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Comments on Carl Leick Story

I cannot tell you how much I/we appreciate your article “A Style of His Own: The Pacific Northwest Lighthouses of Carl W. Leick” that was in the May/June edition of Lighthouse Digest. You have answered so many of my questions about the architecture of Heceta. Those of us associated with Heceta Lightstation realize how beautiful the lighthouse is, standing on the edge of the headland, but the fact that we also have the keeper’s duplex is unique. All of our lighthouses are special but the keepers needed a place to live while tending the light. The keepers and their families lived, worked, played, laughed, and cried while living in the keeper’s quarters, Oh, if only the walls of these buildings could talk. 

We did not know the name of our architect. Now we do.   

We did not know that our architect had designed and supervised the construction or renovation of over 40 of the district’s lighthouses in the Pacific Northwest for 39 years, from 1897 through 1926 when he retired.  Now we do.

We have known that our blueprints were the same as Umpqua Lighthouse because our blueprints are labeled Umpqua, but crossed out and hand written in Heceta.

I have been in search of any keeper’s residences that were built with the same or similar architecture. Umpqua Keepers and Grays Harbor in Washington quarters were like Heceta but were torn down years ago. Similar ones that I have found are Cape Arago Oregon (torn down), Patos Island Washington (torn down), Slip Point Washington (private), Turn Point Washington (BLM), and Coquille River Oregon (torn down).

Now we know that Heceta House is truly unique because no other keeper’s quarters with the same blueprints are still standing or open to the public.

We have assumed for years that because the fireplaces in the two parlors in our duplex are so small, that they were designed to burn coal. Therefore, the original design of the house must have come from the east coast - wrong.

We still want to know why our fireplaces were designed small and therefore seldom used. According to our records, a wood burning Franklin warming stove (vented to the chimney) was placed in the dining rooms to help heat the house.

We are pleased that our architect Carl Leick has multiple stations still left standing, and that his motto was, “Build ‘em strong and make ‘em last.” We believe Heceta House was built strong and was made to last. Thank you, Carl Leick.


Mary Nulty

Volunteer Historian at Heceta Lighthouse

Interpretive Center at the Keeper’s House

Yachats, Oregon

Loves Michigan Lights

What a lot of tribute to Michigan Lights and our Big Point Sable, Little Point Sable and  North Breakwater Light in Ludington in the March/April edition of Lighthouse Digest.  Loved seeing the Carferries passing the light . . . twice a day.  And, at night when the sun sets. Yes, just one ferry left . . . the Badger.  The Spartan was her sister ship and she sits in port now and used for parts, etc.  We had the largest fleet of ferries at one time. . . Seven of them. One winter, they were all in port because of the ice on Lake Michigan and they could not get out.  I was a teenager at the time and took a picture of the ferries . . . don’t know what happened to it, would make history. 

Enjoyed the other Michigan lights, all that we have visited.  Also enjoyed the picture of Bill Younger, the Harbour Lights founder. We have met him personally several times and he has been to Louisville, KY and visited our Lighthouse Club here . . . met his wife, daughter and son-in-law too. Bill calls my husband, Richard, his brother Bill, as they look much alike. We hear from Bill a few times a year. 

 I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate the Lighthouse Digest and it’s so very precious when my Ludington and other Michigan lights are in the magazine. Thank you for such a great job.

Jeannie in Kentucky,

formerly from Michigan.

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2021 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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