Tag Archives: Oregon

The Wainwright’s Shed

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A wainwright was a craftsman skilled in the making and repairing of wagons. “Wain” was an old word for a large farm wagon. Also working in the shed would have been wheelwrights and blacksmiths. I know this through genealogy research as, in the 1880s, several of my ancestors were wainwrights and teamsters (wagon drivers).

wheelwright2This shed is located in the ghost town of Shaniko, Oregon. There are a few permanent residents in what’s left of the town and from time to time a tourist shop will spring up only to die after a year or so. Shaniko is located on a busy highway but everyone is always in a hurry to get somewhere else.

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“A fallen lighthouse is more dangerous than a reef”

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Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save: they just stand there shining.
— Anne Lamott

Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon, Oregon

Before the development of clearly defined ports, mariners were guided by fires built on hilltops. Since raising the fire would improve the visibility, placing the fire on a platform became a practice that led to the development of the lighthouse. In antiquity, the lighthouse functioned more as an entrance marker to ports than as a warning signal for reefs and promontories, unlike many modern lighthouses. The most famous lighthouse structure from antiquity was the Pharos of Alexandria, although it collapsed during an earthquake centuries later.

The intact Tower of Hercules at A Coruña and the ruins of the Roman lighthouse at Dover Castle in England give insight into ancient lighthouse construction; other evidence about lighthouses exists in depictions on coins and mosaics, of which many represent the lighthouse at Ostia. Coins from Alexandria, Ostia, and Laodicea in Syria also exist. (Wiki)