Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Dust in the Wind
After 23 years of darkness, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse found new eternal life as a beacon for the Dust in the Wind. In 1980, Portland investors bought the Lighthouse for $50,000 and converted the sealed station into a Eternity at Sea Columbarium, the eternal resting place for the ashes of the deceased.
Thirty People paid up to $2,500 to be at eternal peace on the island sanctuary in the Pacific Ocean. According to the first Light-keepers, the Rock Lighthouse was not a peaceful sanctuary and they nicknamed the Rock Light Station, Terrible Tillie.
After 19 years, Eternity at Sea lost its license because the Lighthouse did not qualify as a columbarium and accurate records of the urns were not kept. Apparently, the owners Web site are continuing to look for new “dead Honorary Lighthouse Keepers.” Future Keepers are added to their waiting list for a discount when the Columbarium Niche Options become available!
In 2005, Eternity at Sea applied for a new license which was rejected and vandals allegedly broke in and birds built nests before the doors were repaired and sealed. Birds, Sea storms, and Waves are slowly destroying Terrible Tillie whose roof is leaking and the rock Lighthouse is caked in guano (bird droppings).
Despite the license issues with the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board, Mimi Morissette and her investors hope to raise $1 million for renovations next spring which includes constructing walls of niches in titanium for storing 300,000 urns!
Can you hear the Dusty Light-Keepers singing
“Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind.
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do is crumble to the ground though we refuse to see”
Tillamook Rock, located 1-mile west of Tillamook Head, Oregon, resembles the head of a sea serpent rising from the ocean. Initially, a Lighthouse was planned to be constructed on Tillamook Head, a 1,000-foot high headland, to aid navigation approaching the safe haven of the Columbia River. Fog frequently enshrouded the top of the cliff making the headland a impractical location.
In 1879, a engineer surveyed the treacherous off-shore rock and determined it was the optimal location for a Lighthouse! The 62-foot high brick-lined sandstone Lighthouse fortress was First Lit on Jan 21, 1881 exhibiting a Fixed White Light illuminated by a First-order Fresnel lens 133 feet above sea level to a visible range of 18 nautical miles.
In 1957, the Lighthouse was deactivated and replaced by a nearby whistle buoy after the Coast Guard determined Terrible Tilly was the most expensive Lighthouse to operate and maintain. The stag Lighthouse was never automated and five male Light-keepers were assigned to duty rotation of 42-days on duty and 21-days leave. In addition, severe ocean storms battered the Lighthouse resulting in repair costs that exceeded the original construction cost of $123,000.
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is not open to the public, and is best viewed from Ecola State Park and Highway 101 south of Cannon Beach.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.
Related News Story:
Terrible Tillie, Where the Departed Rest Not Quite in Peace