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A Real Columbarium in the Pacific
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

There is actually a lighthouse, this one in the Pacific, that has been turned into a columbarium.

Called the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, it sits on a rugged island just off the coast of Oregon state. From above it looks like a solitary Greek monastery sitting precipitously on a promontory, one of only a few in the Athosian peninsula to escape a future deluge.

And it just might look like an ideal sanctuary to store your remains, a picture-postcard perfect locale where your family and friends might at least enjoy visiting, with a phenomenal view to alleviate their grief.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Except, of course, for a couple of things:

1) Eternity by the Sea Columbarium, the company who owns the lighthouse and who converted it into a cemetery, lost their license in 1999 because of inaccurate record keeping and because their columbarium isn't technically one. The urns, which are supposed to be placed in niches, rest instead on boards and concrete blocks.

When the company tried to get a new license in 2005, their application was rejected. They now spend most of their time and money on lawsuits filed against them.

2) The sea is so treacherous that a helicopter is the only way to reach it — that is, if the owner of the island, the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, even allows you passage to the lighthouse in the mild weather of spring and summer when seabirds are nesting.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

But if you're one who's not looking for a peaceful rest in your unconscious days of being dead; actually prefers the thunderous sound of ocean waves constantly slamming into the rocks; doesn't mind sharing quarters with cormorants and common murres; and is thoroughly amused by the image of Charon as a helicopter pilot ferrying your soul across the Styx on whirring oars, then simply contact the proprietors.

They're still making offers for space. Even if they don't have a license.

A Little Columbarium in the Atlantic
A Little Columbarium Forest in the Arctic
On cemeteries
  • some lo-cale loser
  • May 19, 2008 at 1:31:00 PM CDT
  • Trevi:

    This post reminded me of this company which has a site near my home in Tampa......

  • Anonymous
  • May 22, 2008 at 2:00:00 PM CDT
  • Tillamook Head is in Oregon, not Washington.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • May 22, 2008 at 2:19:00 PM CDT
  • Corrected. Thanks, Anonymous.

  • Anonymous
  • May 26, 2008 at 11:02:00 PM CDT
  • Not specific to this post, but i must say that i enjoy the blog.. :)

  • Anonymous
  • October 23, 2008 at 5:45:00 PM CDT
  • Someone told me that at one time people were allowed to camp out on the rock. Does anyone know if this was ever true? Wonderful blog by the way, I have always wanted to visit the Lighthouse

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 23, 2008 at 6:07:00 PM CDT
  • Someone told me that at one time people were allowed to camp out on the rock. Does anyone know if this was ever true?

    Don't know the answer, but somehow camping out on the rocks with all those birds crowded into that tiny island and with so much of their shit around doesn't sound like it could turn into a pleasurable experience.

    Maybe inside the lighthouse but not outside.

  • Anonymous
  • December 7, 2008 at 5:25:00 PM CST
  • I doubt that Tillamook Rock was ever a tourist destination. The only access is either by helicopter or hoisted by a derrick from a boat small enough to maneuver close inshore. Even in relatively good weather large swells often precede gales and wash the rock in in heavy seas. The light keepers were sometimes isolated for weeks at a time before they could be taken off the rock.

  • Stuart Isett
  • March 31, 2009 at 12:37:00 PM CDT
  • If you are going to add my copyrighted images to your blog, please provide a live link to my website:


    Stuart Isett

  • Unknown
  • May 21, 2015 at 3:27:00 PM CDT
  • I tried to talk my wife into packing me in salt and renting a mule and wagon to take me from Sarasota to Oregon. She seems a little hesitant. This is my second choice.

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