Compiled By M.Constance Guardino III
(1) Deer Creek Bridge (2) Historians Connie & Del Hodges (3) Newport Courthouse (4) Molly Catfish & Mary Yanna
the sea beach about three miles north of Newport, just below
has long been noted for the very fine agates found there, and
to call attention to one of the principal attractions of
the area. Beachcombing is at its best during the winter, when
high seas and runoff carry sand off the beaches, uncovering
Also, storms carry in objects lost at sea. Among the
trash from ships, packing crates, floats, driftwood, shells,
agates. The Central Oregon Coast is prime agate-hunting
are beautiful, translucent rocks. Before the Ice Ages,
and metals were squeezed into existing earth forms to create
also known as chalcedony. More oxides and minerals create the
and blue tones, sometimes forming a banded or mottled pattern.
contain fossilized clams, snails and shark’s teeth. Agate Beach
to its name as the area with the greatest concentration of these
Dealers in Newport make a specialty of cutting and polishing
The beach north of Seal Rock and mouths of freshwater streams
are also good places. Some of the best are Cummins Creek, Bob
Beach, Ona Beach, Smelt Sands and Squaw Creek. In 1883, John
an Ireland-born man who, by all accounts, was an easy-going
a flair for investing in profitable pieces of land, purchased an
woodland lot near Agate Beach. During the beginning of what
the 19th century’s worst economic depression, Fitzpatrick built
Hotel on his 18-acre parcel of land, which was surrounded by
100 acres of forest. Popular with bathers and tourists from
hotel enjoyed extreme prosperity during its first year in
for reasons “far more intriguing than simple economics,” the
dropped and the tragedies began. Less than two years after the
construction, Fitzpatrick was dead from pneumonia and, shortly
his 25-year-old daughter, Sarah Fitzpatrick, was found shot to
one of the hotel’s grand rooms. Today, the 18 acres is owned by
and acts as a picnic and beach-access park for Agate Beach’s
In 1912, Colonel Hofer built Madinore, the first house at Agate
Other people from Salem followed and built homes, the Pattons,
Thielsens, the Bushes, and Florence Bynon’s brother Mac built a
the south of Madinore. Agate Beach post office was established
1912 with John G. Mackey serving as first postmaster. The office
to Newport on Aug. 20, 1971. Swiss-born composer Ernest Bloch
spent the last years of his life in the Newport area. Bloch had
and illustrious career, both in Europe and the US. From 1911 to
taught at the Geneva Conservatory. He migrated to the US in
the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1920. Bloch was naturalized
and served as the director of the Cleveland Institute until
director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 1925 to
Bloch’s compositions included works on Jewish themes, such as
Juifs (1913); Israel (1916); Schelomo (1916); Baal Shem (1923);
Hakodesh (1933). He built a beautiful home on the shore at Agate
a picturesque spot on the Oregon Coast which helped to inspire
his last works including his Symphony In E Flat, Proclamation
and Orchestra and his fifth (and final) String Quartet. Bloch’s
included Hiver-Printemps (1905); Macbeth (1910); Suite for Viola
(1919); Quintet for Piano and Strings (1923); America (1926);
(1944); and Scherzo Fantasque (1948). Today his memory is
the Ernest Bloch Music Festival which is held annually in July.
Angora post office, established Dec. 5, 1898, was located on the Alsea River a few miles downstream from Alsea. It was in the southeast part of T13S, R9W, on or near Fall Creek at a point not far above the mouth of the stream. Oscar Tom (or Otto Dickoff) was first postmaster of the Angora office, was named for the goats raised in the vicinity. The office was rescinded Jan. 20, 1899 and re-established Mar. 5, 1900. The Angora office closed to Alsea on Jun. 29, 1907. There was another Angora post office in Coos County was formerly known as Enchanted. That office was located on a small prairie near Middle Fork Coquille River, about four miles east of Bridge. Rollin S. Belknap was first postmaster of the Angora office, which closed to Oak on May 5, 1894.
Axtell post office, located on Yachats River about six miles east of Yachats, was established May 6, 1891, with John D. Axtell first postmaster. The office closed to Waldport Sep. 15, 1903. While nothing was left to mark the locality in 1968, the USFS had constructed a small fish ladder near the mouth of Axtell Creek to improve spawning access.
Barber post office, located on Elk Creek about three miles northwest of Harlan, was established Mar. 30, 1911, with Clarinda Barber, first postmaster. The office, named for the Barber family, closed to Elk City Jan. 31, 1912.
Beaver Creek: In 1976, Hester Hill Coovert Rogers wrote: “My grandfather was Cabell Adair Breckenridge Patterson. He was called “Cab” for short. He married my grandmother, Arseneon P. Tureman. Their oldest son died six months before my mother, Harriet E. Patterson Hill (1847-1931), was born. Cab Patterson’s mother was a Quaker, Lovely Truitt. The family moved to Kentucky from nearby Philadelphia where they first settled. Grandpa was one of a family of six children. He was a descendent of the 13 Patterson brothers who migrated to America during the time of American colonist Wm. Penn (1644-1718). The Pattersons were calvinists. In my family, the oldest son is always named “Wm.” Grandpa was named Cab because he wasn’t the oldest son. There was a Wm. Patterson at the battle of Valley Forge (1777-1778) who fought for gen. Geo. Washington (1732-1799). He was a continental who was enlisted for the duration of the American Revolution. Lovely Patterson sent Wm. II, who was 12 years old, to Valley Forge to deliver socks, food and other provisions to the Washington’s soldiers. Cab’s son, Wm., moved to Kentucky, and was a private in the war of 1812. Grandma was an abolitionist. She begged her spouse to free their slaves, and told them to get out of slave territory, as she saw trouble was coming. One of the slaves became a good blacksmith. He earned enough money to purchase his wife and son and fled to Cincinnati, OH. The family moved to Illinois to escape slavery in the South. Mother’s family, the Truemans were Germans who migrated to America when John Q. Adams (1735-1826) was president. The large family settled in Illinois. My father was Saml. Hill. He was born in Kentucky, and was the son of Nancy Watters and Philip Hill. His parents died when he was 12 years old, while the family was living in California. An uncle-in-law took all the property he could quickly sell and left my orphaned family alone. Neighbors found some wild cattle to sell, and gave dad the money. He started for Oregon with his pony, but ran into three cousins when he stopped to camp along the trail. They took him back to California. Later on, the applied for a donation land claim in Oregon, but did not prove up on his claim. He joined the confederacy, and the last letter from him was sent out secretly from Vicksburg (1863). That battle, a union victory, was the turning point of the Civil War. Before settling at Beaver Creek, near Seal Rock, he was hired by a woman to ferry her cattle across the river in Salem. He took land on the South Beaver side of the hill next to Harriet Patterson’s claim. They were married after mother’s brother, Corlis “Ike” Patterson, was killed at South Beach while working for the government on the jetties. This particular Corlis was buried on the old homestead; the others are buried at Fernridge Cemetery, Seal Rock.” In 1966, Florence Payne Howell wrote: “The Payne family moved to Beaver Creek in May, 1921. They owned the original patent of Sam Warfield. It was spoken of as “Mrs. Hulse’s Place” from May 1921 until the final papers were turned over to Chas. Zeek and his wife in 1955 or 1956. Dances were frequent in the downstairs of the house. It wasn’t long before the building was becoming unsound for the activity of a room full of dancing. After some worry, they decided to use heavy iron rods across the downstairs ceiling which took out the sway. Horrey Woods and Geo. Ryan played the violin, as did many others. Herman Webber played piano, and Neta Phelps was very good to play long hours on the piano. Frank Gatens called many of the square dances. Guy Twombly could call a dance when things were dull. The most fascinating dancer to me was an old lady who really danced with glee! I thought the dances were a bit noisy, but after I learned all of them I really loved them.” Bay post office was established May 16, 1948 as a contract station of Newport. The office was discontinued Dec. 31, 1949.
Bayview is located on the northeast part of Alsea Bay. The post office was established Aug. 8,1901, and the name was chosen by Danl. M. Oakland (1890-1929), the first postmaster, because of the view of Alsea Bay that could be had from where the office then stood. The office closed to Toledo Dec. 31, 1941. Oakland is buried at Tidewater Cemetery, as is E. E. Dyer (1861-1925), who also served as Bayview postmaster at a later date.
Bellamy post office, established May 24, 1898, was located four or five miles north of Toledo on the road to Siletz. Ola A. Tveitmoe first postmaster of this office, and the postal facilities were intended for a small colony of Scandinavians living in the vicinity. The Bellamy office closed to Toledo on Jun. 15, 1899.
Beverly Beach is a small community north of Yaquina Head and Beverly Beach State Park adjoins it on the north. In 1981, Florence May Christy wrote: “During the early 1930s my husband, Curtis E. Christy, and I owned the property which is now known as Beverly Beach, Lincoln County, Oregon. Our goal was to establish a small seaside community on this property. In choosing a name for this site my daughter, Florence Daneene Christy Pearson, who at that time was a small child, was asked what she would like to call the community. Her favorite doll at that time was Beverly, and her choice of that name established the location as Beverly Beach, which it has remained to this day.” In 1920, Lester Martin and C. B. Ryckman organized the Ocean Park Campground and Trout Farm and declared their intention to sell a limited amount of stock. Their plans also called for at least 50 cabins and a playground. The development of Ocean Park, which was located about where Beverly Beach State Park is now, coincided with construction of the Roosevelt Military Highway (US-101). At that time, the highway snaked its way through the nearby foothills east of its present location. The site chosen for Ocean Park was convenient for travelers, as the highway ran right through the grounds. Five years later, the partners announced the completion of a new dam that created a lake that, when filled, would cover 34 acres with six feet of water. The partners claimed the new lake, along with their other lakes, held enough water to sustain 10,000,000 trout. In Jan. 1925, 1.8 million trout were hatched at their facility, which by this time had become a mecca for authorities on fish and hatcheries. By 1925, the trout farm and campground had been supplemented with a bathhouse, store, restaurant and cottages with access to the beach. Picture postcards from about 1930 document that ocean Park also kept a bear mascot chained up on the grounds. It is not known exactly when the trout farm and resort came to an end, but relocation of the highway may have been a deadly blow for this privately owned attraction. The state acquired lands for what would become Beverly Beach State Park campground in 1942 and 1943. This was shortly after construction began on the present-day route of US-101. In Oct. 1952, the state awarded a $23,817 contract for construction of an overnight camping area at Spencer Creek, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Park about a mile south of Otter Rock. This creek was named for Doke Spencer, an Indian who lived near its mouth. Spencer and his family were allotted land in this locality. According to a 1957 newspaper article, Beverly Beach State park opened as a park in 1953. At that time it was just 17 acres with 32 campsites, 12 trailer spaces and a separate parking area. The park has since grown to more than 103 acres. This 129-acre site camp and day use area now attracts in excess of 300,000 visitors annually. While the simple pleasure of trout fishing in a convenient artificial pond has been long lost, the present-day park at Spencer Creek continues to be a popular attraction for coastal visitors.
Boyer is located in the extreme northeast section of Lincoln County, on OR-18, about eight miles east of Rose Lodge and one mile from the county line. The post office, named for pioneer settlers Julia and John Boyer, was established Aug. 18, 1910, with Mervin O. Boyer first postmaster. The office closed to Rose Lodge Mar. 31, 1915. In 1908, Julia and John Boyer settled near here. Phil Sheridan Road was probably built in 1856 while Sheridan was on police patrol duty at Ft. Yamhill. It facilitated necessary travel via the Old Elk Trail, ocean beaches, and Siletz River to the Siletz Indian Agency, and an attempt was made to make the Old Elk Trail a toll road as early as 1860. Other desultory attempts followed and in 1908, John Boyer improved the route, over which people had used to crossed the Coast Range since antiquity, and established the Salmon River Toll Road. which he and Julia Boyer operated for 12 years. In winter the road was almost impassable. In 1930, Boyer was honored at a public ceremony as “Father of the Salmon River Road.”
Burnt Woods post office is in the eastern part of Lincoln County, near Tumtum River, where the remains of forest fires are still much in evidence. The office was established in 1919, and a list of suggested names was sent to the Post Office Department. On the list was Burnt Woods, proposed by H. G. Downing, and this was the name chosen by authorities. Early Tumtum (Burnt Woods) School stood in back of the present store on the road to Harlan. The teacher in 1910 was Ida Hurley. Students were Clara Downing, Grant Downing, Mae Downing, who married Rbt. Richardson, Emily Harris, who married Archie McFarland, Ada McDowell, who married Morty Lake of Peak, Lavern McDowell, Lester McDowell, Albert Roscoe, and Willard Roscoe.11 In 1885, railroad baron Wallis Nash said Tumtum Precinct beings at the divide between Little Elk and Yaquina rivers on the north and extends to the dividing ridge between the waters of Big Elk Creek and Alsea River on the south, and from the mouth of the Little Elk to a point a little west of Blodgett’s Valley, being in the vicinity of 12 miles from east to west and ten from north to south. It is actually bounded on the north by Summit precinct, and on the south by Alsea Precinct, on the west by Elk City Precinct on the east by Kings Valley and Philomath precincts. Little Elk Creek near the central portion of the precinct, passing out at its northeast corner; while Big Elk Creek has its source in the southeast corner o the west and southwest slopes of Marys Peak, and flowing westerly enters Elk City Precinct. Rising on the northwest gradient of Marys Peak is that fork of Mary Peak called Shot Pouch which, after flowing in a northerly direction for some distance, turns aborted to the southeast; while, at the most northerly point of the precinct the Tumtum comes in from the westward. Bordering the stream last named is a beautiful mountain glen, lying at a high altitude and extending as far as the Summit towards Little Elk Creek, whose valley is much lower and comprises wide lands long ago brought into cultivation. Big Elk Creek has larger bottom lands on its banks than any other stream in the region; while on much of the smaller water courses, such as Deer and Wolf creeks, and the several brooks on the north and south, considerable fertile lands are seen, clothed with the richest pasture for livestock of all kinds. Many excellent farms have been made along the courses of Big Elk Creek and its tributaries, yet there is room for more; but this valley is, so far, isolated, there being only a single thoroughfare that connects it with the upper end; still there is no reason why one should not be constructed to Elk City. The Shot Pouch, which is afterwards known as one of the forks of Mary's River, rejoins in much valuable land along its route, nor for most part covered with a growth of the wild cherry. Still there are portions of it in cultivation, but owing to its high position it is subject to keen frosts. Marys Peak, which marks the northeastern corner of Alsea precinct, is situated in the southeast angle of Tumtum. It attains an altitude of 4000 feet and is often snow-capped until the month of Aug. Its summit is bald, devoid of timber but covered with a growth of indigenous grass better than which for pasturage is not to be found anywhere. In form the apex is crescent-shaped, comprises between 300 and 400 acres, owned by the veteran pioneer, Wm. Wyatt, who uses it during the summer months as a range for horses. Like in other portions of the district the timber has succumbed to the devouring element, but there are sufficient remains to show that there once existed a magnificent cedar forest. The early settlers in this precinct first supplied their household wants from what the country then offered. Until there lands could be brought into subjection they usually depended upon shingle making as a source of revenue, or barter for groceries, while their tables were laden with venison, then more plentiful amid the hills than now. Little grain is produced in Tumtum Precinct, the chief industry being livestock raising, which is year by year growing into greater importance, their ranches being extended as their flocks and herds increase. Pasturage is extended by the sowing of tame grasses, the seed for which is the product of their own labor, while the grangers here have for some time past supplied the Corvallis market with beef and mutton bred upon their lands. The capabilities of this precinct are second to none in the county, while the opportunities for taking up granges is as good as in any other portion of the state. The population is about 250, chiefly composed of agriculturists, who are greatly in want of postal facilities, their nearest distributing point being at Philomath, some 20 to 30 miles away. The precinct includes three schoolhouses in Big Elk, Shot Pouch, and the vicinity of Little Elk valleys, while religious services are irregularly held in these buildings or in the private residences of squatters. There is no store within the precinct, supplies being drawn from either Corvallis or Philomath. Among the first settlers in this precinct were Alfred Flickinger, Jas. C. (1849-? MO) and J. H. Yantis (1831-? MO) and Solomon Mulkey (1823-? MO).
