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About Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
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History of Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
Lands for this park were acquired between 1930 and 1951. Much of the original park was given to the state by Douglas County. Additional lands were purchased from the U. S. Government and private owners. In 1951, Menasha Wooden Ware Company donated just over one hundred acres. In 1968, a small surplus was returned to Douglas County. With the creation of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA) on the surrounding Siuslaw National Forest in 1972, an exchange of land was made with the U. S. Forest Service. The state of Oregon deeded 2,265 acres to the ODNRA in exchange for 1,006.48 acres of potential park land in Deschutes, Klamath and Lane counties. This exchange was completed in 1981. In its original conception, Umpqua Lighthouse Park was acquired to preserve the forested basin of Lake Marie plus a large ocean frontage with adjoining sand dunes. The park extended to the Oregon Coast Highway and bordered Clear Lake, the Reedsport water source, on its westerly side. Trees in the park included large Sitka spruce, western hemlock and shore pine as well as large specimens of rhododendron. The present Umpqua River Lighthouse was built in 1894 to signal the entrance to the Umpqua River. It replaced an earlier aid to navigation and remains a feature of the adjoining U. S. Coast Guard lighthouse base. Development of facilities in the state park began with trails and a picnic area at Lake Marie constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. In the late 1950s, an overnight camping area was added.