Thursday, August 16, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 364

It has been difficult to choose which one of the several postcards sent by son and his wife from their trip to Portugal and Spain earlier this summer. About a month ago I shared another of these art posters that had been made into a postcard.  That one was advertising Holy Week and a Spring festival in Seville, Spain.  As mentioned in that post, most of the posters carried religious themes, holidays and festivals, or bullfighting. 

The card above is advertising a bullfight.  Thanks to Google Translate, the text reads something like:  “Monumental bullring, monumental bullfight with 6 beautiful and brave bulls of the cattle ranch of d. Alvaro Deomecq de Jerez de la Frontera, for the famous swords:  J.A. Ruis Espartaco, Enrique Ponce, M. Diaz the cordobes with corresponding gangs.  A brilliant band of music will enlighten the show Sunday, June 9, at 5:30.”   The artist’s name, A. Vestar or A. Lestar, is found on the left side of the card just under the charging bull.  It is a more modern style of artwork but retains the bright colors and romantic feeling of the older posters.

Spanish bullfighting is a fight in which the bull is almost always killed.  Only on rare occasions has a very strong, valiant bull be pardoned by the president and audience to be sent into peaceful retirement.  The fight is highly ritualized and held in the same format each time, the only difference being in the performance of the matadors, the assistants and bulls.  In the bullfights there are three matadors or toreros, each fighting two bulls. 

The bulls must be at least 4 years old and weigh up to 1,300 lbs. or 600 kg., and no less than 1,010 lbs or 460 kg.  Each matador has 6 assistants, 2 mounted on horseback, picadores or lancers; three flagmen, banderilleros; plus a sword servant, mozo de espada.  There is a parade as the participants enter the arena with band music followed by three stages to the fight, each announced by a trumpet.  It is fatal to the bull and dangerous to the matador.  The three famous matadors named on the poster have each suffered serious goring during their careers. 

For additional information, see:

Thursday, August 9, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 363

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, Washington, ca 1924

Lantern Press of Seattle, Washington published this unused postcard featuring a picture of the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment.  The card estimated the date at 1924 and it is identified by image #2181.  It might have originally been a black & white photograph that has been color tinted.  The card itself looks to be a re-issue of an older postcard.  

Looking south toward the lighthouse from the visitor center

This was the first lighthouse in Washington State.  Funding was approved in 1852 but the lamp was not lit until 1856.  Besides the light it had a bell powered by a striking mechanism.  As mentioned in a previous post the bell was sometimes muffled by the roar of the sea and therefore ineffectual.  In 1881 the bell was moved to West Point Light in Seattle and still later to Warrior Rock Light near Portland, Oregon.  The keeper lived about ¼ mile from the lighthouse.  The lighthouse was electrified in 1937 and automated in 1973.  The visitor center and lighthouse are open to the public as part of Cape Disappointment State Park.

The exterior of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

Fresnel lens

Early life-saving boat used by the Coast Guard

This is one of the lighthouses that we visited on the trip to the Redwood National and State Parks.  The card was purchased at the gift shop in the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment.  The visitor center had one level devoted to Lewis & Clark and another level with displays, photographs, and exhibits relating to the lighthouse and the Coast Guard.  The upper level and gift shop were free but the lower level containing the Lewis & Clark material had an entry fee. 

For more information, see:

Thursday, August 2, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 362

Hot air balloons over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, England

The world famous bridge seen on this postcard is the Clifton Suspension Bridge.  It spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset, England.  The bridge opened in 1864 and has been a toll bridge since that time.  The income from the tolls helps to maintain the bridge so (to make a pun) it is self-supporting.  The photograph on the card produced by Provincial Pictures, PP47, is credited to Philip Pierce.  There is a smudge on the card to the left of the center where it went through the cancelling machine and also at the lower right in the margin.

As early as 1753 there was a desire and idea to build a bridge across the Avon Gorge.  The original plans had the bridge constructed of stone, another version was made of wrought iron.  In 1831 an attempt to build the bridge was halted by the Bristol Riots and a later attempt in 1836 failed due to financial difficulties.  Even though the contractors went bankrupt the two towers of unfinished stones were built in 1837.  A design by the great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), was the basis for the final design revisions by William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw.  The bridge was finally completed in 1864, five years after Brunel passed away.

