Umpqua River Lighthouse to keep 'turning and burning'

Umpqua River Lighthouse to keep 'turning and burning' »Play Video
In this undated photo released by the Douglas County Museum, the Umpqua River Lighthouse in Winchester Bay, Ore. is shown. Since 1894, two white beams of light followed by a red one have pierced the darkness from the Umpqua River Lighthouse at Winchester Bay. The U.S. Coast Guard, the owner of the lighthouse, is evaluating whether the light is still needed for navigation. If not, the two-ton first-order lens and its 616 colored and clear glass panels that were cut by hand in Paris could be removed and placed in a museum. (AP Photo/Douglas County Museum)

WINCHESTER BAY, Ore. -- Douglas County will officially be taking over the Umpqua River Lighthouse at Winchester Bay.

The Coast Guard sent a letter informing local representatives that they will hand over the operations and maintenance to the county.

Originally, the Coast Guard was going to decommission the lighthouse and put the lens in a museum, because it was no longer needed for safe navigation.

Douglas County fought hard to keep the lighthouse going because of the historical significance and the money it brings in as a tourist attraction.

Coast Guard officials said the decision was made easier because the county had already been doing maintenance on it for the past 15 years.

Commissioner Joe Laurance said they are delighted to keep the lighthouse "turning and burning since 1894."

The cost for operations will be less than $3,000 a year.