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UNITED STATES COAST GUARD HISTORY

IN

THE COLUMBIA RIVER AREA

 

1850
The first navigation buoys were placed in the channel between the Columbia River bar and Astoria.
1853

September 18 -- The ship ORIOLE arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River with materials for the Cape Disappointment Light, but went aground and was a total loss.
1856


March 20 -- The Revenue Cutter JOSEPH LANE was stationed at Astoria.
October 15 --Cape Disappointment Light was first lit at a cost of $38,500.  It was then known as Cape Hancock. 
1858
October 1 -- Willapa Bay Light went into operation.  It was then known as Cape Shoalwater Light.
1862
March 18 -- The Revenue Cutter JOSEPH LANE was transferred to Port Townsend.
1865
Joel Munson started the first lifesaving station at the Columbia River mouth located at Cape Disappointment.
1875
Point Adams Light became operational.
1876
Tongue Point Light became operational.
1877

November 15 -- U.S. Government initiated construction of the Fort Canby Lifesaving Station under the Revenue Marine.  Originally located on the Fort Canby Army Reservation SSE of the town of Ilwaco.  (CG Station #327)
1881
January 21 -- Tillamook Bay Light was first lit; construction costs totaled $123,493.
1882
Captain Al Harris swore-in the first full-time crew for the Cape Disappointment Lifesaving Station.
1889
Point Adams Lifesaving Station was established.
1891


November 12 -- Destruction Island Light became operational.
Ilwaco Lifesaving Station was erected 13 miles north of Cape Disappointment.  The station name was later changed to Kilpsan Beach.
1892
The Lightship COLUMBIA #50 was the first lightship outside the Columbia River.
The Revenue Cutter OLIVER WOLCOTT was ordered to the Columbia River for temporary duty.
1897

Grays Harbor Light became operational.
Grays Harbor Lifesaving Station (CG Station #330, originally called Peters Point LSS) was established.
1898
North Head Light became operational.
1899

January 31 -- Point Adams Light was discontinued.
November 29 -- The lightship COLUMBIA #50 went aground on the sands inside McKenzie Head.
1900
Lightship COLUMBIA #50 was refloated.
1902

Peterson's Point Station became Grays Harbor Station.
Shoalwater Bay Station Became Willapa Bay Station.
1907



Station Tillamook Bay (CG Station #325) was established on the north side entrance of Tillamook Bay, five miles NNE of Cape Meares Light. It was originally called Barview Life Saving Station, and operated 30-foot rowboats.  A river patrol on Nehalem River operated out of Tillamook Bay Station but was discontinued in 1980.  However, a River Patrol is listed as operational in the summer of 1983.
1909
Station Cape Disappointment transitions from the 34-foot wooden lifeboat to the 36-foot lifeboat (rowboat)
1912

January 12 -- Point Adams Light was destroyed.
The first powered lifeboats (MLB) were put into use at Station Tillamook Bay.
1913

Point Adams lifesaving crew earned the Gold Lifesaving Medal for actions taken during the rescue of the steamship ROSECRANS' crew.  (Awarded on 14 April).
1914
Point Adams Lifesaving Station was moved due to coastline erosion.
1915
The U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, and the U.S. Lifesaving Service merged to form the U.S. Coast Guard.
1920
CG Station Cape Disappointment relocated to its present location.
1929
Station Tillamook Bay transitions from the 30-foot MLB to the 36-foot MLB.
1936
The first 36-foot MLB was put in use at Cape Disappointment.
1937
Electronic flashing lenses replaced the lenses at the Cape Disappointment Light and the North Head Light.
1939

Tongue Point Station became a buoy tender port.
The U.S. Lighthouse Service merged with the Coast Guard.
1940

December 22 -- Willapa Bay Light was abandoned due to coastline erosion.  A new light was erected but was subsequently moved several times due to shifting coastline.
1945

CG Station Tillamook Bay moved to 1200 Garibaldi Ave., (Hwy. 101).  The boathouse was built north of the highway with a rail launch system leading into the bay.
1946
The Bureau of Inspection and Navigation were assimilated into the Coast Guard.
1947
The CG Cutter IVY was stationed at Astoria.
1949
Kilpsan Beach Lifesaving Station (originally named Ilwaco Beach Lifesaving Station) was abandoned.
1950
The present day steel COLUMBIA lightship replaced the previous oil-burning lightship.
The CG Cutter YOCONA was transferred from Eureka, California to Astoria, Oregon.
1957
September 1 -- Tillamook Light was extinguished.
1959
March 12 -- Willapa Bay Light was moved to its present location.
1961

North Head Light was automated.
January 14 -- The incident involving the F/V MERMAID and the CG MLB TRIUMPH occurred.  Seven lives were lost.
1963
Station Cape Disappointment receives the 52-foot MLB TRIUMPH II.
1964


August 14 -- Air Station Astoria was established at Tongue Point Naval Air Station.  Two HH-52A Seaguard helicopters were assigned to the station.
Station Cape Disappointment transitioned from the 36-foot MLB to the 44-foot MLB.
Station Tillamook Bay transitioned from the 36-foot MLB to the 44-foot MLB.
1965
The CG Cutter MAGNOLIA replaced the cutter MALLOW.
1966
February 25 -- Air Station Astoria was moved to Clatsop County Airport, Warrenton.
1967
Station Point Adams is closed.  Its responsibilities are assumed by Station Cape Disappointment.
1969
The CG Cutter TUPELO and CACTUS replaced the cutters IVY and MAGNOLIA.
1971


September 20 -- The CG Cutter CACTUS ran aground on Grays Harbor's south jetty.  She was later decommissioned.
Station Petersons Point is turned over to the General Services Administration.  A new station, designated Grays Harbor, was established at its current location.
1973
The HH-52A helicopters at Air Station Astoria were replaced with three HH-3F Pelican helicopters.
1980
The National Motor Lifeboat School was established, co-located at CG Station Cape Disappointment.
1981

The current Station Tillamook Bay is inaugurated along with a boat house and haul-out facility.  The old station on Hwy. 101 is converted into a housing unit (duplex).
1983

May -- Station Tillamook Bay puts into use the 30-foot Surf Rescue Boat (SRB).
October -- Two HU-25 Guardian fanjets arrive arrived at Air Station Astoria.
1987
Three HH-65A Dolphin helicopters replaced the HH-3F Pelicans at Air Station Astoria.
1993
Station Tillamook begins employing the 47-foot MLB.
1994

The old Station Tillamook Bay, along with the OIC quarters next door were included into the National Register of Historic Places.
1995

May 28 -- Three HH-60J Jayhawk helicopters replaced the HH-65A Dolphins and HU-25 Guardians at Air Station Astoria.
1996
Station Cape Disappointment transitioned from the 44-ft MLB to the new 47-ft MLB.
1999
November -- Station Tillamook Bay discontinued the use of the 30-ft SRB.

 

 


 

Last Modified 11/17/2014