The towers are about the same height but the designs are slightly different.  The postcard picture shows the Leigh side’s more pointed arches while the Clifton tower side cutouts are a little more difficult to see.  Wrought iron chains pass over roller-mounted saddles at the top of each tower that allows movement when loads pass over the bridge.  There are 81 matching vertical pairs of wrought-iron rods suspending the bridge deck from the big arc of six suspension chains.  The original bridge deck was wooden planking that was later covered with asphalt. 

Trivia:  The total length of the bridge is 1,352 feet or 412 meters and it is 331 feet or 101 meters above the high water level.  The toll is £1.00, approximately 8,000 vehicles pass over the bridge each day.  There has been a tradition of lighting the bridge for events. Today the lighting is by LEDs but in 1864 for the ceremonial opening parade magnesium flares were used that were extinguished by the wind.  Later thousands of electric light bulbs were used.  Due to weight overloading concerns the bridge now closes for major events such as the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and the Ashton Court Festival.  The University of Oxford Dangerous Sports Club began bungee jumping from the bridge in 1979.

The Queen Elizabeth II profile stamp design has been used with variations since she became queen in 1952.  While not a complete set these were interesting because they are each a different value and a different color.  

As always my thanks to a friend who sends wonderful postcards from travels.

For additional information, see:

Monday, July 30, 2018

Hans Christian Schrøder, part 2, his second family

Photograph of Hans Christian Schrøder taken by G. Stockel studio, Rønne, Bornholm, ca 1876

Here is a brief chronological recap of Hans Christian Schrøder’s two marriages and children as we can piece them together so far. 

The first family:

1.    Hans Christian Schrøder, born 1852 in Odense, Denmark, was married first to Hansine Margrethe Kjøller, born 1853 in Vestermarie, Bornholm, Denmark, on 30 June 1876 in Nexø, Borholm, Denmark. 
2.    They were still living in Nexø when their first child, Axel Villiam (William) was born 20 January 1877. 
3.    A few months following Axel’s birth the family moved to Vestermarie, Bornholm, where Hansine’s family lived. 
4.    When Axel was about 2 or 3 years old Hans and Hansine left him in the care of his grandparents, Jens Peter Kjøller and Ane Magdalene “Malene,” aunts, Ane Katrine* and Jane Caroline who was married to Hans Christian Skov and uncle, Hans Georg Kjøller, and moved to Helsingør north of København in the county of Frederiksborg. 
5.    Their second child, an unnamed girl, was born prematurely and died the same day 22 August 1880 while the couple was living in Helsingør. 
6.    During 1880 the census shows Hans and Hansine separated and living at different addresses but still married. 
7.    By 1885 Hansine had moved back to Bornholm and settled in the city of Rønne where her parents and brother had moved. Hansine’s two sisters and her brother-in-law remained at the farm estate in Vestermarie and Axel was living with them at that time.
Hansine’s third child, a boy named Camillo Kjøller Schrøder, was born 13 June 1885 in Rønne, Bornholm, lived for one month and died 11 July 1885.  At the time that Camillo was christened in the church Hansine is listed as divorced.  Camillo’s father is not named in the church record so it is not known if he was the son of Hans Christian but is presumed to be so.
Axel later moved to Rønne where his mother, his uncle Hans Georg, and his grandparents were living.  He was confirmed there in 1891.
10.    Hansine never remarried.  

11.  Axel joined the Danish navy at age 18 or 19, survived 2 shipwrecks, ended up in Chile, South America and eventually worked his way up the coasts of South and North America to land in Seattle around 1898 or 1899.
12.    Hansine moved to America, in 1903, following the deaths of her parents, and lived with her son, Axel and daughter-in-law, Anna.
13.    She died in Seattle, Washington on 9 May 1920.

