By Barbara B. Covell
For the TODAY
Visit the Oregon Coast any time of the year and memories imprint on your heart. And perhaps the most vivid memories of all are to be made at the Annual Victorian Christmas Open House at Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast near Yachats.
Every year, the B&B opens its doors to welcome locals, visitors and guests for a presentation of holiday lights, festivities and cheer.
This weekend and next, staff and volunteers will transform the Keeper’s House into Santa’s workshop, complete with bright, twinkling lights, holiday decorations and goodies.
“Each night is sponsored by a local community organization or business,” said Misty Anderson, inn manager and events coordinator for the B&B. “They are in charge of serving, cleaning up and managing the raffles. Everyone gets into the fun of this event, which is free and open to the entire family.”
Anderson said the event draws between 150 and 300 visitors each night, depending on the weather. Free shuttle service is provided from the State Scenic Viewpoint public parking area below, near the beachfront.
The entire first floor of the spacious B&B is decorated with fresh garlands, wreaths, handmade bows and lights of every color. Two trees adorned with holiday decorations are on separate ends of the house, one has a train set to appeal to kids. There is a 22-year-old Christmas teddy bear collection on display, a nativity scene in the parlor, and Santa makes a nightly appearance to give candy to appreciative children.
“We have three musicians playing every night,” Anderson said. “Some are well known performers, we also showcase youth musicians and children’s groups. The instruments range from piano, guitar, string ensembles and harp.”
The culinary program at Siuslaw High School in Florence make all the cookies, with coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cider served. Coffee is donated by the Green Salmon in Yachats.
An assortment of raffle items are donated by local businesses. The monies raised go toward restoration of the B&B and the interpretive program. Both the Keeper’s House and lighthouse offer guided tours throughout the year from knowledgeable docents.
Anderson said the Heceta Lighthouse B&B has invested in new LED lights outside the house.
“We won the Florence Christmas light competition last year,” she said. “We work together with the Oregon State Parks to include rope lights on the pathways to the lighthouse.”
The lighthouse and the amply stocked gift shop will be open every night during the celebration weekends.
The original lighthouse and Keeper’s House were built in 1894 and have weathered many transitions over the years. The Oregon State Parks own the resilient lighthouse and the beach below. The ocean beach is a protected marine reserve with abundant wildlife.
The US Forest Service owns the Keeper’s House which became the Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast in 1995 with Mike and Carol Korgan as innkeepers. The Korgans worked tirelessly to restore and transition the old house to a Queen Anne-style B&B, featuring six bedrooms. The Korgans have since retired and their daughter Michelle continues their legacy.
“We have had guests bond so much that lifetime friendships are made,” Anderson said. “This is a magical place.”
For more information about the Annual Victorian Christmas Open House or rooms at the B&B, call 866-547-3696 or go to www.HecetaLighthouse.com.
If you go
What: Annual Victorian Christmas Open House
When: 4-7 pm, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 9 & 10; 16 & 17
Where: Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast, 14 miles south of Yachats