Caledonia, so called after the name given to Scotland by the Gauls, was first located Jan. 1, 1885, and is situated at the junction of the Caledonia (Olalla) River with the Yaquina. It was laid out in 1885 by Henry Wilkinson Vincent (1827-1922) on the claim of Wm. Stevens, while so favorable is the side considered that town lots have found a ready sale. During the spring a hotel and store was started as well as the Chas. Logsden Sawmill. Caledonia was beautifully located and placed upon the county road. Vincent was born in Watertown, NY, Apr. 1, 1832. In 1851, he moved to Ripon, WI, and married Judith D. Stevens (1835-1903), a native of Gouldsborough, ME. The couple had three children: Frank, Fred and Georgia. On Jul. 3, 1874, the Vincents arrived in Benton County, and first located in Corvallis. Another early settler, Geo. S. Briggs, who owned a large fruit orchard in Caledonia, was originally from Medina County, OH. He was born Oct. 27, 1834. His parents moved to Racine County, WI, when he was two years old. The family remained there until 1850 when the moved to Fayette County, IA. Briggs enlisted in Company F, 9th Vet. of Iowa, Feb. 28, 1864 and served until Jun. 1865. He returned to his home in Iowa and migrated to Portland, OR in 1870. In 1876, he moved to Yaquina Bay and purchased his 390-acre farm, on which he had an orchard of over 6000 trees, 4000 of which were Italian Prunes. Jos. Thompson, a printer, also settled at Caledonia. Thompson was born in Huntington County, (Blair County) PA, in 1832, where he resided until 1852. In the spring of that year, Thompson joined the Morrison Train at Dubuque, IA, and crossed the plains to Oregon. When the party reached Tule (Modoc) Lake in Southern Oregon, they were surprised by 150 Modoc, and after a desperate fight, which resulted in the loss of three lives and injuries to Thompson, they were finally rescued by a party from Yreka. Upon his arrival at Yreka, Thompson began mining. He then went to Sacramento and San Francisco where he worked as a printer, and at one time published a paper at Nevada City. While living in Nevada City, Thompson married Mary V. Herbert. The Thompsons were the parents of five children: Morris, Daisy, Jos. II, Lillie and Harriet. In 1869, he and his family migrated to Yaquina Bay, and homesteaded 160 acres adjoining the new town of Caledonia. However, he spent most of his time in Portland working on daily papers.13 Located near Toledo, Caledonia was probably named for the Caledonian Canal dividing the Grampian Mountains from the West Highlands in Scotland. The canal connects the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. The Caledonia Hills between Portage and Baraboo, WI, are part of the circular Baraboo Range around which the Wisconsin River flows. Briggsville is about eight miles northwest of Portage, and may be named for the Briggs family that migrated to Yaquina Bay. Caledonia, WI, an unincorporated village about six miles northwest of Racine on Root River and about eight miles south or Milwaukee, is an agricultural region. Famous Portage historian Frederick J. Turner noted “the large number of Scots at Caledonia.” Apple Holler in Sturtevant, WI, features over 50 acres of 16 different varieties of apples. This farm hosts tours of its orchard and cider mill. Caledonia is the Latin word for Scotland, and there are numerous Scottish settlements throughout north America that bear that name. Euro-Americans in the new country followed the land, and the formation of the land. They settled on the kind of land where they thought they would find happiness and prosperity. In the hills, the hill people of Norway, Switzerland, Wales, Germany, Scotland and other far countries tended to settle, and they called the places New Glarus, Wales, Berlin, Vienna, New Holstein and Caledonia. Caledonia, Columbia County, WI, was named by Scottish settlers. It was probably named by the McDonald brothers who settled there in 1836. Caledonia, Tremplealeau County, WI, was named by Alexander and Donald McGilvray and other Scottish settlers, Caledonia, Racine County, WI, was named for Scottish settlers. This area also had Welsh, Irish, Bohemian, and German settlements.15 Other Caledonia settlements in the New World include Caledonia, Ontario, Canada (pop. 3,183); Caledonia, MN (population 2,619); Caledonia, NY (pop. 2,327); Caledonia, OH (pop. 792); and Caledonia County, VT (pop. 22,789).
Chitwood was a station on the Southern Pacific line along the Yaquina River, about six miles southeast of Toledo. Chitwood post office was established Jul. 12, 1887, with Jas. B. Chitwood first postmaster. Geo. T. Smith, postmaster at Chitwood, wrote in 1925 that the station and post office were named for Josh. Chitwood, who lived near the present site of the community when the railroad was built down to the Yaquina between 1881 and 1885. On Jun. 30, 1945, Chitwood closed to Toledo.
Collins post office, located about three miles north of Waldport, was established Jan. 31, 1875, with Matt. Brand first postmaster. Numerous name changes mark the history of this post office as it moved about Alsea Bay. This office, formerly known as Drift Wood, was named in honor of Geo. W. Collins, the first settler in the Lower Alsea. Collins came in 1860 as Indian agent for the subagency of the Alsea Reservation. Formerly part of the Coast Reservation, which by treaty with the Indians extended for 90 miles along the coast and about 20 miles inland, Alsea Subagency near Yachats was established in 1856. David D. Fagan’s History of Benton County records: “When whites began to settle in the Alsea district they found there the remnants of three tribes: the ‘Alseas’ by the bay and on the coast, a people of fishers; the ‘Klickitats’ who hunted in the woods and over the mountains to the south; and the ‘Drift Creek Indians’ whose homes were scattered through the heavy timber round Table Mountain and on the streams leading thereabouts, to the east and northeast of Alsea. Though generally at enmity with each other yet there were times when, feuds laid aside, the hunting tribes visited their neighbors by the ocean in peace, bringing with them the spoils of the chase to exchange for the sea fish and shell fish of the Alseas. Then fires were lighted and feasting and jollity went on day after day together.” The agency was closed in 1875 and Indians were forced to remove to Siletz so non-indians could settle here. Collins post office was discontinued Jun. 17, 1881. The name of the office was changed to Waldport on Feb. 23, 1882. It was changed again to Lutgens on May 17, 1890.
Cutler City, just south of Taft and on the east shore of Siletz Bay, has had a remarkable development as a resort town. This is a beautiful area full of huckleberries, rhododendrons and pine trees. There was one deserted house which everyone referred to as Gibbs Point. It was often a picnic spot, reached only by crossing Schooner Creek by horse and wagon or by boat, or wading at low tide. Due to the high rock point, the pioneers were unable to cut a road through. The town was named for Geo. Cutler, who acquired the property from Charley DePoe, a Siletz Indian, and developed the resort with several other nearby communities to form Lincoln City. The post office was established Apr. 14, 1930, with Jacob H. Boomer serving as first postmaster. The Cutlers formerly lived near Dallas. Cutler died in 1913, and his wife in 1939. On Dec. 8, 1964, Cutler City voted to become part of a new community called Lincoln City, and the post office was discontinued on Sep. 24, 1965.
Delake post office, named for Devils Lake, near which it was located, was established Jan. 11, 1924. Henry A. Hostetler, a civic leader, bought Indian allotment land in the Delake area as early as 1910 but it was 1925 before growth began. Arthur C. Deuel, the first postmaster, said that Delake was the name agreed upon by himself and judge Frank L. Mann (1863-1956), a Lincoln County resident, because it was the way many of the Finnish people, who settled in the area as fishermen, pronounced Devils Lake. When the name of the original post office was changed to Oceanlake on Mar. 15, 1927, the site was moved a bit over a mile south. The original community then applied for and received a new post office, which was established the same date that the name change took place. The Delake post office was discontinued Sep. 24, 1965, and on Dec. 8, 1964, Delake voted to become part of a new community to be called Lincoln City. Development of all areas began with the opening of the highway and continues to this day. In 1837, Methodist missionaries Jason Lee and Cyrus Sheppard, with their brides of one month, and guide Jos. Gervias, came over the Old Elk Trail and camped at the site of what is now Delake for a week. The honeymooners “cured themselves of malaria and evangelized the Salmon River Indians.” So far as is known, they were the first vacationers on the Oregon Coast.20
Denzer post office, located on Lobster Creek, about five miles southeast of Tidewater, was established Apr. 10, 1909, with Frederick C. Denzer first postmaster. The post office closed to Alsea Aug. 31, 1933.
Depoe Bay is an appealing village that has grown up around a tiny rock-bound harbor that claims to be the world’s smallest. Wm. Least Heat Moon in Blue Highways wrote that “Depoe Bay used to be a picturesque fishing village; now it was just picturesque. The fish houses, but for one seasonal company, were gone, the fleet gone, and in their stead had come sport fishing boast and souvenir ashtray and T-shirt shops.” To be fair, tourists have always come here since the establishment of the town. In fact, for all intents and purposes, the town didn’t really exist until the completion of the Roosevelt Highway in 1927, which opened the area up to car travelers. Prior to that time, the area had been mainly occupied by a few members of the Siletz Reservation. All told, this picturesque little fishing village has an interesting history. In 1878, Fred W. Vincent of Pendleton and his grandfather cruised up the Oregon Coast north from Newport and observed a break in the shoreline. Lowering the sails of this 40-foot boat, they finally rowed it into the little harbor. “We found there the anchor chains of a sea-going craft, two headlights and the letters US, so we named the little spot Wreckers Cove,” said Vincent. In 1894, lands about Depoe Bay just north of Cape Foulweather were allotted by the US government to Charley Depot, a Siletz Indian whose name derived from the fact that as a young man he had been employed at a US Army depot. In Jun. 1927, the then owners, Sunset Investment Company of Portland, platted a modern townsite and named it in honor of Old Charley, whose family name had evolved from plain “depot” to the more fancy “DePoe.” Rumor had it, however, that his was a bit too fancy for Uncle Sam who decreed that the post office established there Oct. 26, 1928, should be plain Depoe Bay, and so it remains. Evidence of an ancient culture, Indian shell mounds and kitchen middens can still be seen in and around the city. The name became Depoe Bay when the post office was established Aug. 26, 1928. Esther M. Baird was first postmaster of this office, , located on the north side of the bay, about 13 miles north of Newport. The narrow inlet of Depoe Bay is the world’s smallest navigable harbor, with just six square acres of water. Because of its proximity to the ocean, fishermen or whale watchers can be from dockside to viewing or fishing in a matter of minutes. The town has the distinction of being the only town of the entire coast with this amenity. Waves run the beneath lava beds and build pressure to spout water as high as 60 feet into the air. These are known as “spouting horns” and are visible during turbulent seas and stormy weather. Depoe Bay is also the Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast with its resident pod of grey whales which makes its home there ten months out of the year. Each spring the town hosts the “Celebration of the Whales.” Fleet of Flowers celebration is held on Memorial Day. Local boats venture out of the harbor to place floral wreaths on the Pacific as a tribute to friends and loved ones. Over 20,000 people come to witness a blanket of blossoms cast upon high waters. The Depoe Bay Salmon Bake takes place on the third Sat. of Sep. at Depoe Bay City Park, located just south and east of the bridge flanking the rear of the boat basin. Approximately 3000 pounds of fresh ocean fish are caught cooked over open fires of alder and cedar just as Indians like Matilda and Wm. Depoe did years ago. In her Apr. 4, 199 letter to M. Constance Guardino III, Julie Hendricks of Tiller wrote: “While working at PCH, I met and came to love Chief Wm. Depoe while he was alive. I hope his biography is published one day. He was quite a dear fellow, with many stories to tell. He lived a very full and rewarding life. He was in one Elvis movie, and he was on the Lawrence Welk show. Through his 80-plus years he remained very active with cultural activities, and he maintained a superb sense of humor. He declined rapidly after his wife passed on.”
Devils Lake is near the Pacific Ocean in the southwest part of Lincoln County. Devils Lake post office, located near the north end of the lake, was established Jan. 9, 1913, with Cecil Cosper first postmaster. The office closed to Otis Jul. 15, 1918. Native American mythology persists with fables of fearsome megafauna—a giant fish or marine monster—dwelling in Devils Lake, and occasionally came to the surface to attack some hapless person. Yearly religious rites and sacrifices were probably practiced to appease the awesome creature. There are several versions of the story but this one is sufficient to indicate the origin of the name.
Drift Creek was the first post office to be established in the Alsea Bay area. Located three miles north of Waldport, the Drift Creek office was established Aug. 6, 1874, with Matthew Brand postmaster, and was named for the accumulation of driftwood on the banks of the stream which enters the eastern end of the Bay. The name of the office was changed to Collins on Jan. 31, 1876, in honor of George W. Collins who was born in Spencer, KY, Apr. 22, 1832. In 1846 Collins moved to Adams County, IL. The family migrated to California in 1850, where Collins was a miner until 1853, when he moved to Jackson County and took part in the Rogue River Indian Wars. Collins first settled in the Lower Alsea area. In 1857, he moved to the Siletz area, worked in the early 1860s as an employee on the Coast Reservation. From 1864 through 1869 he was Indian subagent in charge of the Alsea Agency until he was relieved by lt. Beatty. In 1871, Collins located on a farm near Seal Rock. Collins’ report for 1864 shows 580 Indians at the Alsea Agency. “The Coos and Umpqua tribes of Indians have at this place comfortable houses to live in; they have two barns and also two potato houses. The Syouslaus (Siuslaws) have, mostly, frame houses, weather-boarded with clapboards. The Alsea Indians have a few frame houses, but most of them are Indian style, built under ground, or very nearly so.” When David Ruble became postmaster of Collins, the site moved from the north to south shore of Alsea Bay. The name of this office was changed to Waldport on Jun. 17, 1881, and back to Collins on Feb. 23, 1882. Ruble lost the position of postmaster during this transition. This post office in Waldport may have been on the north side of Alsea Bay, not on the south side. Collins was changed to Lutgens (or Lutjens) on May 1890, and Lutgens was changed to Stanford Jul. 29, 1883. W. C. Shepard was first postmaster while the office was so named, but the reason for the Stanford name has been obscured. The post office retained that name until Jun. 21, 1897, when it became Lutgens again. Albert H. Lutgens was postmaster of this office, located four miles south of Seal Rock on the north shore of Alsea Bay. On Apr. 24, 1917, the name of the office was changed to Nice, in honor of Harry Nice, a prominent Alsea Bay resident during the last part of the 19th century. Nora L. Strake was first postmaster of this final office, which closed to Waldport on Nov. 15, 1919. This post office had eight names during its 45 years of service, possibly a record. No other Oregon office appears to have approached this mark. It is obvious that the office was moved a number of times. However, the offices mentioned above were all in the general vicinity of Alsea Bay.