The second family:

1.    During the separation or about the time of the divorce, Hans established a relationship with Ane Jensine Jensen who was born 1862 in Farum, Frederiksborg, not far from where Hans was living and working. 
2.    They had a daughter, Julie Katinka, 20 January 1882 and later that year move to København where Julie Katinka is christened at Skt. Stefan’s (Saint Stephen’s) church 10 September 1882.  That christening is also recorded in the Farum parish register with notations of the mother’s name, no father, but the child is given the surname of Schrøder, an illegitimate birth, and she was later christened in København in 1883.  The unmarried mother, Ane Jensine Jensen, was from or living in København in 1887. 
3.    On 2 January 1887 Hans and Ane Jensine, the daughter of Jens Rasumussen and Kirsten Jensdatter of Farum, are married in Skt. Johannes church, København.  At the time of their marriage Hans is listed as divorced (fraskilt) and Ane Jensine does not have a designation such as pige (maiden) or jomfrue (young woman) probably because they had had a what would be considered a common-law marriage before the event held in the church.

The children of Hans Christian Schrøder and his second wife, Ane Jensine Jensen:

1.    Julie Katinka*, sometimes uses the name Cathe, born 20 January 1882, Farum, Frederiksborg, Denmark.  Her first name is a female version of her grandfather’s, Julius Schrøder.  She was christened at Saint Stefan’s, København.
2.    Octavia (sometimes written as Oktavia or Oklavia) Eleanora Christine Marie, born 12 August 1883.  She is also listed as illegitimate but the father’s name is provided as …F (divorced) journeyman baker, Hans Christian Schrøder and a note that Hans and Ane Jensine were married in the same church, Saint Johannes, 1887.
3.    Alexia Elvira Sofie Magdalene, born 17 July 1885, died 25 April 1888, age 2 years and 9 months.  Her birth and christening are recorded at Saint Johannes.
4.    Ellen Maud Louise, born 26 September 1887, died 7 November 1887, age 6 weeks.  Her parents are not named on Skt. Stefan’s death record but the street address is provided and it is the same address as found for the christening of child #5.
5.    Alexia Elvira Sofie Magdaline, born 13 October 1889. This is a different child than #3.  It was not uncommon to give another child of the same sex the same name as a deceased sibling. Birth and Christening recorded at Saint Stefan’s.
6.    Carl Frederik Andreas, born 13 May 1891.  He is named for his uncle Carl Frederik Andreas Schrøder the older brother of Hans Christian.  Birth and Christening recorded at Saint Jakob’s. 
7.    Louise Elna Edith Agnes, born 13 September 1892.  Her name sometimes appears as Edith or Agnes.  Her birth date was taken from the 1901 & 1906 census.
8.    Hans Christian, born 9 July 1895.  His birth date was taken from the 1901 & 1906 census.

Carl Frederik Andreas Schrøder, an older brother of Hans, is listed as a witness or bondsman on the marriage record of Hans and Ane Jensine.  His occupation is given as barber.  He appears several times as a witness for christenings and is often identified as the barber Andreas Schrøder.  A sister, Elise Cathinka Schrøder* sometimes shown as Lise, also appears as a witness to several of the christenings of the children of this second marriage. 

Hans Christian and Ane Jensine together with some of their children appear on census records 1901, 1906, 1911, 1921, and 1925.  Hans Christian and his daughter, Octavia are found on the 1930 census where he is listed as widowed.  That helps date Ane Jensine’s death to between 1925 and 1930 in København, living at Amagertorv. 

The 1933, 1935, and 1940 census records are available through and the Danish digital archives but not indexed so it will be necessary to use the 1930 street address on Amagertorv and hope they didn’t move to see if we narrow the time of death for Hans Christian.  

Identified descendants from second family so far:

Julie Katinka Schrøder married Carl Didriksen, born 2 October 1875, on 7 August 1903 in København, Denmark.  They moved to Rønne, Bornholm, Denmark around 1906.  Carl was a telegraph operator in Rønne, Bornholm. 
They had five children:
1.  Ingeborg Didriksen, born 22 June 1901 in København
2.  Poul Erik Thor Didriksen, born 20 November 1904 in København
3.  Thora Esther Didriksen, born 11 June 1908 in Rønne, Bornholm
4.  Aase Wilhelmina Didriksen, born 27 February 1910, Rønne, Bornholm  [twin]
5.  Else Kristine Didriksen, born 27 February 1910, Rønne, Bornholm [twin]

Carl Frederik Andreas Schrøder married Betty Marie Axelsen, born 9 April 1893, from Norway in 1917 in Denmark. 
They had three children: 
1.    Hulda Jensine Schrøder, born 21 October 1918 in Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
2.    Olga Schrøder, born 30 April 1920, Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
3.    Carl Bernhardt Schrøder, born 10 October 1922, Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway

*  Axel Schroder corresponded with a Cathe Schrøder who identified herself as aunt to his children, Bill and Betty Schrøder.  Both Axel’s aunt, Ane Katrine Kjøller and his half sister, Julie Katinka sometimes used the name Cathe.  Elise Cathinka Schrøder is a less likely possibility since she tended to use the name Lise not Cathe.

