Desdemona Sands Lighthouse

Oregon’s Forgotten Sentinel

Almost forgotten, the Desdemona Sands Lighthouse stood on pilings in 12 feet of water at the western end of a shoal inside the mouth of the Columbia River.

The lighthouse was a white, octagonal frame dwelling with gray-green trim rising from a rectangular platform on piling. From a bronze-colored, pyramidal roof, rose a gray-green cylindrical lantern housing a 4th order fixed Fresnel lens which displayed a white light. On the west side was a small one story projection for the fog signal which blasted for two seconds with alternate silent intervals of three and 23 seconds. On the east side of the building was a one story annex.

The light stood 46 feet above the water and could be seen for 12 miles. It was constructed in 1902 and first shone on Christmas Eve of that year. The lighthouse itself was demolished in 1942 though a light remained at this site until 1964.

More information on Lighthouses can be found at the following site:

Information for this page taken from the book, "Oregon Seacoast Lighthouses" by James A. Gibbs published by Webb Research Group 1992, 1994. I highly recommend this and other books by Jim Gibbs and the Webb Research Group. Their coverage of West Coast lighthouses is outstanding.


Comments on this page? Please let me know.

Dennis Hawley

This site last updated 01/17/99