West of Tillamook Head, between Seaside and Cannon Beach, the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse had guarded coastal shipping for 76 years when it was officially closed on September 1, 1957 (The Sunday Oregonian, 1 September 1957).
“Aye, tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high, and many an eye has danced to see that banner in the sky.”
The ensign of Tillamook Rock lighthouse, often tattered by the winter storms of the Pacific, was hauled down for the last time at sunset Saturday, and the 80,000 candlepower light was to wink its last wink at 12:01 a. m. Sunday as the coast guard shut down the 76-year-old beacon.
Nicknamed Terrible Tilly, the lighthouse was replaced by a red whistle buoy. Keeper Oswald Allik, after he turned off the light for the last time, wrote in the logbook:
Farewell, Tillamook Rock Light Station. An era has ended. With this final entry, and not without sentiment, I return thee to the elements. You, one of the most notorious and yet fascinating of the sea-swept sentinels in the world; long the friend of the tempest-tossed mariner. Through howling gale, thick fog and driving rain your beacon has been a star of hope and your foghorn a voice of encouragement. May the elements of nature be kind to you. For 77 years you have beamed your light across desolate acres of ocean. Keepers have come and gone; men lived and died; but you were faithful to the end. May your sunset years be good years. Your purpose is now only a symbol, but the lives you have saved and the service you have rendered are worthy of the highest respect. A protector of life and property to all, may old-timers, newcomers and travelers along the way pause from the shore in memory of your humanitarian role.
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