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WINCHESTER BAY — This year's New Years Eve will be extra special for the Umpqua River Lighthouse, as the monument celebrates its 125th anniversary on Dec. 31.

Preston Harry, co-owner of Better Painting & Contracting, sprays a fresh coat of paint on the Umpqua River Lighthouse Museum near Winchest…

According to James Davis, with the Douglas County Museum, the lighthouse was originally lit on Dec. 31, 1895. It was constructed at its current location in 1890 after the original Umpqua River Lighthouse, built by the mouth of the river in 1857, collapsed during a storm. The lighthouse features a two-ton First Order Fresnel lens, constructed in France, from 616 glass prisms. The current lighthouse was built so it was safe from the risk of flooding, as well as being visible from both the sea and the river rather than just being visible from the river.

The anniversary celebration will take place at the lighthouse from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 1020 Lighthouse Road in Winchester Bay. There will be live music, performed by the local band Worn Out Frets, as well as a wine tasting and hors' doeuvres from Winchester Bay restaurants. Davis said they hope lots of people come by to celebrate with them.

"It should be a fun time," he said.

There is also a photo contest fundraiser being held for the lighthouse's anniversary. Pictures need to be taken on the lighthouse or the museum's property. The deadline has been extended for the contest. Entry forms can be picked up at Bedrocks Reedsport, Mindpower Gallery, and the Umpqua River Lighthouse Museum gift shop. All submissions must have a digital image file to be emailed to jmdavis@co.douglas.or.us.

As part of the contest, there will also be a silent auction and the ability to purchase framed contest entries as a fundraiser for the museum.

More information on the contest is available at the lighthouse museum or on their facebook page at umpquariverlighthouse.

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Reporter Adam Robertson can be reached at 541-297-3590, or by email at adam.robertson@theworldlink.com.

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