The watercolor painting attributed to Hans Christian Schrøder shows a scene in København that would have been near to where the family lived.

Note:  Please see the original post about Hans Christian Schrøder for additional information.  Updates will be posted when/if new information is uncovered.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 361

Alcalá Gate, Madrid, Spain

This postcard was one several that my son and his wife sent to me from their recent trip to Portugal and Spain.  The photograph was taken by Miguel Corazón and shows the Alcalá Gate in Madrid.  The card was printed in Spain by Producido por Grupo LK of Madrid. 

Madrid was a walled city and as the city population grew and the city expanded newer walls became necessary.  The walls were not for the defense of the city but more to control trade in and out of the city, to ensure collection of taxes and to monitor who went in and out of the city.  The Walls of Philip IV replaced the Walls of Philip II and surrounded Madrid from 1625 to 1868.  The walls were built of brick, mortar and compacted earth.  Persons exiting the city would have to pass through gates where taxes were paid.  There were five royal gates that would stay open until 10 pm in the winter and 11 pm in the winter.   People entering or leaving the city after hours through a royal  gate would have to be admitted through a checkpoint.  The fourteen smaller gates or portillos opened at dawn, closed at sunset and remained closed overnight. 

Charles III commissioned the gate shown on the card in 1774 and Francesco Sabatini the Italian (1721-1797) architect was selected to design it.  Older than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin the Alcalá Gate is regarded as the first modern post-Roman triumphal arch built in Europe.  The gate was built in 1778.  Before this magnificent arch was built the city is said to have looked like a drab borough surrounded by medieval walls. 

Today remnants of the old walls can be seen in a couple of places, the retaining wall of the Jardine de Las Vistillas and near the fire station of Ronda de Segovia by the Puerta de Toledo roundabout.  Neither is in good condition but there is a commemorative plaque by the Ronda de Segovia. 

In 2001 Madrid was named the World Book Capital.  In honor of the event the monument gardens were added near the gate and night-lights were installed. 

For more information, see:á

Thursday, July 19, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 360

Art Deco style travel poster by Francisco de Paula Hohenleiter de Castro, 1941

Here is another travel poster made into a postcard.  The card shared today is one of several cards in a packet sent to me by my son and his wife who just returned from a trip to Portugal and Spain.  The style is Art Deco a movement that ended with the beginning of World War II making this poster one of the last to be made in that style.  Both Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles were popular in advertising poster art. 

The artist is identified as Franscisco Hohenleiter de Castro.  He was born in Cadiz, Spain in 1889 and died in Seville in 1968.  Several travel posters are attributed to him but this one often appears when searching his name so I think it must be quite well known.  In addition to his travel posters he is also known for more traditional fine art paintings featuring Spanish subjects. 

Spanish poster art was influenced by the travel posters of France, Germany and Italy but uses its own cultural themes and colors.  Many of the vintage travel posters were done in Art Nouveau, Art Deco or late Art Deco style.  As mentioned in previous Thursday postcard posts, Art Nouveau used more rounded shapes, curves and floral designs and patterns.  That movement started around 1880 and ended with World War I.  Art Deco was influenced by cubism and used more straight lines and geometric shapes.  It began following World War I and ended with World War II.  Works done in the late 1930s up to the beginning of the war are sometimes referred to as Late Art Deco. 

Spanish travel posters use bright colors and tend to feature religious holidays, festivals and bullfighting.  This one is advertising a religious holiday and festival held in Seville in April 1941.  This one offers a scenic view of the city of Seville and features two ladies in traditional costumes. 

For additional information, see:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 359

Paradise Glacier, Rainier National Park, ca late 1920s

It is hard to imagine that in less than 100 years the Paradise Glacier has retreated from the massive example in the picture to almost all gone today.  The photograph on this vintage postcard dates from the late 1920s or early 1930s and shows 3 people standing on the then immense glacier.  There are no credits to the photographer or the publisher on this card but there is a number at the right of the writing at the lower left.  The number is difficult to read but looks like 255.  The picture below from shows approximately the same location as it is today.

