pacific Ocean. The lighthouse was then sold to a private business, which gutted the place and attempted to store the ashes of the dead, in urns, for profit. I don't know how that's working out and currently the rock is uninhabited by the living. Tillamook Rock Lighthouse was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.