History comes alive

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will welcome the public to a living-history event to celebrate the North Head Light House 110th anniversary at Cape Disappointment State Park near Ilwaco from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 17 and 18.
Historians will portray people who figured prominently in the lighthouse’s early years.
North Head light began operation May 16, 1898.
Its construction was necessitated by the high number of shipwrecks still occurring in the area, despite the existence of other lights marking the entrance to the Columbia River Bar:
Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard
Enlargement of the Columbia River Bar area from NW Limited’s Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, depicting just the shipwrecks at the river’s mouth
The mouth of the river was treacherous, with deadly currents and tricky channels as well as the weather, which was prone to change. It claimed its toll in human lives as well as lost cargo.
In contrast to the countless lives saved since its inception, North Head light itself has a dark secret: In 1923, the keeper’s wife leapt from the cliff, falling 130 feet to hear death.
The lighthouse fell into disrepair in the years following the keeper’s obsolescence (the light was automated in 1961).
Luckily, the United States Coast Guard came to the rescue in 1984, and restored it, allowing it to open to the public under the direction of Cape Disappointment State Park.
Don’t miss this bit of living history, even if you can’t attend the event this weekend.

To order your shipwreck chart, call 503-338-6056 or email bill@nwlimited.com
We promise to give you the whole thing, not just the tiny portion shown above.

Links:
NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Living history event highlights lighthouse (Daily Astorian)
North Head Lighthouse

 

 

 

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