Built from 1871 to 1873 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Yaquina Head Light was first lit August 20, 1873 and automated in 1966. It is active with an identifying light characteristic of two seconds on, two seconds off, two seconds on, and 14 seconds off.
A two-story keepers’ dwelling was built at the time the lighthouse tower and its adjoining oil house were constructed. In 1923, a one-story keepers’ house was added a short distance to the east. In 1938, a one-story building replaced the original two-story dwelling. Both dwellings and all outbuildings (a shed, a garage, etc.) were then demolished in 1984. The space is now a grassy area.
Yaquina Head typically had three lighthouse keepers under the U.S. Lighthouse Service; a Head Keeper, and First and Second Assistant. The Head Keeper as well as the First Assistant usually stayed in the two-story keepers’ dwelling with their families and the Second Assistant was usually a bachelor. In 1939 the U.S. Coast Guard took over the management. During WWII 17 Servicemen were stationed at Yaquina Head keeping a lookout for enemy ships.