Eddyville post office, established Mar. 13, 1888, was located about a mile west of the original Little Elk site on Yaquina River, and about eight miles east of Toledo. The office was named for Israel F. Eddy, who served as the postmaster of Little Elk for nine years prior to the name change. The Eddyville office seems to have had more than the usual number of moves. It was first called Little Elk, because it was near the mouth of Little Elk Creek. About 1888 Israel Fiske Eddy, the postmaster, moved the office about a mile west and had the name changed to Eddyville. Some four years later the office was brought back to its original location and the name changed to Little Elk. About 1893 it was moved again to Eddy’s place and was continued under the name Eddyville. According to Bea Eddy-Wilcox, who is a member of the Lincoln County Historical Society and the DAR, Israel Fisk Eddy (1824-1911), the legendary early settler of Eddyville, was a man of generous size. He stood six feet, seven inches tall, and was said to be very powerful. He probably weighed well over 250 pounds, and had to stoop and enter an ordinary doorway sideways. Most of the legends about Israel Eddy had to do with his tremendous strength. One old timer said he saw Israel take the axle of the wheel of a loaded hay wagon and lift it out of the mud so the horses could pull it out of a mud hole. He said he was a tiny boy at the time, and was overwhelmed by Eddy’s strength. Another tale says that Israel could put a heavy steel spike—similar to the ones used in making bridges—between his fingers, slam down on it, and the spike would bend to their shape. Israel settled in what is now the town of Eddyville, in 1870. He was 46 years old. At the time, the area was known as Little Elk. His first wife, P. D. Eddy, who he married back in Vermont, died after he had reared a family, so he remarried. The Eddys had a son named Perry and a daughter named Eva May (1862-1875) who was 13 years old when they came West to Lincoln County. She died Dec. 27, 1875, at the age of 13 years and seven months. Israel left his land and everything dear to him in Minnesota and came out West to join his father, Ezekiel Eddy (1800-1890) who was already here with his wife, Lucy Fisk (1805-1878). Ezekiel had crossed the plains at least twice in his lifetime. He was a considerably old man to be making such a move, and he brought his grown children with him. The old man was a true son of the American Revolution (1775-1783), because his father, Jas. Eddy, fought in the war. Israel bought land in Little Elk from a young bride and groom. Legend has it that he and his father rode to Corvallis and came back with a mule or two loaded down with silver money to pay for the land. They built a sawmill and a gristmill on this land, and used a small dam on the Yaquina to supply the power. The heavy stones used to grind the grain were shipped from England, and were carried from Siletz Bay to the Eddy gristmill on the back of a Indian woman! Israel’s reason for putting a gristmill in the middle of tall timber was a puzzle to some people, but he was convinced that the railroad was coming through to connect Central Oregon—which people then believed would become the grain capital of the world—with the Central Oregon Coast. The prediction was that Newport would become an enormous seaport, and the grain from Eastern and Central Oregon would be shipped to foreign ports from there. These plans never materialized, however, and Israel ended up grinding flour for local use instead of foreign trade. The railroad, it is thought, could have been instrumental in changing Little Elk to Eddyville. Israel owned a lot of land in the Little Elk area when col. T. Egenton Hogg was putting in the Corvallis & Eastern Railway through to the coast. When Israel gave the railroad right-of-way privileges through his land, it was under the consideration that they would name the area Eddyville. But there were other more powerful interests, primarily in Portland, that didn’t want to see Newport become an enormous port with all the grain from Eastern and Central Oregon being shipped through it. Although it is “unofficial,” some people still speculate that there was sabotage beyond belief on this railroad. Tunnels were set on fire, bridges were undercut or burned, and every underhanded deed was done to try and keep the railroad from succeeding. It went bankrupt time and time again. Wallis Nash (1837-1926) poured millions of dollars into it. But Portland interests bought up a great deal of land around Yaquina Bay, so that docks couldn’t be built. Considerable land in Lincoln County is still owned by some of these old estates. There were people who were determined that Portland alone was going to be the big port; they didn’t want Newport developed at any cost. Another story states that in 1888, Israel Eddy, who was then postmaster of Little Elk, moved the post office a mile west onto his own property and changed the name to Eddyville. He also established the cemetery on his farm. This location was approximately where Eddy Creek and the Yaquina meet. The office was moved east to McBride’s store in 1892 with the name changed back to Little Elk. Upon petition, the office was moved back to Eddy’s and the name was changed to Eddyville. Eddy sold to Conroy and the post office went with it. The next change was to Flam Young who kept it until 1897 when it moved back to McBride’s store. The Post Office Department however declined to change the name, giving as the reason, they did not like the double name. The office was sold to Stringer, and in about 1938 to Frances Mauch. Ms. Sparks and Ms. Boynton took it when it came under civil service. Israel was fond of trees and had a fine orchard in Eddyville. People from around Siletz and Kernville would come over and help out with the apple harvest. This was something they looked forward to in the autumn because they always had a good time, particularly the children. In the evenings they would build campfires and Israel would entertain them with an organ grinder, at which he was reputed to be quite talented. That was a big treat for everyone—especially the children—in days of limited entertainment. Besides the other enterprises, Israel owned a grocery store. Above the store was a big room he divided off with curtains into a sleeping room for people traveling through. The room was also used for dances he threw on Saturday nights. Dances in those days were very important sources of entertainment. People would come from miles around on horseback or in wagons. They would bring along their children and put them to bed in the back of their wagons and prepared to spend the night. The dancers and their families would have breakfast the following morning. Liquor was brought to the dances. Inevitably there would be a fight, and Israel took it upon himself to break them up. He would take the offenders by the back of their necks and pull them apart. Then he would escort them outside and dump them in a watering trough. In 1908 at the wedding of a local young lady, he appeared with a coonskin cap and ear trumpet and regaled the assembly with the story of how he recovered from the flue by drinking a swig of piano polish mistaken for his medicine. Israel Eddy loved to travel. From one trip he took on horseback to California, he brought hack several redwood trees. One redwood stands today on former Eddy land. It is located on the north edge of Highway 20 on the straight stretch in the road just west of Eddyville. The redwoods around Chitwood might possibly have been planted there by him. Israel’s son, Perry, married Mary Amanda Franz. She was the daughter of a Civil War captain, Saml. Franz, and his wife, Mary. They came across the plains 1850 and bought Ft. Hoskins directly from the government. Perry and Mary Amanda had a family of five children. They were all born in Kings Valley or Hoskins, at the junction of the Kings Valley and Hoskins roads. Eddy died in 1911 at the age of 87 years.
Elk City, a point of departure for hunting and fishing parties, is located at the mouth of Elk Creek on Yaquina River, about four miles east of Toledo. Marys Peak is the most prominent mountain in the Coast Range as it crosses Benton County. Down its western slope flows a clear, sparking stream typical of those in coastal Oregon. Near its banks, in 1856, was camped a party of explorers in search of grazing land. Food supplies were low and supper was expected to be beans as usual. Then one man saw a fine bull elk standing on a hill, an easy mark for his gun. In memory of this provident event the stream became Elk Creek. The first settlement at Elk City was made by the Corvallis and Yaquina Bay Wagon Road Company, who erected a warehouse here in 1866. Here was the overland terminus of the stage and mail route, the rest of the distance to the bay being by water. The settlement was named Newton for the man who laid out the plat in 1868, Albitha Newton, and placed it as far up the Yaquina as boats could go. During normal low water periods the stream was quite narrow, branches hanging low and sometimes brushing the heads of boat passengers. Water-soaked snags lurked on the bottom of the none too deep waterway to scrape bottoms or rip holes in them. At times of high water the menace of low trees and branches became worse but the influence of ocean tides became noticeable. As Newton grew more and more travel came up the river from Toledo. At Yaquina City and Newport below on the bay, efforts were made to clear the waterway by removing snags and cutting branches. A small dock was prefabricated at Toledo, brought up on a barge and installed on the bank. Then it was possible for small steamboats to tie up at the town and regular service was instituted. A flat-bottomed stern wheeler was the first to make regular runs, down the bay one day and back the next. The railroad was also completed through Newton and on to bay points. Two saloons, a hotel, store, and Odd Fellows Lodge which was shared by other fraternal orders, many cabins and houses—all grew up on the site, giving the place the appearance of a real town. During the major active period of the Oregon Pacific Railroad, Elk City flourished as an important point on the route but as the railroad declined so did the town. The first post office had been established in 1868 with Edwin A. “Kit” Abbey the postmaster. Marshall W. Simpson held the job next, was out of the office for a while and then returned Nov. 23, 1888. He came full of ideas about advancing the status of the little town and one of the first efforts he made was getting the name changed from Newton to Elk City to conform to the name of the post office. The town flourished until automobiles took away the need for river traffic. And as logging in the area declined so did Elk City. Another blow was the abandonment of the rock quarries which had provided a live industry with workers living and buying supplies in the town. The old grocery which for years housed the post office is the only business still going in the town by the Yaquina. The Scovilles now operate it and a gas pump (1964). They tell of frequent floods when the only traffic through the main street was by boat. “All these coastal rivers are short,” says W. S. Scoville. “Our heavy winter rains of sometimes two and three inches a day quickly swell them to flood heights. In early days there was a sawmill and hotel here. One time when the river was exceptionally high the water took a lot of lumber piled in the sawmill yard and slammed it against the hotel turning it on its side so it had to be torn down. It was never rebuilt and neither was the wrecked sawmill. That seems to be the way of the old town went, little by little.” Elk City still has at least one resource, says Scoville. “We have extra good fishing here, especially in the middle of summer when steelhead salmon and blueback are running. Then fishermen bring their families over from the Willamette Valley and stay a while. We keep those little cabins there rented all the time.” On Dec. 31, 1958, the Elk City post office closed to Toledo.
Euclid post office was established May 25, 1904, with Martin G. Lyon postmaster, and closed Apr. 30, 1909. In 1949, F. W. Furst, superintendent of the Siuslaw National Forest, wrote that Euclid post office was at or near the site of an earlier office called Axtell had been discontinued in the summer of 1903. The Euclid post office was just to the east of the mouth of North Fork Yachats River in T145, R11W. It is reported that the name was given by Allen Beamer, a nearby resident who had a reputation for being a scholarly individual. Just why the name of the Greek geometrician (300 BCE) was selected has not been explained. In the spring of 1908, Lyon gave up the office and the establishment was moved some distance upstream on the north side of Grass Creek.
Fisher post office was named for the fisher, Mustela pennanti. Well-known outdoor writer, Tom McAllister, described this rare animal: “This cat sized hunter of squirrels and other small animals is a member of the family Mustellidae which includes minks, martens, weasels, badgers, otters and skunks. Before its near disappearance in Oregon, it lived in undisturbed virgin forest at low to intermediate elevations and often followed stream courses on its solitary rounds. The fisher vanished in the Coast Range with loss of habitat, trapping and the use of poison baits to control coyotes and wolves, but in the 1980s it was reported again in the Cascade Range. Oldtime trappers prized the fisher for the beauty and high value of the pelts.” Fisher post office was established Mar. 19, 1892, but was not always in one location. The post office was discontinued Jan. 31, 1911, and re-established Jul. 8, 1912. The office closed to Alsea Sep. 30, 1942. Formerly known as Vernon, it is reported that Bennett Olsen suggested the name for the Fisher office. Vernon post office, located three miles due north of Fisher, was established May 1, 1905, with Martin L. Earnest first postmaster. Martin Johanson was the first postmaster, and J. W. Mink later held the office. Remarkable nomenclature. In fact, aptness of description, sometimes with a jest, is evident in the names applied to other pioneer Oregon localities. Some of this nomenclature persists, but much of it has been discarded by a more polite but less poetic era. Fair Play was so called from the fairness of its horse races. Lick Skillet and Scanty Grease have an obvious origin. Row River was named for neighborhood feuds; Soap Creek for bachelors who had no soap; and Ah Doon Hill for a Chinese who was shanghaied there. Hells’ Canyon on Snake River, the deepest chasm in America, is as descriptive of wild grandeur as God’s Valley in the Nehalem country is of peace.
Fredericksburg: John A. Olsson was born in Gutenberg, Sweden, Mar. 20, 1838. At the age of 14 he went to sea. In 1864, he traveled from San Francisco with capt. Winant to Yaquina Bay, to work in the oyster business. In Jan. 1866, he homesteaded 112 acres (Olssonville) on the north side of the Bay. In 1882, he had his estate divided, with part going to an addition to the City of Newport and the balance going to the town of Fredericksburg which he named and started started.30
Glen post office was in the west part of T12S, R9W, a few miles south of Salado. It was on Upper Drift Creek or one of its tributaries. The office was established Jan. 17, 1894, with Simeon J. Wilhoit first of three postmasters. The office was closed to Elk City on Jun. 30, 1912. The name Glen is said to have been applied by Jerry Banks in honor of some town where he had lived previously, but the compiler has been unable to identify the place.
Gleneden Beach post office, located one mile south of the south end of Siletz Bay, established Nov. 1, 1927, with Wm. F. Cary (or Craig) first postmaster. On Jun. 23, 1961, Gleneden Beach was designated a rural station of Taft. On Sep. 24, 1965, it was designated a rural station of Lincoln City, but a postmark was used for a short time which read “Gleneden Beach.” Gleneden Beach is a type of descriptive name frequently found in seashore areas where there are high hopes of real estate sales. The place is about a mile south of the south end of Siletz Bay. In 1949 a Japanese horned mine drifted ashore at Gleneden Beach. A bomb disposal expert was called. He tunneled through the sand under the mine to remove its base plate and to disable the booster charge and sensitive horn connections. The deactivated shell is on exhibit at the museum. Accounts exist that at least six other mines washed up on Oregon’s coast during the late 1940s. In Jan. 2000, just days after moving, cars filled the parking lot and customers hustled and bustled through the bright, clean lobby of the new Gleneden Beach post office. Postmaster Louise Cremeen looked at the activity with pride and said, “It’s the ‘Cheers’ of Gleneden Beach. It’s where everyone knows your name.” And it didn’t take postal patrons long to find their way a few blocks down the street to the post office’s new location at 6645 Gleneden Beach Loop Road, on the ground floor of the Blue Mountain Contractors building next to the Side Door Cafe. Cremeen, who was awarded the two-year post office contract in December, said there was some initial grumbling about moving the facility from its previous long-time location. But the town is growing and progressing, she said, and it was time for a change. Apparently, most of her customers agreed, as more than a dozen showed up on New Year’s Day to move equipment, hundreds of post office boxes, and even a two-ton safe to the new spot. “There was no delivery on Saturday, and we had to move and be open on Monday. We couldn’t miss a mail day,” explained Cremeen. The move was completed in less than eight hours, thanks to many hands and cars—and a pick-up that towed the safe (on rollers) down Gleneden Beach Loop Road to its new home. Cremeen, who worked for the prior Gleneden Beach postmaster and had the emergency contract for the site in Oct. and Nov., said the community is pleased with the change. She said, “Everybody has loved the fact we moved. Before, it was 20 to 25 years in the same place.” The move in careers has also been good for Cremeen, whose background is in inventory control and purchasing. “It’s the most fun job I’ve ever had in my life,” she said. Cremeen firmly believes the “post office belongs to its customers.” She and her crew, Lora Perry and Jeannie Angermayer, plan to operate the facility that way, catering to their 800-1000 patrons. She appreciates the help the post office received in moving, and said, “I couldn’t have done it without customers, and also John Manca’s (Blue Mountain Contractors) crew.”
