Completed in 1896, the Coquille River Lighthouse with its 40-foot tower was built on a rocky islet and reached by a footbridge like Cape Arago today. But time has changed the landscape. Now the north jetty has hooked up with the land on which the lighthouse stands. The lighthouse design was unique with its cylindrical tower attached to the east side of an elongated, octagonal room, which housed the fog signal equipment and had a large trumpet protruding from its western wall. That trumpet is no longer there. The lighthouse was active until 1939 when the Coast Guard placed a smaller light and fog signal on the river's south jetty. Then the lighthouse was abandoned. When Bullards Beach State Park was created in 1964, the grounds of the light station were included. Restored in the late 1970s by park personnel working with the Corps of Engineers, the renovated lighthouse opened to the public as an interpretive center in 1979. Since then, it's been claimed as a symbol by nearby Bandon and is commonly referred to now as Bandon Light. As part of Bandon's centennial celebration in 1991, a solar-powered light was placed in the tower. And the lighthouse is further illuminated in December, when it's outlined in lights. The lighthouse is staffed from May through October with park volunteers who interpret the history of the area and lead tours to the lantern room.
March 12th, 2015
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