Paradise Glacier, ca 2017

Located on Mount Rainier’s southeast flank today the glacier covers 0.4 square miles or 1.0 km.  The Muir Snowfield, Anvil Rock and McClure Rock form the boundaries.  A section of the main lobe connected to the larger Cowlitz Glacier and to the south there was a smaller portion near The Cowlitz Rocks and a much smaller glacier called Williwakas Glacier.  The smaller lobe melted between 2004 and 2006.  

The Paradise Glacier had ice caves that Bopa and I hiked up to in the mid 1960s.  First discovered in 1908 the ice caves have disappeared due to glacial recessions. They did not exist in the 1940s and the 1990s and do not exist today.  In 1978 the ice caves at Paradise were the longest mapped system of glacier caves in the world.


Yesterday Bob and I hiked to Glacier Basin on the opposite side of the mountain from the Paradise Glacier where there also used to be a large glacier.  The photo shows a similar retreat of snow and ice.

For additional information, see:

Monday, July 9, 2018

Fort Clatsop, 2018

 The welcome sign to Fort Clatsop

On the return trip home from the Redwoods in addition to the forest, beach and lighthouses we stopped at Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon where Lewis & Clark and their party stayed the winter of 1805-1806.  This was their last camp before returning to St. Louis, Missouri.  Thirty-three people including the French Canadian trapper, Troussaint Charbonneau, his wife Sacagawea and their son lived here during that winter.  The name “Clatsop” comes from the local Indian tribe.  Docents dressed in period costumes are available to answer questions and perform demonstrations to show how the people lived and worked while they stayed at the fort.  When we visited a young woman dressed in costume was giving a tour to a group of school children.  There is also a modern visitor center and gift shop on the park grounds.

Life-size statue of Sacagawea and Pompy

Besides the fort buildings there is also a life-sized statue of Sacagawea carrying her baby, Jean Baptiste who was nicknamed Little Pomp or Pompy.    

It took a little over 3 weeks to construct the original fort that served as their camp.  When the Lewis & Clark party left to return east the fort was presented as a gift to the chief of the Clatsops.  Some of the wood was used for other purposes but the site became an important fur trading post.  After many years the original buildings decayed in the wet climate until nothing was left.  However a general idea of where the camp was located was known and for the sesquicentennial in 1955 a replica was built on or close to the original site.  That replica lasted for 50 years but was severely damaged by fire in 2005.  The current fort was reconstructed using about 700 volunteers in 2006.  The new replica was built using archeological information not available in 1955.  A fire detection system was also installed.  

The entry to the fort. School children watching the docent perform a demonstration can be seen at the right.

 Inside the fort

 Interior of a bunkhouse.  There were 4 sets of bunk beds or 8 beds in each bunkhouse.

 The larger room shared by Lewis and Clark

 The rear door out of the fort

A work area outside of the fort walls where tools were repaired, cooking and other work was done

The fort seemed small to us considering it housed 33 individuals.  Two simple buildings faced one another.  Each of the bunk-rooms had 4 sets of bunk beds, seven men per room with one bed empty.  Lewis and Clark shared a slightly larger room that had 2 separate beds and a table for maps and journals.  Charbonneau and his wife and child shared another room.   There was also a storeroom where supplies were kept.  A nearby spring provided fresh water for the fort.  

For additional information, see:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 358

Oregon Sea Lion Caves

On the return trip home from the Redwood National & State Parks we stopped at the Sea Lion Caves located about 11 miles north of Florence, Oregon.   This unused postcard has a photo by Michael Anderson and was published by Greatland Classics Series Co., Inc.  It has the identifying code 79-08DC at the lower left on the reverse. 

When we purchased the postcard in the gift shop we also got a small booklet, “Sea Lion Caves,” explaining the history of the caves and providing information about some of the surrounding area.  According to the book, in 1880 a Captain William Cox, in a small boat, was supposedly the first person to enter the caves. He visited the caves several times and eventually bought the land containing the caves in 1887 from the State of Oregon.  Then he and his heirs retained ownership until a local developer, R.E. Clanton, acquired the land in 1927 with the intention of establishing a business and opening the caves to the public.  Two other local residents, J.G. Houghton and J.E. Jacobson, originally joined Clanton but that partnership was dissolved and R.A. Saubert replaced Clanton. 