Harborton, now known as South Beach, is an unincorporated part of Lincoln County located on the south shore of Yaquina Bay. The earliest notice of the area was during WWI when the US Army spruce division established Camp III at Idaho Point to get out lumber for planes and ships. Camp I was at Beaver Creek near Waldport. Logs were shipped by rail to South Beach and then rafted to Toledo to the mill. Some of the old track bed can still be seen at the Toledo air strip, which is visible through the old piling on the far side of the Yaquina. The air strip is 1,725 feet long, and accommodates single engine planes. An early resident of South Beach, Elsie Omlid, was a cook at Camp III. Three buildings on 4th Street were used as the US Army hospital during the war. The Omlids remained in South Beach following the war, and their children attended a school located west of Toby Murray Auto Body on US-101. Omlid recalls one of her daughters rode the jitney on a spur of the railroad to school. She remembers there was ferry service to Newport every hour. People could ride free, but rigs cost $1.50. The Omlids ran a stage coach service for passengers and mail along the beach. At times winter storms and high tides held them up. A post office, store, and tavern were among the first businesses in the area.
Harlan post office, established Mar. 3, 1890, was located near the junction of Spout and Elk creeks, eight miles southwest of Burnt Woods. Jas. R. Harlan was first postmaster of this office, which closed to Eddyville on Feb. 23, 1968. Johnny Feagles (1873-1963) was the first non-indian child born in Lincoln County’s Harlan area. His recollections of the early days include the terrain. The Harlan area was nearly all fern in the early days. There were lots of burnt trees and snags standing and some on the ground. All the trees and the brush have grown up since he was a boy. When he was small, there were only a few scattered trees here and there. The area was the scene of a forest fire sometime back in history. But nobody knew exactly when it happened, including the Indians. Johnny Feagles remembers an abundance of cats and cougars in the area when he was a boy. There were also many deer. He was ten or 11 years old when he shot his first deer. Fishing was good in those days too. Salmon was abundant on the river in autumn. Feagles remembers one party who caught 200 trout in just one day’s fishing. The advent of good roads in the area brought people out in greater numbers. Now the fish are scarce in comparison. There weren’t any roads at all in the area when the first three squatters packed in to Harlan from Burnt Woods by horse. One of the first three settlers was Johnny Feagles’ father, Rbt. Lew Feagles, who moved into the Harlan area in 1872, having originated from Missouri. Nearby Feagles Creek is named for him. Johnny was one of four children. His brother died in scarlet fever epidemic that swept the area. The doctor said the other children would have died had they arrived for help two and a half hours later. Johnny Feagles attended school only three months out of the year. He figures learned more in those three months of concentrated study than children learn in nine months of school today. The curriculum stuck strictly to the basics. The story of Rbt. Lew Feagles’ shooting and causing the death of his father-in-law, Morgan Lillard, has details given in the Jun. 1980 issue of the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Lillard had long held a grudge against Feagles. He had threatened him often and was said to have started the shooting. Feagles was building a fence on the roadside near the line between their places. That would have been in front of the Harlan Community Hall. Lillard’s Granddaughter, the late Ida Miller Smouse, said the trouble began when the two families had scarlet fever. During Nov. and Dec. of 1877, Lillard’s Wife, Nancy, Jane Feagles’ daughter, her son Thms. and another young son, died and were buried on a hillside above Charley Mulkey’s large cedar barn. John Feagles, who was about four years old at the time, and his sister, were dangerously ill. A question arises as to how they could use a wagon on those hills. There were no bridges. Riding horses would have been a serious undertaking. About 1920, Maybelle Allison and Houston Grant carried their small son to Corvallis on horseback and that was known to be a real task then. One of the smallest covered bridges over Deer Creek near Big Elk River was used on the road to Harlan. Before the road was moved nearer the river, Deer Creek was a halfway point for picnics.34
Idaho Point is a prominent landmark on the south side of Yaquina Bay about two miles southeast of Newport. In times past it has been known both as Point Virtue and Hinton Point. Andrew L. Porter, a resident of the Yaquina Bay district since the 1860s, said in 1945 that the point was named for one Hinton who settled there in the early days. This was Rowland B. Hinton, a pioneer of 1846 who was a prominent resident near Monroe in Benton County. The name Idaho Point appears to have been the result of a real estate venture but after WWII it became well established.
Johnson post office, named for an Indian Shaker couple, Sissy (1859-1931) and Jakie Johnson (1859-1933), was at the Parmele place about half a mile up Drift Creek from the mouth of the stream on the east side of Siletz Bay, and about two miles north of Kernville. The office was established Mar. 11, 1899, with Geo. S. Parmele (1853-1930) first and only postmaster. The office was closed May 23, 1903, and what business there was turned over to Kernville. Sissy and Jakie Johnson, a local Native American couple, were well and favorably known. Jakie Johnson is said to have been a Siletz Indian. Sissy Johnson, a Shasta from Northern California, bore the tribal markings of three double lines tattooed on her chin. Among the Southern Oregontribes, adult women tattooed their chins with three vertical stripes and were dubbed the “One-Eleven Girls” by whites. The ancient Shasta had tattooed the entire chin, and while the Yakonan did not use face markings they tattooed dots on the wrists of their women for strength. Indians of the Willamette Valley (the closest to the Siletz on the east) did not use tattoos. A very light-skinned people, comparatively speaking, the Southern Oregon Chasta Costa women also wore chin tatoos. This was not unlike the chin-tattooing tradition of the ancient Libyans. In 1980, Harvard professor Berry Fell wrote: “Those Berbers who retained their ancient customs practiced chin-tattooing of the women, who did not wear the veil even though they are now Moslems. The men on the other hand often cover their head and face with a scarf-like cloth, showing only the eyes to strangers.” Indian women of Sissy Johnson’s period imitated non-indian dress habits and were especially fond of hats, shoes and colorful shirts. One news reporter said, “The Indian women from Siletz made an admirable appearance in their Sunday best.” He watched the two cultures collide “head on” as it were, however, when blue facial tattoos appeared atop 19th Century urban fashions. A more graceful blend resulted when Indian women completed their costumes with their own beautiful basketry hand bags. A friendly and outgoing woman, Sissy Johnson taught local people how to cook mussels and how to mix ashes and salt to make a cement to patch cracks and drafts in wood-burning stoves. The Johnsons held land by patent and part of the town of Taft is on property owned by the pair. Sissy and Jackie Johnson were influential Siletz Shaker missionaries and ministers. The Shaker Church, advocating strict morals, originated among Squaxin Indians at the upper end of Puget Sound on the Washington Coast. It made its appearance at the turn of the century on the Quinault Reservation which was established by executive order Sep. 22, 1866. The land on that reservation was not especially desirable and never heavily settled. Many Indians preferred to remain off the tract, fitting their way of life to that of whites around the bay, perhaps because both races were involved in the fishing industry. After the Chehalis Reservation was established by executive order of Jul. 8, 1864, Washington superintendent of Indian affairs I. J. McKenny sought to bring onto that confine all nonreservation Chinook, Willapa Bay, Chehalis, and Cowlitz Indians. To hurry them along to what he hoped would be their new home, he ordered his agents to lure them with gifts of every kind from timber to trinkets. McKenny hoped that reservation life would gradually eliminate among these unconfined Indians “bad habits,” the worst of which, to his thinking, were gambling, drinking, sorcery, head flattening, and polygamy, all of which prevailed into the second half of the 19th century. About the same time as the Quinaults, the Willapa Bay Chinook also embraced the Shaker religion. Like many other messianic cults, the Shaker church was a compound of native and Christian forms. Yet, in their working of these ingredients, Shakers had created a unique system of belief and behavior, and refused to accept the status of an affiliate of the established religions. The Indian Shaker church developed inspiration and sanction of its own, and evolved a pattern of internal development peculiarly its own. Persecution by outsiders had certain negative effects, but it also acted as a powerful stimulus for the consolidation and intensification of belief. The cult underwent numerous changes since its inception in 1881. Its history is, in fact, marked by constant flux of ritual and belief. In part, this characteristic was due to the fact that the movement had diffused through several Indian groups with quite different cultural backgrounds. There is, however, an even more fundamental reason for the dynamic quality of the Shaker religion. Cult doctrine exhibited a remarkable tolerance toward individual interpretation and the extension of its forms and meanings. Private convictions, based on alleged Supernatural sanctions called “teachings” or “gifts,” were regarded as the true sources of doctrine and procedure; and while conflicts of personalities and ideas inevitably resulted, the basic tenet granting the truth of individual inspiration was never questioned.37 The Johnsons, who are both buried at Paul Washington Cemetery on Government Hill in Siletz, were well and favorably known. Jakie’s mother, Susan Johnson, died Mar. 13, 1910, and is buried at Taft Cemetery. The Johnsons operated a general store, once owned by Parmele, for Nelson & Ray of Cloverdale, who built their ocean-going boat, Della. They built their large, two-story home on the hill east of the store at a location near the present US-101 and Coast Avenue. They rented rooms and served meals to travelers as there were no other accommodations available. Their estate included many farm buildings. Later, in 1909, the Mercer family built a home on the bluff facing the ocean just above the store, and operated it as a hotel. In 1974, a new home replaced this landmark. In 1904, John W. Bones (1884-1970), homesteaded a claim on the Bayfront adjoining the Johnson estate. On Jan. 22, 1906, Taft post office was established with Bones the first postmaster. The post office, named after the pres. Wm. Howard Taft (1857-1930), was located on the north shore of Siletz Bay in the urban strip, which is now Lincoln City. Bones donated land for the cemetery located above Spanish Head and some time later the pioneers collected money to buy land for the cemetery. He sold his business in 1910 to Wm. Dodson, who built a new general merchandise store a little farther back from the waterfront. This building, after many renovations and additions, eventually became the Driftwood Nursing Home. The nursing home is no longer in operation but the building still stands.
Kernville post office was originally located on the southwest bank of the Siletz, about a mile upstream from the present community. The post office was established in the same building in the same building on Jul. 6, 1896, with John H. Kern first postmaster. The office was discontinued Dec. 15, 1913, and re-established Dec. 14, 1920. It was discontinued again Jan. 11, 1926, and reopened its doors for service on Jul. 26, 1928. On Oct. 31, 1957, the Kernville office became a rural station of Taft, and on Dep. 25, 1965, it became a rural station of the newly established Lincoln City. That office was discontinued Mar. 9, 1968. Old Kernville, located about two miles above the present site of Kernville, was the site of the first commercial industry in North Lincoln County. In 1896, when this part of the Coast Reservation was opened to white settlement, Danl. Kern was among the first to exploit the situation, when he built a salmon cannery that employed Chinese labor. As established in 1885, the Siletz Reservation, a remnant of the Coast Reservation, covered more than one and a third million acres but as the non-indian population of Oregon increased the newcomers decided that there was too much valuable land in the hands of the natives. Though there were more than 2000 Indians on the reservation in 1867, war, famine and disease had reduced the number to about 550 in 1887. By 1892, the allotments of the Siletz group covered only 47,000 acres. In 1925, though the number of Indians had increased the Siletz Agency was closed. John Fleming Wilson’s (1877-1922) novel, The Land Claimers (1911), tells the story of men like the Kerns who rushed into the Siletz lands when they were thrown open to non-indian settlement. Cannery Mountain (1065') is on the south side of Siletz River about two miles southeast of the present site of Kernville. This mountain is about south of and across the river from the site of the former Kern fish cannery and it was named on that account. Coyote Rock is on Siletz River, two miles above Kernville. To insure himself of a constant supply of salmon, so the Indian legend goes, Coyote attempted to dam the river here and was partly successful. In the autumn especially, large Chinook salmon wait here for the first rains before ascending to upriver spawning beds. Medicine Rock is on Siletz River six miles above Kernville. Native Americans believed presents left on Medicine Rock near here would bring the giver good luck. The place was a familiar landmark to the pioneer travelers.
Lincoln City has been a favorite spot for honeymooning couples for more than a century. In 1837, traveling by horseback on the Old Elk Trail along the Salmon River, missionary Jason lee brought his bride, Anna Marie Pittman, together with Cyrus Shepard and his bride, and a guide, Joe Gervias. The two couples set up camp at nearby Oceanlake and evangelized the Salmon River Indians. The Jason Lee Campsite can be seen at Oceanlake, at the north end of Lincoln City near Devil’s Lake. Lincoln City was placed on the map Dec. 8, 1964, when the cities of Oceanlake, Delake and Taft and the unincorporated communities of Cutler City and Nelscott voted to merge to form a new single community. Lincoln City post office, formerly known as Delake, was established Sep. 25, 1965. The City of Oceanlake is a coast town of about 400 supported by sportsmen and tourists. It is located west of Devils Lake on the Oregon Coast Highway. The name called attention to this position between the lake and the ocean. The post office, formerly known as Delake, was established Mar. 15, 1927, with Arthur C. Deuel first postmaster. The City of Delake was named for Devils Lake, near which it was located. Arthur C. Deuel, postmaster at Delake in 1925, said that Delake was the name agreed upon by himself and judge Frank L. Mann (1863-1956), a Lincoln County resident, because it was the way many of the Finnish people, who settled in the area as fishermen, pronounced Devils Lake. When the name of the original post office, established Jan. 11, 1924, was changed to Oceanlake, the site was moved a bit over a mile south. The original community then applied for and received a new post office, which was established Mar. 15, 1927. In 1837, Methodist missionaries Jason Lee and Cyrus Sheppard, with their brides of one month, and guide Jos. Gervias, came over the Old Elk Trail and camped at the site of Oceanlake for a week. The honeymooners “cured themselves of malaria and evangelized the Salmon River Indians.” So far as is known, they were the first vacationers on the Oregon Coast. The City of Taft was named for Wm. Howard Taft, 27th president of the US. The post office was established Jan. 22, 1906, and was named when Taft was secretary of war. John W. Bones was first postmaster, and is said to have suggested the name. The community of Cutler City, just south of Taft and on the east shore of Siletz Bay, has had a remarkable development as a resort town. The town was named for Geo. Cutler, who acquired the property from Charley DePoe, a Siletz Indian, and developed the resort with several other nearby communities to form Lincoln City. The post office was established in 1930 with Jacob H. Boomer first postmaster. The Cutlers formerly lived near Dallas. Cutler died in 1913, and his wife in 1939. The community of Nelscott has become an important summer resort on the Oregon Coast Highway about two miles north of Taft. A letter by Alma Anderson, published in the North Lincoln Coast Guard, May 4, 1939, indicates that the name was formed by combining parts of the names of Chas. P. Nelson and Dr. W. R. Scott, who opened the town site in Apr. 1926. The post office was established Aug. 2, 1929. Nelson died in Dec. 1946. On the beach at Nelscott, as elsewhere along the Oregon Coast, Japanese floats—colored glass balls, are frequently found. These floats—used as net supports by oriental fishermen—are carried across the ocean by the Japanese current. They are prized by tourists for decorative purposes. A line of substantial cottages face the ocean here.
Linville post office, located on Drift Creek, about seven miles northeast of Waldport and a few miles east of Bayview, was established May 26, 1896, with Rbt. W. Linville first postmaster. The office was discontinued on Apr. 15, 1915, reestablished Sep. 22, 1916, and permanently discontinued on Oct. 15, 1918.
