ON DECEMBER 31, 1894, Winchester Bay’s Umpqua Lighthouse was lit for the very first time. To celebrate the momentous achievement of 125 years as a navigational aid to boats at sea, the Douglas County museum is celebrating with a New Year’s Eve birthday party for the lighthouse on December 31, from 3 to 6 p.m.
The lighthouse was given a makeover in 2019, which included power washing, a touch-up paint job, and repair to the ball on the top of the structure, which is essential to prevent damage to the lens. The 65-foot lighthouse features a two-ton Fresnel lens constructed from hundreds of glass prisms handcrafted in France. The Umpqua Lighthouse is the only one on the Oregon Coast that emits a red and white light.
Inside the nearby museum, visitors can learn more about the Umpqua River Lighthouse and the US Coast Guard station. The lighthouse is open daily, year-round, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour leaves at 4 p.m.). Admission to the museum and lighthouse tour is $8 for adults, $4 for children age 5 to 17, and free for children under age 5.