Heceta Head Lighthouse, the most photographed lighthouse in Oregon, is located just 13 miles north of Florence, Oregon. A very romantic spot, it is the scene of many marriage proposals and weddings.
The light in the lighthouse has been burning since 1894. It was originally a kerosene lamp and is now powered by electicity. It can be seen 21 miles out to sea. When it was lit by kerosene it had to have lighthouse keepers on site to keep it lit and to clean the lense. One lighthouse keeper's house remains and it is now a bed and breakfast.
It is a relatively easy half-mile walk from the parking lot on the south side past the keeper's house to the lighthouse itself. Here you have spectacular views from the cliffside. This is a perfect place to view the spring migration of whales and their calves returning northward from California waters.
The beach below is nice and sandy and is good for tidepooling and surfing. Heceta Head State Park has picnic tables. There is a $3 charge for day use.
The Heceta Head keeper's house is reportedly haunted. The story is that the young daughter of one of the first lighthouse keepers died and the mother was so distraught over the death that she took her own life. The ghostly activity inside and outside the house are attributed to her and she is called Rhu. The little girl's grave is in the garden.
Happenings include the appearance of a ghostly white cloud, windows being opened, candles flickering when there is no breeze, objects being moved, and a face looking out of an upstairs window. It is reported that in the 1970's when work was being done on the house, a painter who was working in the attic saw Rhu rise up out of the floor. He fled the building and refused to work in the attic again.
The Heceta Head Keeper's House is a popular bed and breakfast and wedding venue. It has been restored and decorated in Victorian style. Some rooms have an ocean view. Look out over the ocean while you are soaking in a porcelain claw-foot tub. Enjoy a scrumptous seven-course breakfast. The inn has a Christmas open house during two weekends every December.
Heceta Head Lighthouse Tours
Daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Daily, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
March-April, and October:
Daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday-Tuesday (weather permitting), 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Special tours and group visits can be arranged all year. Call 541-547-3416.