Multi-generations of these three families owned and managed the caves until 2006 when the Houghton’s sold their interests to the Jacobsen and Saubert families who continue to operate the facility.  Until a high-speed elevator was installed in 1961 access to the caves was by trail partway down the cliff and then stairs. The goal of the owners, managers and staff at the Sea Lion Caves is to preserve the ecosystem while making it accessible for everyone.  The elevator descends 208 feet in slightly less than one minute.  

The Steller sea lions are named for a noted German naturalist, Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-1746), who traveled with Vitus Bearing in 1731 to Alaska and was the first to observe, study and classify them.  An interesting trivia fact, sea lions have ears and earflaps that close when the animal goes under water.  Seals, much smaller animals, do not have earflaps.  Steller sea lions are very large mammals; the mature bulls can be 16 feet long and weigh as much as 2500 pounds.  The females are smaller; about 8 or 9 feet long and weigh about 600 to 800 pounds.  The babies called pups can be 50 pounds at birth!  

They apparently enjoy each others company as the rocks were large enough for the group to be more spread out but they were bunched together, almost on top of one another on just one section.  Perhaps this is just one especially large harem?  The harem size for one bull averages about 15 to 30 cows.  Because a bull could lose some of his wives during the season to another bull he might not leave the rookery for as long as 3 months. 

As the picture illustrates, the sea lions were some distance from us, nevertheless we certainly could hear and smell them!

They have a thick hide and coarse hair and most we saw were either a tawny golden color or a warm brown color.  Their diet consists mainly of bottom fish, squid, octopus, sardines, herring, and Lamprey Eel.

These two bulls were somewhat apart from the other group.  They were growling and lunging at one another even though there were no females near.

The entry to the caves is through the building seen in the center of the card.  Since we were visiting during mating season the sea lions were outside on the rocks called the rookery.  We walked down the path to the sea lion lookout and took a few photos.  Then we walked back up the path and took the other pathway to the elevator and the caves level below.  With the main cave area about 2 acres and the ceiling about 125 feet above water this sea cave system is one of the largest in the United States.  It is possible to look through a grated natural opening into the rocky area where the sea rushes in and where the sea lions congregate during other times of the year.  In the winter about 200 or more sea lions will inhabit the caves.  The card also shows stairs going to the original north entrance viewpoint, the opening where Captain Cox entered.  From there the Heceta Head lighthouse can be seen.  

 The view looking through the grating at the area where more than 200 sea lions will spend the winter

 View from the top of the stairs shown at the right on the postcard.  The Heceta lighthouse can just be seen on the point across the sea.

A zoom in view of the lighthouse

There is an admission fee for the sea lion caves but the experience of seeing the sea lions in their natural habitat was well worth the fee.

For additional information, see:
“Sea Lions” a publication of the Sea Lion Caves and

Thursday, June 28, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 357

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Oregon, ca 1871

The photograph on this postcard comes from the Newport Historical Society of Oregon and is dated about 1871.  The card was published by Natural Design Photography of Medford, Oregon and purchased from a gift shop.  Built in 1870 by Ben Simpson, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was only in operation for 3 years before the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, 3 miles north, replaced it in 1873.  It was officially decommissioned in 1874.  The fifth-order Fresnel lens was then moved and installed in the Yerba Buena Lighthouse in California in 1875.

We visited several lighthouses on the return trip from the Redwood National & State Parks.  All the other lighthouses in Oregon have a separate building for living quarters; however, this one is a four-bedroom house with a light tower.   The keeper and his family lived in the house during the three years it was in operation.  It may also be the only lighthouse that is supposed to be haunted.  A young woman named Muriel, mysteriously died there in 1875 and is said to haunt the building. 

From 1888 to 1896 the United States Army Corps of Engineers used the lighthouse as living quarters while they built the North and South Jetties at the mouth of Yaquina Bay.  Later, from 1906 to 1915, the United States Coast Guard used the lighthouse as a lookout and living quarters before moving to more central quarters overlooking Newport bay.  

