The Oregon County Series

Featured counties:

Coos County

Polk County 

Crook County

Harney County

Malheur County

Wallowa County

Columbia County


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Coos County 1853 * Named for Coos Indians * 1,629 square miles * County seat: Coquille City

Coos Bay
by William G. Robbins

The Coos Bay estuary is a semi-enclosed, elongated series of sloughs and tidewater streams that drains approximately 825 square miles of southern Oregon's rugged Coast Range.

Oregon Coast Music Festival
by Mitzi Loftusmusic fest

The Oregon Coast Music Festival (OCMF) has grown from a Coos Bay performance of Haydn music to a two-week-long annual festival that draws 5,000 to its varied concerts in several Coos Bay area locations.

C.A. Smith Lumber Company
by William G. Robbins

Charles Axel Smith became, for a time, one of Oregon's most powerful lumbermen, buying up huge tracts of forest land and developing the largest mill in the area.

Athapaskan Indians
by David Lewis

According to Tolowa oral histories, the Athapaskan people of southern Oregon and northern California arrived from the north in ancient times, traveling by canoe. Linguists estimate that they arrived in the region about 700 years ago.

Evans Products Company
by Steve Greifevans

Evans Products Company was one of the most successful wood products corporations in the United States in the twentieth century.

Alsea Subagency of Siletz Reservation
by David Lewis

In September 1859, Joel Palmer, the supervisor of Indian Affairs for Oregon, established the Alsea Subagency on the Coast Reservation to manage Indians who lived between Coos Bay and the Alsea River.

William B. Smullin
by Ron Kramer

William Brothers Smullin pioneered the first television stations in southern Oregon and northern California, building them into a broad, regional media presence that helped shape numerous communities.

New Carissa (freighter)
by Steve Greif

The New Carissa, a 639-foot freighter, wrecked on the North Spit near North Bend early on the morning of February 4, 1999, causing what many experts consider Oregon’s worst oil spill disaster. High winds and twenty-six-foot swells drove the ship aground south of Horsefall Beach, about 2.7 miles north of the jetty.

Civilian Conservation Corps in Coos County
ccc campby Linda Kirk

From 1933 to 1942, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees in Coos County’s seven camps spent their summers fighting forest fires and building the trails, roads, and lookout towers that would provide quicker detection of fires and make them easier to contain.

Community of Dora
by Mapril Combs

Dora is an unincorporated community on the East Fork of the Coquille River in east Coos County. The community was built along the historic Coos Bay Wagon Road, which opened in 1873.

Dora Friendly Club
by Mapril Combs

The Dora Friendly Club is a rural women’s club in eastern Coos County that began in 1932, a time when each valley and settlement in that part of the county had a similar club.

Socialist Party of Oregon
by Michael Munk

The Socialist Party of Oregon was founded in 1901, at the same time as the Socialist Party of America. The national party was the result of a merger of the Social Democratic Party (1897) with a wing of the Socialist Labor Party (1876).

Victor Charles West
by Karen Hammer

Victor Charles West was a lifelong collector of maritime subject matter, with a focus on Oregon maritime history from the mid-nineteenth century through the twentieth century.

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
by David Lunde

The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR)—an element of the South Slough watershed and inlet—is part of the larger Coos estuary and watershed located on the southern Oregon Coast.

Howard P. Lewis
by Sara Piasecki

Internationally recognized internist Howard Phelps Lewis made major contributions to American medical education and practice through his excellent diagnostic skills, his strict adherence to the highest standards in medical education, and his dedication to the advancement of the profession through his work with the American College of Physicians, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and other national organizations.

City of North Bend
by Dick and Judy Wagner

The City of North Bend is located on about five square miles at the north bend of the Coos Bay, bounded by the bay and the City of Coos Bay. Before European contact, ancestors of the Coos Indians lived around the temperate bay for nearly ten thousand years.

Southwestern Oregon Community College
by Mitzi Loftus

Southwestern Oregon Community College (formerly SWOCC, now SOCC) in Coos Bay is the oldest community college in Oregon. It was formed in a tax district election in 1961, which included Coos and western Douglas counties.

Coos County Logging Museum
by Siva Stephens

Coos County’s Logging Museum in Myrtle Point is easily recognized by its cedar-shingled, onion-shaped dome. The museum is a nonprofit educational institution that is governed and staffed entirely by volunteers.

Coos Historical and Maritime Museum
by Anne Donnelly

The Coos Historical & Maritime Museum, operated by the nonprofit Coos County Historical Society (CCHS) in North Bend, provides information about the cultural history of south-coastal Oregon, emphasizing area residents' traditional dependence on rivers, sloughs, and the sea.

Western Shore (a.k.a Oregon Clipper)
by Dick and Judy Wagner

Oregon's most famous sailing ship was the Western Shore, the only clipper ever built in the state. Captain Asa Meade Simpson and his brother, Captain Robert W. Simpson, designed the ship and had a 50 percent ownership interest in it

Alfred Qualman
by Mitzi Loftus

For a man from Indiana, far from waterways, Alfred Qualman was an unlikely person to be a pioneer in Pacific oyster culture.

Oregon Encyclopedia - Oregon History and Culture

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