Heceta Head Light is a lighthouse located on the Oregon Coast 13 miles north of Florence, Oregon and 13 miles south of Yachats, Oregon, and 2 miles away from Sea Lion Caves. It is located at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint (a state park) midway up a 205-foot tall headland.
In 1892, a crew of 56 constructed the light. Because of the site's seclusion, building materials were either shipped in if the weather and tide permitted, or brought from Florence by wagon, the latter usually taking four or five hours. Stones were brought from the Clackamas River and bricks came from San Francisco. Completed in August 1893, the entire project cost $80,000 and consisted of the lighthouse, houses for the head light keeper, the two assistant light keepers and their families, a barn, and two kerosene oil storage buildings. If one caught on fire, there was a secondary source.
Heceta Head is named after the Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta, who explored the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century. Before him, Heceta Head was a spot of frequent fishing and hunting by the Native American tribes that populated the area. Heceta Head is part of the Siuslaw Indians' traditional lands, known in their language as Itúwɪs. They hunted sea lions in the area and gathered sea bird eggs from the offshore rocks. In 1888, white settlers moved into the area and claimed 164 acres of the surrounding land. That same year U.S. Lighthouse Service approved the building of the lighthouse, and the government bought 19 acres for the lighthouse structures.
The 56-foot tall lighthouse shines a beam visible for 21 miles, making it the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. The light is maintained by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Heceta Head Light and Keepers Quarters were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 for its architectural and engineering significance. The site originally included several other buildings; farm buildings plus the single-family head lighthouse keeper's house, which was demolished in 1940, and was very similar in size and design to the remaining house. Due to electrification the head lighthouse keeper was no longer needed, and the house was bought for $10 and dismantled for its lumber which was used to build Alpha Bit bookstore-cafe in Mapleton, Oregon, which still stands today. The remaining keepers' house was a duplex that housed the first and second assistant lighthouse keepers and their families. After the light was automated in 1963, the last keepers moved away and the remaining house was leased to Lane Community College in 1970 by the U.S. Forest Service, which had taken over management of the building. The porch of the Queen Anne-style house underwent restoration in 1981.