|The light was automated in the 1960s and several of the outbuildings were torn down. Before the light was automated, it was only lit one hour before sunset until one hour after sunrise. Curtains were drawn around the lantern room to protect the lens from the sun. When the light was automated, it was more convenient to leave it on 24 hours a day. Over time, the chariot wheels, which rotated the beacon, wore out. When the Coast Guard talked of shutting off the Fresnel lens and installing a modern optic, the community rose in outrage. Hundreds of names were gathered from the surrounding communities of Gardiner, Reedsport, and Winchester Bay and the help of congressmen and senators was enlisted to keep the Fresnel light shining. Eventually, the Coast Guard relented, and the chariot wheels were fixed in 1985.