Oregon’s Littlest Lighthouse!

The state’s smallest lighthouse sits on the Columbia River’s largest island, Sauvie Island, and is only one of two on the river. A seven-mile, round trip hike along the river leads hikers out to Warrior’s Head lighthouse. So named by a small party from the 1792 George Vancouver expedition who found themselves surrounded by 23 canoes of war-ready Chinook warriors with whom they decided to discuss the situation peaceably.

Sauvie Island Columbia River Oregon Warrior Rock Lighthouse HikeBuilt in 1889 to warn river traffic of bed rock, the lighthouse stands witness to major commercial river traffic. Hikers on the waterside trail will likely catch sight of cargo ships as they pass by effortlessly, mighty giants silently gliding toward the Pacific. It was a river barge that hit the original wooden lighthouse, resulting in a 28-foot cube of concrete as a replacement base. Its original beacon light was an oil lamp, and its fog bell was operated by hand crank until electricity in the 1930’s.

Sauvie Island Oregon Warrior Rock Lighthouse Hike

The fog bell that was previously inside was on its third home, first having been installed at Cape Disappointment as a replacement for one that had been broken by the jolt of nearby artillery practice at Fort Columbia. Unfortunately, it was destined to disappoint for not being loud enough. Rejected, it was sent on to West Point Lighthouse in Seattle where it was again replaced and sent on to Oregon at Warrior Point. There was a reason for so many homes, bells were not exactly a dime-a-dozen. This one was cast in 1855 in Philadelphia and brought around Cape Horn. Bells were used and reused until worn out. Well, this one didn’t wear out. The Coast Guard dropped it in the water and broke it while evaluating the lighthouse one year. The littlest lighthouse is now without a bell. After the final break, it was sent on and displayed at the Columbia County Courthouse.

Sauvie Island Oregon Hike Farm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: