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~Coquille River Light ~

A Brief History

In southwestern Oregon, not far from Coos Bay, a beautiful river winds its way through the countryside. Although placid in appearance, the waters surrounding the mouth of Coquille River once struck fear into the hearts of mariners. Toward the latter part of the nineteenth century, Oregon's lumber industry was in full swing. The small town of Bandon, near the river entrance, quickly grew into a bustling port. Schooners sailed into the port on a regular basis to ferry loads of harvested lumber.

In 1870, the schooner Commodore foundered on the bar near Coquille's entrance and broke into pieces. Over the next few years, numerous vessels went down in these hazardous waters. Some mariners considered the river bar among the most dangerous on the West Coast. Fifteen years after the Commodore wreck, a stuccoed brick lighthouse was erected near the mouth of Coquille River. Rising 40 feet into the air, the white conical tower was fitted with a fourth-order Fresnel lens. Attached to the tower was a unique, octagonal fog signal building.

In 1896, Keeper J. Frank Barker activated the light for the first time. For the next forty-three years, the beacon at Coquille River not only guided vessels through the river entrance, but also served as an important coastal light. Although countless ships were no doubt saved, a number of vessels still went down in the waters near the lighthouse, including several schooners between 1904 and 1905.

In 1936, a devastating fire nearly destroyed the town of Bandon. Many residents sought refuge at the lighthouse, which was on the opposite side of the river. After the fire, coastal shipping in the area began to decline significantly. Three years later, the Beacon was deactivated and replace by a small jetty light and a series of buoys. After the government abandoned the station, it fell victim to vandals and the ravages of nature for the next four decades.

In 1979, the tower was restored to its former grandeur. In 1991, during the centennial celebration of Bandon, a solar-powered light was ceremoniously lit in the lantern room. Today, the sentinel, is still referred to by locals as "Bandon Light".

~Biloxi Lighthouse~

A Brief History

Constructed in sections by the firm of Murray and Hazelhurst of Baltimore, Maryland, the Biloxi Lighthouse arrived at this location aboard the brig General North and was erected in 1849. 

A cast iron sheath lined with locally made brick, the 48-foot tower is one of the few of its type remaining on the Gulf of Mexico. It was illuminated by a fourth order Fresnel lens visible at a distance of 13 nautical miles.

  The original site of the light was a sand bluff.  Neglect during the war years and the subsequent failure of a retaining wall in 1867 caused the tower to lean two feet off center. In danger of toppling into the Mississippi Sound, the tower was righted by excavating under the north side.  Also, heavily rusted, the tower was given a coating of black coal tar, thus giving rise to a popular local myth that the community had painted the structure black to mourn the death of Lincoln.

The lighthouse was repainted white to make it stand out against the dark green pine woods.   During most of its existence as an active station, the Biloxi lighthouse was uniquely tended by females, beginning with Mary Reynolds in 1845, Maria Younhans assumed duties in 1867 and was succeeded by her daughter Miranda in 1920. The light was electrified in 1926.

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along with great "Lighthouse History".