Cape Meares is a prominent headland that forms a high steep bluff on the south end of Tillamook Bay, about 48 miles (77 km) south of Astoria and 7 miles (11 km) west-northwest of Tillamook, Oregon. A small community about 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of the cape is also called Cape Meares. The cape and community are named after Captain John Meares who was a navigator, explorer, and maritime fur trader, best known for his role in instigating the Nootka Crisis, which brought Britain and Spain to the brink of war.
Cape Meares was originally named Cape Lookout in 1788 by Captain John Meares, but nautical charts produced in 1850 and 1853 mistakenly put the name “Cape Lookout” on another cape 10 miles (16 km) to the south. By the time the mistake was realized, Cape Lookout was accepted and used by mariners for the southern cape. The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey then decided it would be easier to rename the original cape and on charts from 1857 the name “Cape Meares” was published.
The Cape Meares Light Station was built in 1890 and originally included two keeper’s houses, two oil houses, and two water cisterns, all connected to the light tower by a boardwalk 1,000 feet (305 m) long. In 1963, the lighthouse was deactivated and remained vacant until 1968, when the site was turned over to the Oregon State Parks Department. The U.S. Coast Guard permanently switched off Cape Meares Light in 2014 after 124 years of operation. Today Cape Meares Lighthouse is part of Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint and visitor facilities are operated by the non-profit Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse. Read more here and here. Explore more of Cape Meares here: