The Oregon Coquille River Lighthouse is located in Bandon, in Bullards Beach State Park. The facility where the lighthouse is located has camping available and restrooms as well as a gift shop at the state park. Volunteers who can interpret the history of the lighthouse tower are available all summer long for tours. Visitors wanting to take a tour must be at least four feet tall to attend.
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History – The lighthouse was lit for the very first time in February of 1896. A 40 foot tower and a signal room to alert for fog were what the entire station consisted of. The lighthouse itself connects to the mainland by a walkway – as it was built on an island. The residence of the keeper of the lighthouse was on the mainland, in a duplex.
Shipwrecks – Many shipwrecks happened in the area even though the lighthouse and two jetties were located there. Two ships, the C.A. Klose and the Advance, both ran into the jetties across from the lighthouse. Tugboats were able to help save the men by pulling the ships off the rocks.
Keeper – The last keeper of the Coquille River Lighthouse was Oscar Langlois. He married the daughter of the principal keeper and moved to the lighthouse. He was first an assistant and then he became the principal keeper.
In 1936 when a fire destroyed most of the town of Bandon, the lighthouse had to be replaced. An automated light was put on the jetty due to the lack of funds, since the town was going bankrupt. Because the lighthouse was abandoned, it eventually deteriorated. There was a lot of vandalism done to the lighthouse, as well as overall neglect.
When they opened Bullards State Beach Park, a restoration project began to fix up the lighthouse. This took three years, from 1976 to 1979. In 1991 the lighthouse had a new solar powered light put in.
Once again in 2005, the officials of the State Park advised that the lighthouse would need another million dollar restoration.
To go and see the Coquille River Lighthouse in Bandon, take the Exit US 101 which is just a bit north of the Coquille River Bridge and two miles north of the city of Bandon. Go about 3 miles until you see the state park and drive through to the parking area that is designated for the Coquille River Lighthouse.