Little Elk post office, established Jul. 14, 1868, was located on Yaquina River at the site of present-day Eddyville. John L. Shipley was first postmaster of this office, named for Little Elk Creek, a stream near whose mouth the office was situated. The office was discontinued on Sep. 16, 172, and reestablished on Oct. 20, 1873. It was discontinued Mar. 13, 1888, and reestablished on May 31, 1892. The name of the office was changed to Eddyville on Oct. 7, 1893. Early details of Little Elk have been compiled from a letter to Emma Allphin McBride, Feb. 1938, from Florence Mason; Rachel Ann Henkle Shipley Kitson’s interview with Fred Lockley 1937, and Branch V. Henkle Genealogy, page 359. Rachel (1846-? IA) and John L. Shipley (1840-? MO) moved to Little Elk soon after their marriage. They were at Little Elk from 1864 to 1871. John was postmaster of Little Elk, and kept the toll gate on the Yaquina Bay Wagon Road. The charge was 50 cents and 25 cents for a man on horseback. The Shipleys had five daughters and one son. Two of their granddaughters are the late Ethel Shipley Smith and Opal Shipley Smith of Toledo. Their sister, Florence Shipley Mason, married Sam Smith’s brother, Tom, of Coos Bay. Lumber for the Shipley house was hauled from Henkle Sawmill near Philomath to Summit the first day and it took another day to reach their home at Little Elk. They lived for the most part on wild meat—deer, elk and bear—and, of course, “all the trout we could eat.” There was no graveyard at Little Elk: One man was buried above the grade on the hill. The Shipleys’ neighbors were Charley Mayes, Pearl Bryant, and Ike Porter upriver, and Rooks, Ridenour, Mike Brannon, Mathias L. Trapp, and Benj. and Nelson Thorpe downriver. McVays and Babers were across the river. The hills around Little Elk were bare with underbrush. In 1859, a company was organized to build a road. Members of the road crew were: Dr. Bayley, A. B. Newton, Kit Abbey, Jacob Henkle, Geo. Mercer, Saml. McClain and Icabod Henkle. They blazed a trail so teams could go through to Pioneer City and Elk City, the head of navigation on the Yaquina. In 1872, col. T. Egenton Hogg, a Confederate soldier, bought the wagon road land for $25,000. The money was divided equally among the eight who had carried out the project. He agreed to maintain the road. The tollgate was removed. Shipleys sold their land to Ezekiel Eddy for $1400, who paid for It with silver dollars. Eddy had said, “I wouldn’t a gi’en ten cents for the place if it hadn’t been for that orchard.” Among those who were held as slaves in Oregon were Louis A. Southworth, who in 1855 purchased his freedom from his master in Polk County for $1000, and Reuben Shipley of Benton County. Reuben Shipley had been a slave in Missouri, according to Mark Phinney of Corvallis, who interviewed John B. Horner, professor of history. His master, Rbt. Shipley, trusted him to a large share in the training of his sons, whose mother had died, and he was regarded as almost one of the family. When Shipley decided to come to Oregon, he promised Reuben his freedom if he would drive a team of oxen on the road. Reuben left a wife in Missouri who died before he could send money for her. After he purchased his freedom, he was employed by Eldridge Hartless, who settled one mile south of Philomath in 1846. Hartless was quite well-to-do and had many cattle. In a few years Reuben had saved $1500, and with a part of it he bought a grange where Mt. Union Cemetery and Mt. Union School are now located. Now col. Nathaniel Ford, who settled in Rickreall in Polk County in 1844, owned a young African American woman named Mary Jane. Ford allowed Reuben to marry this woman and take her to his farm. Then, having learned that Shipley had money, he came without knowledge to his non-indian friends, and made him believe that he must purchase his Fiance’s freedom, which he did for $700. Reuben and Mary Jane reared a large family—Wallace, Ella, Thms., Martha, Nellie and Edw.—on their 80 acre grange four miles west of Corvallis. Reuben was industrious and Mary Jane was a splendid housekeeper and the family entered into the life of the church and the community without too much consideration of the question of social equality. When Wm. Wyatt, another pioneer spoke of the hill on Reuben Shipley’s farm as a likely place for a cemetery, Reuben agreed to give two acres for that purpose if he might be buried there. This two acres donated in 1861 was the beginning of Mt. Union Cemetery where many of the pioneers of Benton County are buried. Reuben is there among them. According to Benton County Archives, page 18, he died in 1873 at the age of 74. His wife Mary Jane lived in Benton County until 1880. In after years she married Alfred Drake and lived well into the third decade of the 20th century.
Logsden post office, located on the Siletz, eight miles east of the town of Siletz, was established Jun. 11, 1921, with Wolverton C. Orton (1874-1963), first postmaster. The office was formerly known as Orton, and was established Jun. 27, 1914, with Philip H. Fliting (1873-1938) first postmaster. The name of the office was changed to Logsden on Jun. 11, 1921. Hazel Schaffer, postmaster at Logsden in Apr. 1927, reported that the place was named for an elderly Indian who lived on the Siletz Reservation. There are several men with the surname Logsden who are buried in pioneer cemeteries throughout the Siletz area. Possibilities might include John, Jos. M. and Chas. Logsden, who are buried in the Logsden-Rock Creek Cemetery. During the spring of 1885, a hotel and store was started at Caledonia near Toledo as well as the Chas. Logsden Sawmill, so it is most likely Logsden was named for him. Most of the burials in the area within the boundaries of the entrance to Moonshine Park above Logsden, east to the west side of Nash Mountain and west to Sam Creek are in private and small cemeteries, unmarked or lost graves which have been verified through relatives, friends, published obituaries, death records or mortuary records, and known graves which are on private property. The location of the known graves has not been revealed here due to the problems experienced in recent years with vandalism of Indian grave sites. Rbt. T. Fieber, 60, and Dotti Martin, 60, currently of Otis were arrested Jun. 9, 1999 on Idaho allegations of cruelty to animals. The two were taken into custody on Bannock County warrants out of Pocatello, ID. Fieber and Martin allegedly were charged in connection with the care they provided large exotic cats. Several of the animals escaped, necessitating that they be shot. Also, about 100 wolves were kept by the defendants in Idaho. The two were lodged in the Lincoln County Jail. Fieber at one time reared exotic animals at Logsden.
Lutgens post office, located four miles south of Seal Rock on the north shore of Alsea Bay, was established May 17, 1890, with Albert H. Lutgens first postmaster. Numerous name changes mark the history of this post office as it moved about Alsea Bay. Lutgens post office, formerly known as Collins, was established Jan. 31, 1875, with Matt. Brand first postmaster. This office, once known as Drift Wood, was named in honor of Geo. W. Collins, the first settler in the Lower Alsea. Collins came in 1860 as Indian agent for the subagency of the Alsea Reservation. Formerly part of the Coast Reservation, which by treaty with the Indians extended for 90 miles along the coast and about 20 miles inland, Alsea Subagency near Yachats was established in 1856. David D. Fagan’s History of Benton County records: “When the white man began to settle in the Alsea district they found there the remnants of three tribes: the ‘Alseas’ by the bay and on the coast, a people of fishers; the ‘Klickitats’ who hunted in the woods and over the mountains to the south; and the ‘Drift Creek Indians’ whose homes were scattered through the heavy timber round Table Mountain and on the streams leading thereabouts, to the east and northeast of Alsea. Though generally at enmity with each other yet there were times when, feuds laid aside, the hunting tribes visited their neighbors by the ocean in peace, bringing with them the spoils of the chase to exchange for the sea fish and shell fish of the Alseas. Then fires were lighted and feasting and jollity went on day after day together.” The agency was closed in 1875 and Indians were forced to remove to Siletz so whites could settle here. Collins post office was discontinued Jun. 17, 1881. The name of the office was changed to Waldport on Feb. 23, 1882. It was changed again to Lutgens on May 17, 1890, and to Stanford on Jul. 29, 1893, with W. C. Shepard serving as postmaster, and was discontinued Jun. 21, 1897. The name of that office was changed to Nice on Apr. 24, 1917. Nice post office was named for Harry Nice, a prominent Alsea Bay resident during the last half of the 19th century. Nora L. Strake was the first postmaster. The office was discontinued Nov. 15 1919.
Millville was sited in 1867, as the culmination of the Premier Steam Mill’s success. Located on Depot Slough, Premier Steam Mill was considered one of the best steam sawmills in Oregon, sawing 7000 and 8000 feet per day. According to Royal A. Bensell (1838-1921), the mill “had a lumber yard containing good saleable lumber; boats coming and going, loaded with lumber all the time. This is a lively place; some 15 hands employed.” Reports of daily lumber production fluctuated from 6000 to 10,000 feet over the next few years, with lumber selling for $15 per 1000 board feet in 1867. In 1868, the schooner T. Starr King arrived at the mouth of the slough to pick up 140,000 feet of lumber. A 20 ton schooner was even being constructed at the mill in 1867. In 1869, the mill was employing five men and working 11 hours a day, although not without danger, for Geo. R. Meggison nearly lost his hand the next year. The mill spawned other activities, as a “magnificent ball” was held in “a spacious building near the sawmill” as early as August 1866.
Morrison Station was located on the Yaquina and the Southern Pacific Railway, about four miles west of Chitwood. The post office was established Aug. 29, 1894, with Barney Morrison (1827-1907) first postmaster. The name of the office was changed to Pioneer on Oct. 4, 1900. Pioneer post office, located on the Yaquina near Pioneer Mountain, and about two miles north of Elk City, was established Oct. 4, 1900, Morrison continuing to serve as postmaster. The name Pioneer was selected because of the operations in that section of the Pioneer Sandstone Company. The covered bridge over the Yaquina was directly in front of the Pioneer post office. Maggie Bell Kleut prepared the mail sack at Pioneer post office. If there was no need to stop, she threw the sack and caught the incoming mail on the platform at back. The post office closed to Elk City on Aug. 31, 1929. The house burned while owned by Ethel McClaflin. Several square nails were found in the ashes. The rock quarry can be seen through the alder trees. Margaret Attridge stood on the original road from Pioneer to Newport and took a picture of the quarry in 1984. In 1985, the location was still, owned by Dond Darlene Deardoff. Barney Morrison was born Jun. 1, 1827 in Washington County, TN. He was married Apr. 1, 1846 to Zimma Stoner. The couple had six Girls and two boys. Of those living in 1907 were Ruth Embree of Dallas, J. H. Morrison of Washington, Chelsey L. Morrison (1859-1940) of Pioneer, Tabitha Simpson and Josephine Bevens. Morrison died at his home at Pioneer, Sep. 24, 1907 at the age of 80 years, three months and 24 days. The “good wife,” his obituary said, survived him.
Nashville was named for Wallis Nash (1837-1926), a native of Great Britain, who visited Oregon in 1877, and came to this state to settle in 1879. He was prominently identified with various enterprises in Benton and Lincoln counties, including the construction of the railroad between Corvallis and Yaquina Bay. Nashville was located on the Southern Pacific Railway, about seven road miles northwest of Wren. The post office was established Jun. 12, 1888, with Jennie C. Curry first postmaster. On Jul. 31, 1958, the office became a rural station of Philomath, and was discontinued on Sep. 23, 1978. A prominent figure in Oregon and one of Benton County’s foremost citizens of pioneer days, Wallis Nash, passed away Sat. afternoon at the country house near Nashville, in Lincoln County. The remains are being brought to Corvallis today and the funeral services will be held form the Episcopal church immediately after the arrival of the funeral party. Internment is to be in the Crystal Lake Cemetery. Nash passed away Mar. 13, 1926. Nash was a native of England and was probably 90 years of age. He came to Oregon in 1877, passed two years in Benton County and then returned to England. Nash then headed an English colony that came to Benton County. The men in the party were here to learning farming and the families settled on tracts over this section. Nash, himself, became interested in farming and planted the first vetch sown in Benton County. Vetch at that time was recognized as tares, and Nash won quite general criticism for his act. The seed was sown on land that is now the personal site of the forestry building and gymnasium on the OAC campus. With judge Stahan and judge M. L. Pipes, Nash helped frame the constitution of OAC and had it ratified by the legislature. Born near London, England, in 1837, Nash was educated at Mill Hill School and New College, University of London, and then further for his profession of lawyer, finally becoming a senior member of Nash & Field, solicitors, of London. Always interested in new ventures, Nash secured Alex. Graham Bell’s patent rights to the telephone for England and the first message passed from there to Queen Victoria, at Osborne House. Other important projects of their firm were the financial agreements for the first Atlantic cable for Cyrus Field and for a large Brazilian railroad, and Nash helped the framing of the first “limited liability” which passed by act of Parliament. Nash later met Colonel T. Egenton Hogg in London, a Southerner who was much enthused over the great possibilities of Oregon, and came with him to the new country, first in 1877 and returning in 1879. He was second vice-president of the Oregon Pacific Railway Company for many years. Nash was influential in the construction of the Oregon Pacific Railway, from Yaquina City to Mill City, now a part of the Southern Pacific lines, and was legal advisor for the road and one of the promoters under the management of Colonel Hogg and his brother, Billy Hoag. He was one of the first reagents of OAC, serving in the capacity of secretary. Later, for a brief time in the fall of 1898, he acted as president of the board. His early connection with the college was at the time it was being turned over to the state and released from church control. Nash’s home was for many years on the present campus, He and his family residing in the English mansion that stood in pioneer days on the site of Waldo Hall. The old English home was then the gathering place and headquarters of the members of the English colony. Following the years in Corvallis, where he secured large farming acreage, Nash located in Portland. He was for a time president of the board of trade in Portland and for many years was an editorial writer for the Oregon Journal and the Morning Oregonian. A writer of note, Nash was the authors of several books on Oregon, including Two years in Oregon. He was renowned as an English scholar and was an accomplished pianist and recognized musician. He was a barrister in England during his young manhood but his law practice in Oregon was confined to brief periods in this city (Corvallis) and Portland. The little Lincoln County town (Nashville) near which Nash spent his years of retirement and where one or more of his books were written, receives its name from the beloved citizen who had done so much towards the development of that section. He also was active in enlarging the CC and brought to the school the late Geo. Coote, florist, and other men (and women) who were prominent in the school. Nash was instrumental in establishing the Sanitation & Household Economy Department and bringing Dr. Margaret Snell to the OAC. Nash was twice married, the second Ms. Nash passed away only two or three years ago. The children surviving include Dorthea Nash, prominent in musical circles, in Portland, and the only daughter. There are four sons, Desmond, Percival, Rodney and Darwin Nash. Nash played the organ in the Corvallis Episcopal church and also read the service there many years. In 1919, Wallis Nash wrote: “Bald Mountain and Grass Mountain look down on us [at Nashville] from the next ridge of the encircling hills, and each season, as sit passes from the gray brown of the winter fern and wild grass to the bright green of spring and the more sedate green of summer, has a beauty all its own.” The view from Nash Mountain, the highest spot on the Logsden-Nashville Road, about 800 feet above sea level, is one of the more striking in the Coast Range.
Nelscott has become an important summer resort on US-10 about two miles north of Taft. A letter by Alma Anderson, published in the North Lincoln Coast Guard, May 4, 1939, indicates that the name was formed by combining parts of the names of Chas. P. Nelson and Dr. W. G. Scott, who opened the town site in Apr. 1926. The post office was established Aug. 2, 1929 with Nelson serving as first postmaster. Nelson died in Dec. 1946. On Dec. 8, 1964, the town voted to become a part of a new community to be called Lincoln City, and the post office closed to the newly created town on Sep. 24, 1965. On the beach at Nelscott, as elsewhere along the Oregon Coast, Japanese floats—colored glass balls, are frequently found. These floats—used as net supports by Oriental fishermen—are carried across the ocean by the Japanese current. They are prized by tourists for decorative purposes. A line of substantial cottages face the ocean here. North of Nelscott were the Elvin A. Thorpe and Harry Thorpe homesteads. They were platted in the 1920s and named, after the Roosevelt Military Highway, Camp Roosevelt and Roosevelt-by-the-Sea. These tracts subsequently became part of the City of Delake.
