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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

FEED THE SEALS

CELEBRATE THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY!



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   The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse has a rich and rocky history. After local officials discerned that the area required a lighthouse, and that it should be built on Tillamook Rock, a master mason from Portland by the name of John R Trewavas was hired to do the survey. On September 18th 1879, while attempting to land on the rock, Trewavas slipped and was dragged to his death in the sea. The incident is one of a few that would lead to the lighthouse's nickname "Terrible Tilly." After the death of Trewavas, locals felt the endeavor was foolhardy because the location was too dangerous. Hence, they refused to work on the project. Charles A. Ballantyne, Trewavas' replacement, resorted to hiring men alien to the area who were unaware of the Rock's reputation. Furthermore, he sequestered the crew at Cape Disappointment until construction could begin, so that locals wouldn't scare them away from their task!

   Official construction began on October 21st, 1879. Landing men and supplies on the rock was dangerous at best, and entailed threading a 4.5 inch thick line from a small, single-masted boat, through a ringbolt on the rock and then back. The crew would use pulleys (picture a clothes-line) to move cargo along the line in a suspended sling. With the boat rolling and pitching in the swells, the line was never taut, and the fellow being transported was often drug through the icy waters.

   Construction took 575 days. Finally, on January 21st 1881, the tower was lit for the fist time, and four keepers were assigned to the lighthouse. The first principle keeper, Albert Roeder, lasted only a few months before he resigned, citing that too much of the "sad sea" did not agree with him, and vowing that it would be a long time before he "made himself a hermit again." Incidentally, storms brought flying rock and debris crashing through the lantern room, and on numerous occasions the light was broken. In 1957, after 77 years, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse was decommissioned.



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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.