History & Hops: Terrible Tilly Tales
The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, aka Terrible Tilly, is as iconic an Oregon north coast landmark as Haystack Rock. Construction of the lighthouse took 500 days and was completed in January 1881. It was decommissioned in 1957 yet the lighthouse structure remains. Standing 134 feet tall it has withstood the winds, storms and waves for 137 years, creating a history of its own.
Family history with Terrible Tilly drove Brian Ratty to write his most recently released book “Tillamook Rock Lighthouse: History and Tales of Terrible Tilly”. In December 2015, Ratty shared some of those stories-in-progress at one of the first History & Hops events presented by the Seaside Museum. Now Ratty returns to History & Hops, book recently published, to share more of his research, expanding with more tales and historical facts. He says: “There is something mysterious about the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, something marvelous and a little macabre. When one sees it, one wants to learn more.”
Ratty said he always felt a special connection to the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. His grandfather Harry Ratty almost died on the rock in 1934. He became ill due to exposure after a violent storm and was finally evacuated after several attempts at rescue. Ratty recalls the light’s beacon and horns from the time during WWII when his family lived in Seaside.
This month’s History & Hops will be held at 6pm on Thursday May 31 at the Seaside Brewing Co.
Local historian, photographer and author, Brian Ratty, is a retired media executive and graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography. He has written numerous magazine articles about the Pacific Northwest and won awards for his historical fiction novels. For more than thirty years, he has traveled the vast wilderness of the Pacific Coast in search of images and stories that reflect its spirit and splendor.
History & Hops is a series of local history discussions hosted by the Seaside Museum on the last Thursday of each month, September through May, at Seaside Brewing Co., 861 Broadway.
Preserving Seaside’s History since 1974, the Seaside Museum and Historical Society is a non-profit educational institution with the mission to collect, preserve and interpret materials illustrative of the history of Seaside and the surrounding area. The museum is located at 570 Necanicum Drive, Seaside and is open Monday through Saturday from 10A to 3PM. More information can be found at www.seasideoregonuseum.com