Oregon State Police (OSP), working in cooperation with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, is seeking the public’s help with an investigation into significant vandalism to the historic Cape Meares Lighthouse the weekend of Jan. 9-10. A reward of up to $5,000 is offered by The Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible in this case.
According to OSP Sergeant Todd Hoodenpyl, between the afternoon of Jan. 9 and noon on Jan. 10, an unknown vehicle reportedly drove down a blocked maintenance road to the Cape Meares Lighthouse viewing area ten miles west of Tillamook. Several rounds were fired breaking 15 windows of the lighthouse and several pieces of a historic Fresnel lens. Additional rounds were fired into an active Coast Guard light and surrounding equipment. While driving off the maintenance road, the suspect vehicle caused significant damage to a grassy area.
Cape Lookout State Park Manager Pete Marvin reported the lighthouse lenses were very old with much historical value and are irreplaceable. Cape Meares Lighthouse went into service January 1890. The lighthouse lens was manufactured in Paris, France and shipped around Cape Horn up to Oregon, arriving for installation prior to the date the lighthouse went into service. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department estimates damage to be over $50,000 dollars.
In addition to the reward, Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge is accepting donations to help pay the costs to repair the damage.
Information about the Cape Meares State Scenic Viewing area, which is currently closed in response to this incident, is available at: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_181.php
Anyone with information to help in the OSP investigation is asked to call the OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888.