Neotsu post office, at the northern end of Devils Lake, was established Mar. 28, 1928, with Frank M. Hodges serving as first postmaster. The name is said to be an Indian word meaning “evil water.” Geo. Davidson, in the Coast Pilot, 1998, uses the spelling Na-ah-so, but does not explain the word. Devils Lake has been referred to as me-sah’-chie-chuck, which is Chinook jargon for “evil water.” There are a number of Indian legends about Devils Lake. The Indians believed that in these waters lived powerful malign deities known as skookums that occasionally rose to the surface to attack men. When used in connection with localities, the word skookum generally indicates a place haunted by an evil spirit, or god of the woods. It sometimes meant a place used as a burial ground. In Clackamas County, Skookum Lake, about ten acres in size and 20 feet deep, is located on the north slope of Thunder Mountain, between Toketee Falls and OR-230. It drains into Fish Creek, a tributary of Clackamas River, and is stocked with brook trout. The modern meaning of the work skookum is quite different from the earlier connotation; it can also mean “stout” or strong,” and a skookum chuck did not mean a strong, swift stream, but a place to stay away from. The word skookum has been applied to various geographic features in Oregon. Indians near the mouth of Rogue River in Curry County built a fort or stockade on the south bank of the stream about 15 miles from the ocean. Non-indian settlers drove the Indians out and took the fort. Skookumhouse Butte was named on account of stockade incident, and the word skookumhouse was also used by early settlers to describe a jail. In contradistinction to a skookum, a hehe was a good spirit and a hehe chuck was a fine place for games, races and other sports and festivities.
Newport is the keystone to the Pacific Northwest coast. The town spreads across a blunt ridged peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Yaquina Bay. Though the first settler arrived in 1855, it was several years before there was a village here. Traders and fishermen were the first arrivals. Then the people of the Willamette Valley discovered it to be a delightful resort area and the Ocean House, built in 1866, and the Abbey House and Fountain House, opened in 1871—all facing the bay—began to draw visitors who would take the five-day coastal voyage to San Francisco as a diversion. Others engaged in the clam-digging and crabbing that still attract many. This section remains the commercial center of town, which flourished in the 1890s when Yaquina Bay ships carried away the products brought across the range from the Willamette Valley on the old Oregon Pacific Railway. In 1873, the trip form Corvallis took from early morning till dusk at night by stage (drawn by four horses, changed at noon for a fresh double team) which bumped and climbed over the 49 miles to Elk City where the mail boat waited for the 25 mile trip down the river and bay to Newport; leaving the next morning on the first of the ebb tide. Twelve miles down, the boat stopped at Toledo, then at Oneatta, and finally at Newport, at a rickety wharf in front of Bay View Hotel (latter renamed the Abbey). At the other end of town was Ocean House, owned by Mary Craigie (1848-1933) and Saml. Case, which is the Coast Guard station now. The Portrait And Biographical Record Of 1904, say that Mary Case “is proprietor of the Ocean House at Newport, Oregon, which is famous for miles around, and has a commanding view over the bar end and far out to sea.” Mary Craigie Case (1848-1933) ran the resort after her husband died in 1897. Saml. Case had built the health resort, which was a two-story building with 25 rooms on eight acres, on Yaquina Bay in the late 1860s and early 1870s. A mother of six, Case was a native of Boise City, ID, and the daughter of a Scotsman who emigrated to the US when he was 21 and helped build the fort at Boise City. Case was a “faithful attendant and active member of the Episcopal Church,” according to the record, and was “among the most businesslike and popular Ladies in Newport.” In between were four saloons, a store, over which was a hall used for dances, political meetings, and—more rarely—church services whenever a minister of the gospel happened along. Near the sand path up the hill to the beach of land occupied by the Ocean House, took a building quite imposing when compared to the rest of the town. Lucy Blue wrote that “at that time the property was owned jointly by Saml. Case and Dr. Jas. R. Bayley, the latter a physician in Corvallis. The 1885 History of Benton County, Oregon says that Dr. Bayley “was born in Clark County, OH, 1918. He began his medical studies in 1841, and graduated from Ohio Medical College in 1884. He practiced medicine for four years in Springfield, OH before relocating in Cincinnati, where he enjoyed a successful practice for seven years. In 1852, Bayley marred Elizabeth Harpole of Green County, OH. The couple moved to Oregon in 1855, first locating in Polk County. In 1857, Bayley moved to Corvallis where he opened an office in connection with his pharmaceutical business. He was a member of the Territorial Council in 1856 and again in 1857. He was elected Benton County judge on two occasions. Bayley was also a state senator from Benton County in 1866 and again in 1868, and was appointed supervisor of internal revenue in 1869, and office he held until 1873. Afterwards, he devoted himself to his medical practice in Corvallis, Newport and the Yaquina Bay region, where he spent his summers and owned valuable property. The Bayleys also owned a beautiful home in Corvallis. Bayley was a 32nd degree Mason and grand high priest and grand master of the Masonic jurisdiction of Oregon and had been a prominent Odd Fellow.” Case and Bayley also owned the whole town site of Newport except the few lots that had been sold and built upon along the shore for the space of two blocks. The town site was laid out by Case in 1873 and named by him for Newport, Rhode Island, where he lived at one time. The Ocean House was also named for the famous old hotel of that name at the eastern resort.” About 1885, the railroad came to Yaquina City, then the ferry went from Yaquina City to Newport, and valley residents began coming to Newport for the summer. For the Fourth of July, 1885, the Oregon Pacific Railway announced the first of its grand excursions from Corvallis to the coast. At 7am on the morning of the 4th, the trip started with the Little Corvallis heading a train of flatcars each of which had been fitted with railings and plank benches running lengthwise. About 70 passengers climbed aboard for the adventure, and they were not disappointed. In the spring, weeds flourished in Oregon, and since the tunnel had burned, few trains had run over the track. Between the ties and the rails, the weeds grew waist high and the Little Corvallis had trouble bucking its way through them. The sun poured down, and a light breeze swept the cars, yet the passengers did not complain. At the burned-out tunnel, everyone unloaded and walked over the road around the blockade to take another train waiting on the far side; a train like the first, with benches on flatcars, but drawn by one of the heavier Rogers engines. Still all went merrily, the only disaster coming when vice-president Wallis Nash had his hat blown off. At Yaquina City, a band tootled welcome, and the excursionists scrambled onto steamboats for the trip to Newport. “Amid the noise and confusion, the whistling of opposition boats and the sight of the ocean steamer Yaquina might easily imagine himself on the San Francisco docks,” the editor of the Corvallis Gazette exclaimed. Daily round trips were made from Albany to Yaquina City, and then by the old tug Newport on to the Newport Bayfront. In winter, if the Bay was rough, passengers sat in the engine room. No one ever seemed to get seasick. Front-page news in 1957 was the purchase of the Gilmore Hotel in Newport by Donald L. Young of Portland from Cecile Gilmore (1883-1962), owner and proprietor since 1920—37 years. Gilmore bought the hotel with her husband, Peter (1877-1929), in 1920. They operated the hotel together until 1929, when Peter G. Gilmore (1877-1929) passed away. Cecile Gilmore then became the sole proprietor of the hotel. The couple moved to the area in 1915 and started a dry goods store, which they then sold. They lived on a 5-acre tract for a short time before buying the hotel in 1920, which was described as a “landmark for many years on that section of the coast.” The hotel stood on the site of the present-day Sylvia Beach Hotel in Nye Beach. Gilmore, who is buried alongside her husband at Eureka Cemetery in Newport, retired from active business after selling her hotel. The arrival of the Newport on the Bayfront was greeted by a band; Peter Gilmore from the Gilmore Hotel, Elizabeth Schollenburg (1851-1938) of the Grand Rooms, and others, ballyhooing for their hotels, each trying to drown out the others. In A Lawyer’s Life On Two Continents, Wallis Nash wrote of his excursion to Newport: “All the members of our little expedition made the trip to Yaquina Bay, and gazed out to and over the Pacific on the sunset of our arrival at the infant settlement of Newport at the mouth of the estuary. There were, even then, two little hotels, one on the bluff above, other on the street facing the wharf at which the boats of the settlers on the shores of the bay were tied up. Beside the Abbey House stood the one dark little general store, to supply the little community.” In the dining room of The Abbey on the Bayfront was a big round dining table that would seat 20 to 25 people. It was in the middle of the room loaded with big platters of cracked crab and buckets of steamed clams, with drawn butter, lemon and catsup for dunking. There were finger bowls, out of which Margaret Peterson and her sister drank, much to the embarrassment of her grandparents. Later, Peterson’s father, Vivian Cartwright, and his mother had the Bon Bon Confectionery on Front Street. Some time between 1900 and 1908, Vivian Cartwright, Rich. Chatterton and Jack Fogarty, father of Frances Burdett, decided Newport should have electricity, so they built three windmills on the sandhills, and hooked up the necessary machinery to generate current. Newport then had lights from 7am to 10pm. Newport could also have a movie with electricity. The movie house was lighted by carbide lamps to the electricity could be used to run the movie machine. The single feature movies were shown about where Mark’s Market Basket is now. John Fleming Wilson (1877-1922), the author of numerous books, lived here for about three years after his marriage in 1907. Mariner, schoolteacher, and newspaper reporter, he was able to leave $90,000 earned by writing stories and novels, some of which were based on material gathered in the Yaquina Bay district. For 22 years (1962-1984), on the location of what is now the Circle K, was a market well-known to locals as Mark’s Market Basket. It’s proprietor, Mark Collson, first started a grocery store on the Bayfront in a building across the street from what is now the public dock at the Abbey Street Pier. Before he took over in 1952, it was called Ernie’s Market. Collson, whose son is now mayor of Newport (1996), operated at the Circle K location until 1984. Mark’s Market Basket also included what is now Rickert Gallery. On Jan. 1, 1908, there was a disastrous fire on the waterfront, burning from about Mark’s Market Basket to the corner at Fall Street. “Lover’s Lane,” also called Zig-Zag, commenced down the road from the Coast Guard Station, wound up the bank through the most beautiful rhodies, ferns and wild flowers to the top of the hill to the Midway Theater, which was “uptown” in those days, where the Newport post office (now the Gateway Cafe) was located. The biggest attraction was the arrival of the mail. It came in about 5pm and the line was way up the sidewalk waiting for the distribution. At the present location of Log Cabin Court was Log Cabin Inn, with a beautiful garden, small stream and tiny bridge. Special parties were held there. On the Fourth of July, the building and garden were lit by Japanese lanterns and the best homemade ice-cream and cookies were served. Behind the city hall was a tennis court, and long before that there was a lake in front of Bateman’s Funeral Home and back of the city hall. At the southern edge of Newport, the Coast Highway passes through a landscaped park, then crosses the Yaquina Bay Bridge, a graceful cantilever structure, completed in 1936. The bridge deck, rising to 138 feet above the channel water, is high enough to permit the passage of ocean-going craft. After the completion of the bridge, the “top of the hill” and along the highway became the main part of town. The tourists came and went overnight, and didn’t come to stay the months of July and August in the old days. Legend has it that four valuable diamonds were thrown into Yaquina Bay in 1915. A Portland resident who died that year stipulated in his will that these stones, which had belonged to his mother, should be thrown into the water to keep them forever from others. The view of the bay at sunset, when the fishing fleet rides to anchor, is particularly attractive. This bay is also the anchorage for the deep-sea fishing boats that carry visitors across the bar to fish and to watch for the porpoises, sea lions, and whales occasionally seen offshore. Newport is located on the north shore of Yaquina Bay. The post office was established Jul. 2, 1868, with Saml. Case was first postmaster. This is the first post office on Yaquina Bay, and one of the first in what was later to become Lincoln County. The town was incorporated on Nov. 4, 1882. The council’s first action as recorded in the minutes of its inaugural meeting Nov. 4, 1882, was consideration and adoption of Ord. No. 1, Article I, of which read as follows: “No person shall be permitted to sell spirituous liquors within the corporate limits of said city in less quantities than one quart without having obtained a license from the city council for that purpose.” Newport’s postmaster in 1939 was John Franklin Paden. Paden, the son of Lora Adams and John T. Paden, was born in El Dorado, OK, Dec. 28, 1903. The music man of the Central Oregon Coast, Paden served as director of Newport City Band from 1931 to 1934, and the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps from 1936 to 1940. Paden married Maude Thames of Smithville, Texas, Mar. 18, 1907. The father of a daughter, Joyce, and four sons, J. F. II, Alvin, Melvin, and Jas., Paden was chairman of the local Boy Scouts in 1914. The Lincoln County Historical Society (LCHS) has been preserving historic moments since 1948, when it for Yaquina Bay Lighthouse from demolition. Thanks to the Society’s research and restoration efforts, the lighthouse was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. A thriving membership has kept the LCHS growing. Today the LCHS operates two full museums, maintains an extensive collection of artifacts and offers a fully equipped research library to the public. The Burrows House and Log Cabin museums (located at 545 9th Street, Newport) showcase the historic moments that have shaped Lincoln County. Professionally designed exhibits tell of the area’s Native American traditions; the birth of a prosperous logging industry with the coming of WWI; the explosion of tourism with the completion of the Roosevelt Military Highway; the evolution of the country’s maritime industry. Because only a fraction of the Society’s collection can be displayed at one time, exhibits are constantly changing. The Society’s artifacts are preserved in climate-controlled conditions monitored by staff trained in museum science. Because of its expert collections management, the Society has been chosen to house nationally recognized traveling exhibits. Thousands of historic photographs, news clippings, maps and other documents are available to the public for research in the Burrows House. Society staff members help everyone from scholars to schoolchildren research towns, homes, families and heirlooms. Newport is now primarily a resort with a somewhat Victorian appearance in the older areas. Shell-fishing gives it some commercial importance. Crabs, clams, and oysters—the latter artificially planted to renew the supply—are shipped inland. Oystering is done in flat-bottomed boats with the aid of long-handled tongs.
Newton, now known as Elk City, is located on the Yaquina at the mouth of Elk Creek. It is said to have been the first settlement in what is now Lincoln County. Postal records show that Newton post office was established in Jul. 14, 1868, with Edwin Alden Abbey, first postmaster. Abbey, who was fondly called Kit, was born in New York in 1824. Marshall Winchester Simpson became postmaster in Nov. 1869. He was out of the office for a few years, but held the position again on Nov. 23, 1888, when the name of the office was changed from Newton to Elk City. It is said that he instigated the change. Statements to the effect that Elk City was named by pioneer settlers about 1865 do not agree with the records unless the locality and the post office went by different names. This has happened at a number of places in Oregon.
