About Me

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For two summers I worked as a tour guide at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon. This opportunity enabled me to learn more about that lighthouse than any of the others I've seen. Although I have personally visited and photographed 302 lighthouses in the United States and three Provinces in Canada, the Umpqua River Lighthouse has special meaning for me. This is where I was inspired to write my book titled, "The Wickie."

Book Info.


I invite you to read my book, "THE WICKIE." Preview the book's cover and watch the trailer below.
(Wickie was a nickname used by the early lighthouse keepers at the Umpqua River Lighthouse in OR.)


This 1860's story about the lighthouse keepers and their families at the Umpqua River Lighthouse will warm your heart. Discover the challenges they met but never expected, and their determination to maintain navigational aid to mariners on the Oregon coast.

To order your signed copy of "The Wickie", send me an e-mail: awbates1955@gmail.com. The Book is $15 plus tax and shipping.

My book is also available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Use the Tabs below for links to these websites. At their website, click on books - In the Search area enter The Wickie.





16 April 2015

An Oregon Beauty - Umpqua River Lighthouse

The Umpqua River Lighthouse, located near Winchester Bay, OR is the second lighthouse of the same name to be built at this river. The first structure, built in 1857 on the north spit of the river, was the first lighthouse built on the Oregon coast. It fell into the river in 1861 after sand eroded from under the foundation. (Enjoy reading more about the Umpqua River Lighthouse and the challenges of the light keepers and their families in my book, The Wickie.)

This current lighthouse, built in 1894, continues to operate with its original first-order Fresnel lens at the top of the 65-foot tower. Note the white cover surrounding the lens in the lantern room. Read my book and learn about the cover. The lighthouse overlooks sand dunes and the mouth of Umpqua River from an elevation of 165-feet above the water on the south side of the bay. The picture below shows this landscape.

The light in the Umpqua River Lighthouse is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard, while the lighthouse, a museum, and gift shop are maintained by Douglas County.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse, which I posted last week, is considered to be a sister lighthouse of the Umpqua River Lighthouse because they, for the most part, are of identical design.



09 April 2015

An Oregon Beauty - Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse, built in 1894, is located near Florence, OR. This lighthouse stands 205-feet above the ocean. The tower is 56-feet high and in 1963 its light at the top was automated. The beacon is visible for 21-miles out to sea and  is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast.

The Queen Anne style duplex, pictured below, was built to house two assistant light-keepers. The head light-keeper lived in a smaller house that once stood alongside of the duplex. The historic assistant keepers house, known as Heceta House, was built in 1893. At the times of my visits here in 1999, 2004 and 2005, the Heceta House offered bed and breakfast rentals and facilities for group events. The U.S. Coast Guard transferred responsibility for the building to the U.S. Forest Service.



02 April 2015

An Oregon Beauty - Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Located near Newport, OR, the 93-foot tower on the Yaquina Head Lighthouse is the tallest on the Oregon coast. This lighthouse was built in 1873 and its light stands 162-feet above sea level. The now automated light serves as an aid to navigation along the seacoast and entrance to Yaquina Bay. The light from the first-order Fresnel lens is visible for 19-miles out to sea. The site and lighthouse are managed by the Bureau of Land Management while the lantern in the lighthouse is operated and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors off-shore bird rookeries and wildlife. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife manages intertidal animals, and the Oregon Department of State Land is responsible for the interdidal land. At the time of my visit here in 1999, these entities were all partners in protection and management of the lighthouse, surrounding land, fish, and wildlife in the area. This is an active lighthouse.

26 March 2015

An Ohio Beauty - Fairport Breakwater Lighthouse

The Fairport Breakwater Lighthouse is located at Fairport Harbor on the Grand River at the entrance to Lake Erie, OH. This lighthouse was built in 1925 and replaced a previous light here. It stands 42-feet high with the keepers house. The lantern room originally housed a fourth-order Fresnel lens.This light was later automated and in more recent years the Fresnel lens was replaced by a modern day optic light. At the time of my visit here in 2001, the light continued active. I took this picture from the Headland Beach State Park, Mentor, OH. Because the lighthouse was in the distance, I cropped my original picture to bring the lighthouse closer in view to better show its beauty of unique style and architecture.