In a ceremony held on August 3, 2013, the ownership of Oregon’s Cape Arago Lighthouse and the island that it sits upon were transferred to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians.
However, before the ownership of the lighthouse could be transferred, the U.S. Coast Guard had agreed to mothball the lighthouse as part of the mitigation for the demolition of the reportedly unstable 400-foot Cape Arago High Bridge that connected Chief Island, where the lighthouse stands, to the mainland.
The federal government hired Scott Partney Construction of North Bend, Oregon to demolish the trestle bridge and mothball the lighthouse, which required them to clean and repair damaged concrete, repair damaged metals, remove mold, and paint the lighthouse inside and out. They installed air transfer grills so that the building could breathe and they also installed new curved glass in the lantern. The goal of the mothballing project was to ensure that the lighthouse would last another ten years with no work needing to be done during that time.
At the time of mothballing, all other structures on the island, including the keeper’s house, had previously been demolished. Built in 1934, the current lighthouse is the third lighthouse to occupy the island since a light station was first established there in 1866. It is doubtful that the lighthouse will ever be available for public visitation.
For historical purposes, we are now able, for the first time, thanks to photos from Scott Partney, of Scott Partney Construction, Inc., to publish and share some images of the 2013 mothballing project of the Cape Arago Lighthouse.
This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2019 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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