Nice post office, formerly Lutgens, was established Apr. 24, 1917. The office was discontinued Nov. 15 1919. It was named for capt. Henry “Harry” Nice (1837-1921), a prominent Alsea Bay resident during the last half of the 19th century. Nora L. Strake was the first postmaster.54
Nortons is located on the Southern Pacific Railway, about six miles west of Nashville. The post office was established Apr. 6, 1895, with Jas. S. Huntington first postmaster. The office closed to Eddyville on Jan. 15, 1934. The community was originally called Norton, but postal authorities did not accept this name as there was another office in Clackamas County of the same name so the “s” was added. In former times, Nortons, named for Lucius Norton who owned a ranch nearby, was a station on the Corvallis & Yaquina Bay Railroad. A weathered and decrepit structure that once housed the general store and post office stands by the road site. Nortons, like Elk City and Hoskins, is another ghost village in appearance. The first military wagon road linking the Summit-Nashville area to the Corvallis-Elk City wagon route was built in the 1860s. It was graveled from Summit to Nashville around 1930, and paved in 1947. In 1910, Carey Peck, the community blacksmith, carved a new road along the right-of-way to the Clem Road to Burnt Woods on Highway 20. He was paid with county script, as was customary in that day, and had considerable difficulty cashing them for provisions. The road now graveled, opened up a new artery of travel to and from the area, which throughout the years has helped the Nashville-Summit residents considerably. Around 1912, when Jim Highland brought the first automobile to the Nashville area, the family’s team of carriage and horses, the reliable pack-horse and the plodding draft teams obtained their first glimpse of their retributive justice. In 1903, the first store in Nashville was owned by Bruce Hamar. It served as a depot and waiting station along the route of the early railroad. At that time, the store was also the post office. When another large portion of the original Siletz Reservation was thrown open to homesteading in 1895, the Nashville-Summit area offered the quickest and easiest route to the virgin timberlands of the northeastern part of the county. Logging and lumbering were carried on in a small way with an ox team. Manpower predominated. The first donkey engines were used by Wallace A. Moody of Parkdale. In 1895, his father helped Sim Benson, who sold his oxen and bought enough donkey engines to run his logging operations and set up the first logging camp. In 1927, Ted Harmsen came to the Summit area and herded 2000 Angora goats over the hills. In 1936, Harmsen & Hall built their first sawmill on the Earl Davis ranch. In 1945, Harmsen erected a sawmill at Nashville, which burned down in Jun. 1949. In 1950, a new electric mill was constructed with a planer added to its equipment in 1954. The first lumber was hand stacked, then shipped to Eugene. Harmsen received $8 to $9 per thousand board feet. In 1913, early telephone communication in the area was first attempted on a neighborhood basis. In 1977, Clara Howard Mears of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, wrote: “The coming of the telephone was quite an exciting event there as elsewhere. I remember my brother coming home from town and telling us that he heard mr. Mansfield speaking from his John Creek office to some one in a store at Lake Mills as plainly as he ever heard him when present. My nephew and I rigged up a telephone with two tin cans and a wire over which we talked.” The switchboard was located at Summit, and extended through Nashville to the Chapman place. Rodney L. Nash, son of Wallis Nash, made the first call on his phone. It was Jul. 16, 1913, the day his daughter, Mary Lou, was born. The doctor was summoned to assist in the delivery. However, this line was not kept in repair, and for many years the closest telephone service was at Summit. On Nov. 7, 1954, Nashville was connected with a modern dial system under the Pioneer Telephone Company. In Oct. 1944, Nashville Grange No. 903 was organized by Jesse Reeder. Clyde Hamar was the first master of the Grange. Gladys Hinshaw was its first Secretary. In early 1932, the Nashville Gas & Oil Company drilled an extraordinary oil well on the outskirts of the town. In Mar. 1923, the well was drilled to a depth of 480 feet. Small quantities of gas were present. The well was abandoned a short time later, and only recently have options been renewed, and new incorporation papers filled in the amount of $250,000. Mary Lou Nash Commons was the daughter of Faith Lister and R. L. Nash, and the Granddaughter of railroad baron Wallis Nash. In 1963, she was managing the family’s fine cattle ranch. That year, she hosted a potluck picnic for the Salem DAR, who spent the day learning about the Nash family and their contributions to Lincoln County. Singing “Home On The Range,” was almost too much for Mary Lou, who was devoted to her many pets. Her parents were selling the ranch her grandfather, acquired during the building of the railroad. The move was in keeping with the health and age of her parents. Hamar, or Yaquina Lake, three miles northwest of Nashville, is a point of interest. In 1887, the lake was formed by a slide which blocked the course of the Little Yaquina River on land formerly owned by Chas. Hamar during his absence. In past years, the state Fish & Game Commission has stocked the lake with fingerling trout. On Apr. 3, 1914, Peter Meads (1820-1914 KY), who once owned the place at Nortons now owned by Harry Porter, died at Walla Walla on Monday. His obituary said that “Meads and his family homesteaded a place at Nortons in the spring of 1867 and lived on it some 20 years when he sold out and moved to Walla Walla, where he has lived until his death. Meads was well-known to the early settlers of Yaquina Bay. He used to team over the roads hauling oysters and clams from Elk City to Corvallis. This was done in the worst part of winter and over the muddiest kind of roads. Meads never stopped for rain or mud. He had a nice home at Walla Walla and enjoyed life in his later days. He was 84 years old. His wife, Rebecca Jane Carter (1841-1911 MO) died about three years ago. She was a sister of Siletz Reservation physician Franklin Marion Carter of Elk City. The Meads are survived by the couple’s children: Wm. H. (1860-? OR), Olive A. (1862-? OR), Solomon S. (1864-? OR), Elijah F. (1866-? OR), and John S. (1869-? OR). So one by one the pioneers are passing away leaving behind them a name of honor, courage, perseverance and hospitality. May they rest in peace.” Nortons Cemetery is located near Homer Edwards’ farm not far from Eddyville. Evelyn Parry visited Nortons Cemetery in 1975, and says there is a marker identifying the site of the first schoolhouse in Lincoln County under a large fir tree. The grave sites are about a quarter of a mile further on toward Eddyville. The cemetery is about one block from the road. A big tree covers the fenced graveyard. The property is owned by Lincoln County. A Jul. 1898 issue of the Lincoln County Leader, states that H. S. Porter thanks those who helped erect the memorial stone commemorating his mother. “Those who helped me knew of no other graves here,” he said: “Elizabeth Lee Porter’s (1831-1898) obituary states that she was born in Harrison County, OH on Nov. 4, 1831. She was a graduate of Wheeling College, PA. In Nov. 1893, she married Andrew J. Porter (1827-1881), who was a surveyor. The couple moved to Oregon in 1864 and homesteaded at Nortons in 1865. Their home was at one time an overnight stopping place for travelers.” Porter first began educating children in her home. Lincoln County’s first schoolhouse was built in 1866, and Porter was the first teacher. She died at Nortons in 1898. The inscription on the memorial stone reads: “At Rest: Porter, Andrew J (1827-1881); Porter, Elizabeth Lee (1831-1898); First School in Lincoln County, AD 1866; Elizabeth Lee Porter— Teacher.
Nye Beach, one of the oldest and finest beachside communities on the Oregon Coast, was once a separate community. John T. Nye (1832-1911) was one of the earliest settlers at Yaquina Bay. He took a homestead along the beach and was instrumental in the development of the area. His property is now occupied by motels and houses facing the beach in front of Newport.56 Since the late 1800s, people have been coming to this favored place to seek solace in and alongside the Pacific Ocean. John T. Nye was one of the earliest settlers at Yaquina Bay. He took up a homestead along the beach and was instrumental in the development of the area. His property is now occupied by motels and houses facing the beach in front of Newport. Nye was just 13 years old when his father, Michael Nye, died in 1844. John became an apprentice tailor, presumably to help support the family. He continued working in this trade in his home state of Ohio until 1859, when he crossed the plains with a team of oxen. At Pikes Peak, County, he opted to turn around and retrace his steps to Atchison, KA. During his second attempt on the trail, he stopped in Salt lake City, UT, where he traded his oxen for horses. Completing the trip without major incident, Nye spent the winter of 1860 in Corvallis. The following spring he left for the Rock Creek mines in British Columbia. He spent a few months mining before returning to Corvallis, where he remained for about six months before enlisting in the Union Army as a tailor in Company A, First Oregon Volunteers. In his 19 months of service, he was stationed at Fort Vancouver, Fort Yamhill and Camp Polk. After being mustered out of the service in 1863, he returned to Corvallis to work as a general store clerk for nearly two years. He also worked on the construction of what eventually became Highway 20. In 1865, Nye headed west and took out a claim on the land we know today as Nye Beach. His cabin sat at the present-day intersection of Brook and Third streets. Nye’s obituary states this was the second house to be built in Newport. Apparently he did some mining in Nye Creek, which ran right next to his cabin. According to a biographical sketch written on Nye in 1904, he was a fulltime resident of Nye Beach for must 19 months while he “proved up” on his claim Nye retained ownership of his claim, however, until 1880, when he sold it “at a large profit” to developer Sam Irvin. In 1871, Nye traveled to Indiana to marry Olive Kist, a native of Ohio. When Nye platted Nye Beach, renamed Olive Street for her. When the newly weds returned from Indiana, they settled down in Corvallis, where they remained for about three years. In 1874, the Nyes returned to this area when they took up another 160-acre homestead, this time east of Newport, near the present-day intersection of Fruitvale Road and Highway 20. Together John and Olive farmed their land and raised eight children. John Nye spent the rest of his days on his Fruitvale ranch. He died in 1911. Olive Kist Nye (1849-1936) lived out her days on the nearby farm owned by her son, Andrew. Frail and aging, she seldom made a trip to Newport. On a rare visit in 1925, she returned to the site of the Nye cabin. She told a newspaper reporter, “While the city is very nice... you have no idea what a beautiful sight this little valley was in the old days.” Olive Kist Nye died in 1936 at age 87.59 In 1893, Fall Street was completed. It was then a wood plank road which covered the area from the Bayfront to Nye Beach. At this time, Nye Beach and Bayfront were separate communities, each with its own identity. This walkway was replaced by a road two years later as Newport began to grow.61 In 1975, Wave Leslie Belt and Margaret Peterson wrote that “there were plank roads laid by the government engineer who was building Cape Foulweather Lighthouse. One went over the hill to Nye Beach where supplies for the lighthouse were taken to Jump-Off Joe and along the beach to Agate Beach and Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Nye Beach was one old tumbled-down shanty marking the ground that had been taken some years ago by one Johnny Nye, and abandoned for a claim further inland that was more of a success as a farm.” Most of the cottages were built in the prosperous years between 1910 and 1930. Wives and children would spend the summer in the cottages: their husbands and fathers joining them on weekends. In 1902, Dr. Henry J. Minthorn of Newberg, uncle of pres. Herbert C. Hoover (1874-1964), built a sanitarium with hot sea water baths just north of what is now the Sylvia Beach Hotel. He donated the land for the public bathhouse, now the Yaquina Art Center, which was financed and built by the Nye Beach Association in 1913. On Feb. 16, 1945, Nye Beach post office was as a contract station of Newport. The office was discontinued Jan. 31, 1950.64 Belt and Peterson commented that “in the evenings a crowd of young people gathered at the skating rink or at the Nye Beach Natatorium where there was a swimming and dance hall. There were bathhouses on the beach at Nye Beach at the turn-around, before the “Nat” was built. People went in these, changed to swimming clothes, went bathing in the surf, came out, washed off the sand in the bath house, dressed, and went on their way.” Nye Beach became a literary center for the study of the sciences, especially geology, biology and botany. Students could attend summer college classes in a specially built auditorium. One of the most popular spots on the coast was the Natatorium, a large building with an indoor pool located at the foot of Beach Drive, the site of the present pedestrian plaza at the turnaround overlooking the ocean. The “Nat” had a dance floor and over the years also featured bowling, boxing matches, miniature golf and movies. Newport’s first movie theater was just up the street. Today, as a century ago, this colorful seaside community provides the same charm and beauty in a warm, friendly village of shops, services, guest accommodations, restaurants and art galleries.
Ocean View post office was established Nov. 5, 1887 and discontinued Sep. 27, 1893. It was re-established Apr. 27, 1904 and discontinued again Oct. 13, 1916. The office was located about a mile north of Yachats, and named descriptively. Geo. M. Starr (1817-? OH), was the first postmaster.
Oceanlake is a coast town of about 400 supported by sportsmen and tourists. It is located west of Devils Lake on the Oregon Coast Highway. The name called attention to this position between the lake and the ocean. On Dec. 8, 1964, the cities of Oceanlake, Delake, and Taft and the unincorporated communities of Cutler City and Nelscott voted to combine to form a single new community, Lincoln City. Oceanlake post office, formerly known as Delake, was established Mar. 15, 1927, with Arthur C. Deuel first postmaster. The name of the office was changed to Lincoln City Sep. 25, 1965.68 While stationed at Siletz, fr. Chas. Raymond founded a small resort town on 80 acres of land, between Devils Lake and the Pacific Ocean, a little to the north of D River. He gave It his own family name, but It was afterwards known as Oceanlake. In 1966, it become part of Lincoln City. Although this shore of the Pacific is not marked by any great gulfs or peninsulas, it is punctuated many lofty headlands—great spurs of the Coastal Range, which sweep down beyond the beaches and overshadow the shallows with spectacular cliffs and strew them with tall islets of volcanic basalt. Between one headland and the next, many lakes open up and various coastal streams spread estuaries and mud flats. The abundant shellfish of these shores had fed countless aboriginal generations before ever the non-indian settlers flocked to their commercial advantages. Early settlement sought access to the Willamette Valley. This could be had either by wagon road or by trail. By the year 1924, west-to-east access was available at many points along the coast. There had, for instance, always been some sort of a road up Salmon River and over into the South Yamhill Valley, near Grand Ronde; and for some years now Toledo had been connected with Corvallis by rail. But north-south access from one coastal settlement to the still remained very limited, and in most cases primitive. Stories abound of how difficult it was to travel over or around the headlands. It was, therefore, quite a feat, both politically and in terms of engineering, when, in 1924, all the coastal settlements clubbed together to build one continuous coastal highway. In those days They called it Roosevelt Highway; we today call its updated successor US-101. Until such a thoroughfare was built, the only practical way for Fr. Raymond to get from Siletz to Devils Lake was to begin on foot, to continue by boat, and to do the last stretch by horseback. It is not easy to pinpoint the spot where fr. Raymond and his horse experience so wonderful a calm amid the storm. This is partly because the lay of the land has changed enormously over the years, as was explained to the present author by one of the earliest inhabitants of his town, Leonore Campau McGinty. Before offering details from maps and official documents, we would like to pass along the geographical elements learned from McGinty. Leonore Campau was nine years old the first time her father drove the family down from Portland. The roads were then such that He chose a roundabout route, requiring nine hours’ travel: from Portland south to Salem, then west to Grande Ronde Agency. The old road down Salmon River to Rose Lodge was in poor condition, and so they headed west to Dolph, and then north to Hebo, where they struck the fresh gravel of the newly built Roosevelt Highway. This they followed down the Nestucca, through Cloverdale, and so south to Raymond Town. From Hebo onward, they needed a government permit and had to tag along behind the road-grader. On later trips, fr. Raymond often drove along behind them, to profit by their permit. Campau wanted to buy several lots in a cluster, so that his Mother and other family members could each have their beach cottage. The lots measured about 100’ X 100’ apiece, and sold for $50. By way of comparison, Campau’s plumbing business in Portland used to net, in those days, about $85 per month. The townsite was still forested, except where the highway had been cut through. And so, to choose his cluster of lots, Campau had his wife’s young brother climb a tree and see if He could spot any “canyon,” leading from the ocean to the lake, and promising someday to become a major thoroughfare. He did spot a bit of a ravine, running east-west, and so Campau made that the heart of his cluster. The ravine proved to be a blessing, for, though it had only a tiny catchment area, and though it has long since been filled in by landscapers, in those days it had a steady flow of water, enough for both drinking and washing. This presence of “canyons” at Raymond Town, or at least of ravines, streams and small eminences, is also shown on the original survey of the site, both by the indication of some watercourses and by the name fr. Raymond chose for certain streets, as we shall now see. For the purposes of land ownership, Oregon, like other states, is divided into east-west and north-south bands, each six miles wide, though with due allowance for the curvature of the earth. The east-west bands are known as “townships” and the north-south as “ranges.” The whole of Oregon is thus made up of great squares, six miles by six, each named for the crossing of a numbered “township” and a numbered “range.” Such squares are then subdivided into 36 numbered “sections,” each being one mile square. The earliest non-indian settlers, taking advantage of the Land Donation laws, simply picked their acreage as the lay of the best land suggested, but by fr. Raymond’s time, purchase of virgin land normally respected the legal lines. Typically, purchases were made in 40-acre units, each a quarter-mile square, but in fr. Raymond’s case, the presence of the beach and of the highway called for some adjustment. Fr. Raymond might well have wished to buy a band of land stretching neatly from the ocean to the lake—a distance of about a mile—but what he actually bought was 80 acres, in the shape of a reversed “L,” defined partly by the “section” lines and partly by the highway. The “L” measured some 2000 feet from beach inland, and some 2500 feet from the edge of the highway to the base line. The original survey set up the pattern of streets that still holds today, but their names were changed when the town was incorporated into modern Lincoln City. In terms of present-day street names, fr. Raymond’s purchase ran from NW 10th Street up to NW 21st Street. The lower part to the reversed “L,” from 10th Street up through 15th Street, intersecting with north-south streets, from modern Inlet Avenue to modern Port Avenue; but the narrower upper part of the “L,” from 16th Street to 21st Street, touched the highway, embraced Oar Avenue and reached as far as modern Port Avenue. The names fr. Raymond gave these streets are quite interesting. As we mentioned above, some refer to geographical details. Port Avenue was called Lakeside, and 10th Street was called Brookside. Oar Avenue was called Nob View, perhaps a misspelled reference to “knob,” or hillock, visible from there. Similarly, 18th Street was called Sunset Street, perhaps as offering views of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. And 16th Street was named Summit Street, presumably on account of a ridge passing through there in those days. Also, 19th Street was Ferndale Street, presumably named for a dip where ferns abounded. The name Oceanlake was given to a street which seemed to lend itself to extension all the way from the ocean to the lake, and which has indeed since been extended a large part of that way, under the name NW 14th Street. As for Campau’s “canyon,” this corresponded to modern 15th Street, and the original plat seems to show its little stream trickling down to the ocean, with a bit of a track alongside It for access to the beach. This street was approximately given the same name as the town itself—Raymond. Similarly, modern Keel Avenue was given the name of the county—Lincoln; and modern 21st, that of the state—Oregon. Interestingly, modern Mast Avenue was named Park Avenue, as if fr. Raymond had plans of a picnic ground there, though, of course, the main picnic area was going to be the grounds of the Saint August, which was located on the west side of the highway, at the extreme southeast corner of the town. Businesses, likewise, were to be concentrated along the highway. In fact, the legal document for each residential sale had a clause forbidding any dance hall or gambling place to be set up there. No mention was made of sale of alcohol, for Prohibition was still in force. Fr. Raymond was not adverse to dancing, nor to modest gambling. One of the very first buildings in the business section was, in fact, a dance hall, run by a trusted friend. But It would be contrary to the whole purpose of the town to have strangers competing with the community’s own recreation facility. And as for modest gambling, Leonore McGinty recalls how, on the first night they spent there, fr. Raymond invited the family to pitch their tent right at the church. The children were sent to bed early, and the priest then enjoyed card games with the grown-ups late into the summer evening!
