Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)




Jan Roush


Regional identity and contested space were explored through the lens of four central Oregon Coast lighthouses. These beacons offered a look into the settlement of the Pacific Northwest and the complexity of contested space. Not only did the sentinels sit at the edge of a human battle with nature, but the keepers and their families lived in problematic conditions as well (both domestic and environmental). The living quarters and outbuildings provided by the U.S. lighthouse Board illustrated the cultural tastes of the period and the distillation of those tastes throughout the country as the nation expanded into and throughout the west. Further, these buildings were constructed within the pseudo military structure of light-tending and governed via principles predetermined by the u.s. Lighthouse Establishment. The daily lives of the lighthouse families conveyed the challenges of new settlement in, and the impact of lighthouses on, the West coast.