Specialists work on damaged Oregon lighthouse

Specialists work on damaged Oregon lighthouse
Joe Cocking with the Lighthouse Lamp Shop works to stabilize the broken lens glass.

CAPE MEARES, Ore. - Specialists who work with historic lighthouse lenses and on historic structures are evaluating damage that vandals did to the Cape Meares Lighthouse last month.

Sometime between the afternoon of Jan. 9 and noon on Jan. 10, a vehicle drove down a blocked maintenance road and then several rounds were fired at the lighthouse. A total of 15 windows were shattered and historic lighthouse lenses were damaged. Additional rounds were fired into an active Coast Guard light and surrounding equipment and the vehicle left significant damage in a grassy area.

A team from the Lighthouse Lamp Shop in Florida, which works nationwide on historic lighthouse lenses, is assisting the U.S. Coast Guard and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department in stabilizing the lighthouse and determining how much repair will be needed. The team so far has recovered salvageable pieces, done some reinforcement where they could and temporarily sealed the bullet holes.

In the next two weeks, the Lighthouse Lamp Shop will give their recommendations for repairs and an estimate of how much it will cost. Right now, the group is donating their time and expertise and their travel, a $4,000 expense, was funded by the Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse and Wildlife refuge.

So far, nearly $12,000 has been collected from private and corporate donations to help with the repairs but it is likely to cost much more. If you would like to help with the costs, here are ways you can donate:

  • Donate online
  • Drop off a donation at TLC Federal Credit Union in Tillamook. An account has been set up there.
  • Mail a donation to: The Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse, P.O. Box 262, Netarts OR 97143. Be sure to specify that your donation is for lighthouse repairs.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the vandalism. If you have information, call the Oregon State Police tip line at (800) 452-7888.