The photos above are of the lighthouse at CAPE MEARES, just west of Tillamook,Oregon. Only 38 feet tall from the ground to the top of the round ventilator on the roof, this lighthouse, like many along the Pacific coast, sits on a high ledge and doesn’t need to be tall. Its light shines many miles out over the ocean. Like many others, it was deactivated by the Coast Guard years ago (a modern light shines from a tall metal tower nearby) and the keeper’s house and all the other buildings were removed. The small room attached to the lighthouse is a recreation of the “work room” that was originally there. Today it houses a small gift shop. Located within Oregon’s Cape Meares State Park, it is operated by the Friends of Cape Meares. “Cape Meares Lighthouse”
In these pictures you also get a good view of one of the fabulous prismatic lenses that allowed a single lightbulb (or oil lamp in earlier days) to be magified into a powerful beam seen for miles. Developed by a French engineer named Augustin Fresnel (Fre-nell), these lenses come in many sizes, and collectively are referred to still by the name “Fresnel”, although they were made by several firms in France and England. In all too many cases, these amazing devices were removed from lighthouse towers years ago, replaced by more modern, but no more efficient, light devices. Fortunately many do remain in lighthouses, or in museums where they can be appreciated. This specific lens, also a first-order lens built by the French firm of Henry-Lapaute, sadly is no longer illuminated, and in fact is missing a significant number of its prisms. To add more insult, vandals recently shot the lens several times with rifles, destroying even more of this priceless piece of history.