22

OverviewTranscribeVersionsHelp

Facsimile

Transcription

to the 350 watt and 750 watt electric lamps of today; this limitation permitted slight variation in the range of the lighted beacons. The lenses increased and magnified the light as they revolved to produce a flashing effect.

Reminicenses of the Lighthouse men who tended these lights during the years when the Northwest was, for the most part, a mountainous wilderness, make interesting listening. Even after the invention of railroads, telephones and the automobile, trips to coastal Light Stations involved travel by boat, stage and horseback. Stage drivers informed passengers before the journey began, that there was no guarantee that the stage could complete the trip, in which event, the traveller made the remainder of his journey on foot. Seasonal rains, washouts, and the miserable conditions of the "roads" (deer trails, or Indian paths) made such stipulations a necessity. Today's brief trip from Bandon to Cape Blanco, Oregon, can be made either way in a fraction of an hour; earlier travellers spent three days; The uncertainty of transportation was illustrated in the following anecdote: An engineer of the Lighthouse Service was called to Destruction Island to repair the boilers. A buoy tender took the engineer to the Island and he requested that the tender return on Friday to pick him up. Friday came - and went; another Friday - no tender; a third Friday - and in the distance the curl of a tender's smoke was seen on the horizon (in those days the smoke trails of the various type ships identified them to the men whose idle hours were spent watching the horizon for the vessels that occasionally appeared there.) When the Master of the tender was admonished for his tardiness, he replied, "You said to come on Friday; isn't this Friday?". Time was of little import.

Life on the Light Stations until the middle thirties was a world of its own. Because of their locations there were no telephone facilities, and commercial electric power did not reach to the outposts. There were generally two keepers and their families assigned to each station and the competition for the most tidy and efficient station among the keepers was keen. A few of the isolated stations at Tillamook Rock, Destruction Island, Cape Flattery, etc. had four or five keepers, one on continuous liberty rotation. With the installation of radiobeacons at many of the stations, it became necessary to bring in commercial electric power or generate power at the station. With electricity available, the i.c.v. light was superceded, the fog signals mechanized, and the comforts of the keeper's dwellings increased. Telephone service or radio-telephone service soon followed as

Page Notes

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page