An online magazine with information related to attractions, lodging, dining,
and travel resources in selected areas of Washinton
North Head Lighthouse
Cape Disappointment is recognized as being one of the foggiest and windiest places in the entire Untied States. Winds of 120 miles per hour have been recorded and fog is said to cover the area for the equivilent of more than 100 days a year. Who named it and when is sometimes disputed by those that claim to know. One explanation has it that John Meares, a fur trader named it in 1788 after being forced to abort his voyage just north of the cape due to a storm. Another explanation has it that Lewis and Clark named it in 1805 after discovering that there were no ships at the mouth of the Columbia River.
In any case, mariners needed all of the help they could get in attempting to enter the mouth of the Columbia River. The first lighthouse, Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, was built in 1856, but it turned out that ships approaching from the north could not see it so a second light station was built on the cliff to the north. The North Head Lighthouse was built in 1898. Just inland from the lighthouse are the residences of the three light keepers.