The tower and lighthouse as seen from the visitors parking lot

During the time the Coast Guard used the facility they built an eight-story steel observation tower that still exists next to the lighthouse.  The Oregon Highway Division purchased the property around the lighthouse and established a state park that included the lighthouse, the observation tower, and several acres of surrounding land. 

By 1946 the lighthouse was in a dilapidated condition and due to be demolished; however, the newly formed Lincoln County Historical Society managed to save it by raising enough funds to delay the demolition.   It was slated for demolition again in 1951 but the efforts of L.E. Warford of the Historical Society led to the lighthouse being recognized as a historical site.  It was a county museum until 1970.  Ownership was transferred to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in 1974.  Today the restored lighthouse is open for public viewing and has daily tours. 

The outside of the lighthouse as it looks today

The French physicist, Augustin-Jean Fresnel developed a special type of compact lens for lighthouses.  Fresnel lenses are thinner than a conventional lens and can also capture more light from the source making the light visible over greater distances.  In 1823 the first Fresnel lens was used in the Cordouan lighthouse located at the mouth of the Gironde estuary in France and could be seen a distance of 20 miles or 32 kilometers away.  A fifth order Fresnel lens, such as the one used at Yaquina Bay, would not have been as powerful.

For additional information, see:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Redwood National & State Parks, 2018, part 3, Lighthouses

Apologies are perhaps needed for the length of this but it seemed better to group all the lighthouses together instead of splitting this into multiple posts.  We tried to see, or take pictures of,  as many as possible of the lighthouses, or Lights as they are sometimes referred to, along the Pacific coast from northern California to southern Washington.

1.    Batttery Point Light

Crescent City offered the closest on the beach lodging that also was close to the Redwood National & State Parks. The Battery Point Light, on the hilly islet seen in the distance that is connected to the mainland by an isthmus, was not far from where we stayed.  It is open for tours but can only be reached at low tide. 

Tide coming in and covering part of the road up to the Battery Point Lighthouse

The picture shows the water covering part of the road up to the lighthouse.  When we arrived the tide was already coming in and several people who had been out at the lighthouse came sprinting back through the water getting their shoes and pants wet as the water by that time was coming in fairly fast.  We were too late to go out but took some pictures from the parking lot.  This is also the spot where we encountered the California ground squirrels.  

The lighthouse is located on the hill seen connected to the mainland by a causeway

Battery Point Light is listed on the National Register of Historic places and is sometimes called the Crescent City Lighthouse.  The first year of operation was 1856 making it one of the first lighthouses on the California coast.  It had a fourth-order Fresnel lens that was replaced by a modern 14.8 inch when the lighthouse became automated in 1953.   Following the Alaskan earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 1964 the light was switched off and a flashing light at the end of the nearby breakwater served as the navigational aid.  But the light was lit again in 1982 and is used as a private aid to navigation.  Inside is a museum that includes the keeper’s quarters with period furniture, photographs, and artifacts.  Unlike some of the other lighthouses it is possible to climb into the light tower on the tour.

2.    Cape Blanco Light

It took three years to complete construction on the Cape Blanco lighthouse that was first lit in 1870 and is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast.  It is open to the public but we arrived too early and did not take the tour.  It is located on a cliff 245 feet above the ocean and has a 59-foot tower.   Off shore reefs and islands that were dangerous to maritime commerce were the reasons for a lighthouse here.

The lighthouse as seen from the parking area

The rocky sea coast near the lighthouse

3.    Coquille River Light

Built in 1896 and formerly called the Bandon Light the Coquille River Light is located in Bullards Beach State Park.  This is a very popular beach and when we arrived there were already several school buses and hordes of school children on the beach for what must have been an end of the year field trip.  This lighthouse was used from 1896 to 1939, restoration began in 1976, and a new solar powered light was installed in 1991.  There have been further restorations.  Originally the lighthouse had a Daboll trumpet foghorn that was powered by a coal-fired hot air engine but it was ineffective during some weather conditions so a more reliable fog siren replaced it. 

4.    Umpqua River Light

Like several of the other lighthouses this one had a placard providing information.  The first lighthouse here was built in 1855 but seasonal flooding and erosion led to the structure's collapse.  This is the second lighthouse and was built in 1894.  It was automated in 1966.  Tours are available and there is an adjacent Coastal History Museum with exhibits featuring local history and U.S. Coast Guard history on the Umpqua River.  There is a viewing platform that provides views of the river and also the Oregon Dunes.

Oregon Dunes

5.    Heceta Head Light

The picture of the Heceta Head Light was taken from the Sea Lion Caves viewpoint.  It was built in 1892 and lit in 1894.  Recent restoration has returned the lighthouse as much as possible to the way it would have looked in 1894.  

Keeper's house as seen from the parking lot

The assistant keeper’s house has been used as a bed and breakfast.  It also has daily tours during the summer.   We paid the fee to park and ate out lunch there but we didn’t walk up to the lighthouse as it would have taken about 1 ½ hours and we still had a long way to go that day.

6.    Yaquina Bay Light

One of the few lighthouses with living quarters in the same building as the tower the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is near Newport, Oregon.  I was able to find a vintage photo postcard so there will be a postcard Thursday with more information about it.  It has been set up like a museum and we were able to see the interior rooms where the keeper’s family lived but the final stairway (a ladder) was not open to visitors.  It was only used for three years because the Yaquina Head Lighthouse built in 1873 replaced it.

7.    Yaquina Head Light

Also known as Cape Foulweather Lighthouse the Yaquina Head Light has the tallest, 93 foot or 28 meter tall, tower in Oregon.  It was first lit in 1873 and automated in 1966.  It is situated on a point and has viewing spots on the seaward sides.  We saw a rock in the sea covered in nesting Murres and also a grey whale while there.    The living quarters were nearby but not attached to the lighthouse and its adjoining oil house.  Yaquina Head Light usually had a three keepers; the Head Keeper and his family and the First assistant keeper would live in the two story house.  The Second assistant was typically a bachelor.  Congress established the grounds near the lighthouse as an Outstanding Natural Area in 1980.  This lighthouse is still active.

8.    Cape Meares Light

The Cape Meares lighthouse was deactivated in 1963 when a newer tower replaced it.  It is open a few hours and has a small gift shop.  It was built in 1890 with a tower 38 feet or 12 meters tall.  We parked at the top and walked down to the lighthouse.  While at the lighthouse we met a woman who told us that keeper’s house and the light in the tower had been severely vandalized and now it was no longer possible to tour the inside, only the gift shop was open.  The light was restored and three of the four missing bulls-eye lenses have been recovered.  The original light was visible for 21 miles, and produced alternating red and white beams as the light turned.  This structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

9.    Tillamook Rock Light

First built in 1881 the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse was deactivated in 1957.  It is located about 1.2 miles off Tillamook Head, Oregon.  Today it is privately owned and at one time functioned as a columbarium.  We viewed it from Ecola State Park.  Subject to erratic conditions and a dangerous commute for the keepers and suppliers it earned the nickname of Terrible Tilly (Tillie).  Storms have damaged the lighthouse, shattered the lens, and eroded the rock. 

10.    Cape Disappointment Light, Washington

View looking out from by the lighthouse

Visitor Interpretive Center

The last lighthouse we stopped to see was the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse in Washington.  On a hot day this was a longer than anticipated walk that also turned out to be somewhat steep.  There is a newer visitor center not too far from the lighthouse that we also walked to.  Countless ships were wrecked off this cape.  In January 1853 three ships were wrecked in one week.  Even a ship carrying the lens for the lighthouse was wrecked here.  Before the light was installed a white flag would be hung out during the day and bon fires lit at night to alert the ships at sea.  The lighthouse was constructed in 1856 and electrified in 1937.  The fog bell sometimes could not be heard over the roar of the surf so it was moved to another facility.  Slated for closure by the Coast Guard in 1956 the Cape Disappointment Light was kept operational when Columbia River bar pilots protested.  The light was automated in 1973 and an observation deck was built so that the Coast Guard can monitor traffic and bar conditions. 

For additional information about these lighthouses, see:  [The Oregon State Parks, pamphlet with a map showing the locations of the lighthouses, photos and brief information including tours and fees.]
The Lighthouse Encyclopedia, the definitive reference by Ray Jones, Globe Press, 2004
Lighthouses of Washington by Bruce Roberts and Ray Jones, Insiders’ Guide, 2006
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse by Brian R. Ratty, Sunset Lake Publishing, 2018