Olssonville, now part of Newport in the area of the Embarcadero, on the shore of the bay, was the site of a blockhouse established by lt. Philip H. Sheridan in 1856. Sheridan selected the only suitable spot for the little fort but found the site covered with hundreds of burial canoes. After mediation the Indians suddenly agreed to the removal of the canoes, but refused to take them away themselves. At high tide, Sheridan’s soldiers launched the strange flotilla and the canoes, each bearing its dead, drifted slowly out toward the sunset with the receding waters. The old IOOF Hall was moved to Newport after the disastrous fire of 1908 and is presently in use as a gift shop. Florence Hofer Bynon and her brothers, Mac and Laurence, who spent summers in a cottage owned by Captain Olsson, the founder of Olssonville, shared quiet moments with Anne, an Indian woman, at low tide on the beach at Newport. Bynon’s mother bought baskets for 25 cents. The Hofers were from Salem. Colonel Hoffer, Florence’s father, hitched his black Hambletonian trotter, Duke, to a buggy and rode over the Coast Range from Salem to Newport to enjoy their summer retreat. Olsson Creek flows south through Newport into Yaquina Bay. Early maps show both Olsson’s Addition and Olssonville near the mouth but the entire area is now part of Newport.
Ona is a place on Beaver Creek, three miles east of Seal Rock, which winds through Ona Beach State Park, where a charming footbridge crosses the creek to sandy beach. The community is not on the seashore and not near clam beds. However, the word ona comes from the Chinook jargon word ee-na, but may mean either “razor clam” or “beaver” for the two words have similar transliterations. If ee-na means beaver in this case, it is appropriate to the location of this place on Beaver Creek. Ona post office was established Apr. 17, 1890, with Wm. H. Hulse first postmaster. On Jun. 11, 1890, Lucidettie C. Grant became the postmaster, and took care of the mail until Feb. 14, 1898 when Jacob Blazer took the job. He held it until Apr. 14, 1898 when Thms. Harrison held the position. It reverted back to Wm. Hulse Jul. 7, 1902. Mary Lewis was postmaster Apr. 12, 1907 through Jul. 13, 1909, when A. L. “Levi” Commons was awarded the position. Geo. Selby was appointed postmaster Oct. 12, 1912, and Clara Commons took charge Oct. 14, 1915. Enos Wilson was the next postmaster, appointed Jul. 16, 1919. Lillian P. Puram became the last postmaster on Jan. 12, 1920, and the office closed to Toledo Aug. 31, 1920. The Ona post office was kept in a small room of the Hulse house in 1912. Then it was moved to a small building on the Wilson ranch. Later on it was again moved back to a small building built for this purpose on the Hulse place. Ona has a connection with one of Lincoln County’s famous sons. L. D. Nash, the son of Louisa A. Desboroughs and Wallis Nash, the English writer and railroad builder who settled Nashville, was born in Corvallis, Jun. 7, 1880. In 1916, he married Fay Commons of Ona. Nash worked for American Steel and Wire Company in San Francisco from 1900 to 1905, after which he engaged in grange and livestock operations. He served in the Oregon State Legislature, and represented Polk and Lincoln counties in 1931, and Lincoln County in 1939. Ben Horning taught at the Ryan School, 1909. His students were Oscar and Chester Ryan, and Evelyn, and Filiz Gatens. Horning also taught at the Storrs School and probably others to earn money for his higher education. For many years, he has been an eminent physician. He was the younger brother of the late Fred and Elmer Horning of Toledo, and the son of Mary Jones and Thms. Horning. In 1919, a new Ona schoolhouse was built by Horrey Wood, replacing the Baptist Church building, erected in 1891. In 1943, this school was closed and the children were transported by bus to schools in Waldport.
Oneatta is a ghost town on the northeast bank of the Yaquina, a mile and a half upstream from Yaquina City, and about a mile west of Winant. There are few names indelibly connected with the history of Yaquina Bay than cpt Jas. J. Winant (1838-1895), who was born in upstate New York, Apr. 12, 1838. In the fall of 1856 he followed his brother Mark to California where they began dealing in oysters in San Francisco Bay; they were the real pioneers of the oyster trade on the Pacific Coast. Winant was master of vessels on the Pacific Coast for nearly a third of a century. He had command of the schooner Anna G. Doyle, running between Shoalwater Bay and Oysterville, WA, and San Francisco in the 1860s. In 1862 or 1863, they began the oyster trade on Yaquina Bay. In Jun., 1882, Winant married Amy A. Peck in Alameda County, CA. They had one child, Anita. Winant was located at Oysterville Station on the Corvallis & Eastern Railway, about two miles due south of Yaquina City, on the north bank of the Yaquina. The post office was established Nov. 17, 1902, with Emma Leabo first postmaster. The office closed to Yaquina City Nov. 30, 1946. The first schooner was built by Peck & Company, and named the Oneatta, by Kellogg Brothers, but the first steamer to ply on the bay was the Pioneer, in charge of George Kellogg, MD. The first sermon was preached by elder Gilmore Callison of Lane County, his audience being seated on the driftwood opposite the present site of Newport. On the completion of the Central Railroad, they brought from the East several car loads of eastern oysters, planting one car load in San Francisco Bay and the other in Yaquina Bay, and reaped a harvest from both beds. He traded pearls in the South Pacific and hunted walrus and whales along the shore of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and the coast of Siberia. A salvage voyage to the coast of Mexico, where he explored the sunken steamship City of San Francisco and recovered $22,000 of her treasure, was the climax of his legendary career. A little hamlet of about 60 people, Oneatta was located on land owned by judge Allen Parker, who was born in Ross County, OH, in 1828. His family crossed the plains in 1852, first settling in Linn County. In 1872, Parker was elected sheriff of Linn County and mayor of Albany in 1876. He moved to Benton County in 1878, and purchased considerable property in Oneatta, on Yaquina Bay, where he owned a large sawmill. In 1880 and again in 1882, Parker was elected to the house of representatives. The town was first settled and named by Siletz Indian agent Ben Simpson (1848-1910) in 1871, and consisted of a furniture store, two saloons, a book and shoe store and the post office, which was established May 17, 1876, with John. E. Peterson first postmaster. The Oneatta Sawmill, owned and operated by Parker, was originally built in Simpson. It was driven by steam and had a capacity of 20,000 board feet per day, and gave employment to 14 men—most of the time—the timber cut being chiefly fir. In 1893, the Lincoln County Leader wrote: “Owen C. Simpson is making his parents in Elk City a visit during lay off of Parker Mill at Oneatta on lower bay near Yaquina City.” The post office was discontinued Jul. 13, 1877, and re-established Jan. 24, 1879. The office closed to Toledo on Sep. 29, 1886. Chas. Schmidt, one of the 60 inhabitants of Oneatta, was born in Seidelinghousen, Westphalia, Prussia, in 1843. He emigrated to America in 1867, and spent his first year in Galena, IL. From there he moved to Sioux City, IA. Smith relocated San Francisco in 1872, where he owned a popular resort called Saint Ann’s Rest, located on Eddy Street. In 1880, he settled in Oregon. After a short stay in Portland, he settled at Oneatta on Yaquina Bay. Moses Gregson, another Oneatta settler, was born in Lancashire, England, Mar. 4, 1836. At an early age, he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner, which he mastered. At the age of 20, he emigrated to America, first settling in Lockport, NY, where he resided until 1863 when he moved to Michigan. In the spring of 1877, Gregson moved to Benton County, and first took up a claim near Marys Peak. In 1880, he purchased 35 acres of land near the Custom House at Yaquina City and opened a carpenter’s shop is at Oneatta. The Custom House is situated about a quarter of a mile north of the dock at Yaquina City, and was erected in 1881. The port collector was Collins Van Cleve. In 1873, the trip from Corvallis took from early morning till dusk at night by stage (drawn by four horses, changed at noon for a fresh double team) which bumped and climbed over the 49 miles to Elk City where the mail boat waited for the 25 mile trip down the river and bay to Newport; leaving the next morning on the first of the ebb tide. Twelve miles down, the boat stopped at Toledo, then at Oneatta, and finally at Newport, at a rickety wharf in front of Bay View Hotel (latter renamed the Abbey). At the other end of town was Ocean House, which is the coast guard station now. In between were four saloons, a store, over which was a hall used for dances, political meetings, and—more rarely—church services whenever a minister of the gospel happened along. Near the sand path up the hill to the beach of land occupied by the Ocean House, took a building quite imposing when compared to the rest of the town. The community was named for an Indian Princess of legendary beauty and virtue, described by Alfred B. Meacham, in Wigwam And Warpath. A possible candidate for Princess Oneatta is Oneatta Reynolds Jones (1885-1912) who is buried at Toledo Cemetery. She was the wife of Everett Jones and the Grandmother of Julia A. Parker. Col. Meacham was a member of the Modoc Peace Commission. In 1863, he established the Blue Mountain in the Eastern Oregon town that bears his name, just outside the borders of the Umatilla Reservation. In 1873, he was wounded when he and fellow peace commissioners, Canby and Thomas, were advancing under a flag of truce in an effort to reach peaceful settlement to the bloody and costly Modoc War. His life was saved by the intervention of the peace loving Winema, at the risk of her own. Married at an early age to a non-indian, Winema mastered the English language and became an interpreter and intermediary in negotiations between her people and their conquerors. For her devotion to th cause of peace, congress later voted her a life pension. The Klamath Falls chapter of the DAR has erected over her grave in Schonchin Cemetery a tablet bearing the inscription, “Winema—The Strong Heart.”
Orton post office, located on the Siletz about eight miles due east of Siletz, was established Jun. 27, 1914, with Philip H. Fliting (1873-1938) first postmaster. The name of the office was changed to Logsden on Jun. 11, 1921. Wolverton C. Orton (1874-1963), for whom Orton was named, was first postmaster of the Logsden office. Hazel Schaffer, postmaster at Logsden in Apr. 1927, reported that the place was named for an elderly Indian who lived on the Siletz Reservation. There are several men with the surname Logsden who are buried in pioneer cemeteries throughout the Siletz area. Possibilities might include John, Jos. M. and Chas. Logsden, who are buried in the Logsden-Rock Creek Cemetery. During the spring of 1885, a hotel and store was started at Caledonia near Toledo as well as the Chas. Logsden Sawmill, so it is most likely Logsden was named for him. Most of the burials in the area within the boundaries of the entrance to Moonshine Park above Logsden, east to the west side of Nash Mountain and west to Sam Creek are in private and small cemeteries, unmarked or lost graves which have been verified through relatives, friends, published obituaries, death records or mortuary records, and known graves which are on private property. The location of the known graves has not been revealed here due to the problems experienced in recent years with vandalism of Indian grave sites.
Otis post office, established Apr. 24, 1900, is located on Oregon route 18 near its junction with the Coast Highway. Archibald S. Thompson was first postmaster of this office, which was probably named for maj. gen. Ewell S. Otis, who commanded the Department of the Pacific and was military governor of the Philippines at the time this post office was established. Elmer Calkins of Otis said that in the early days there were seven important fords on the trail down Salmon River. The last was at Slick Rock Creek and was so named because the smooth, mossy rock of the streambed was a bad spot for horses. Edith Modlin wrote: “There used to be a high school at Rose Lodge which was started in 1920 and had about eight or ten pupils. The Grange Hall was used as a schoolhouse. At that time, it was a two-story building and the upstairs was used as a gymnasium where basketball games were played. Donated labor partitioned the building for school use. Water was carried from nearby Slick Rock Creek. The toilet facilities were outhouses.” In 1980, Wm. Erdmann of the State Forestry Dept. wrote to give the origin of the name of the high ground south of Salmon River between Otis and Grand Ronde. About 1900, the mail was delivered out of the Butler store in Grand Ronde. The mail route ran along Salmon River near the base of the mountain but as local residents were widely scattered, the letters were left in an old saddle bag which hung on a prominent snag. Mail service improved over the years and the saddle bag is long gone. However, after WWII the name mysteriously changed to Saddle Bag Mountain. In 1980 the USBGN corrected the matter in Decision List 8104.
Otter Rock post office, located on US-101, eight miles north of Newport, was established Apr. 13, 1913, with Thms. Horning first postmaster. The office was discontinued Sep. 3, 1971. The name originated from the 36-feet high sea stack situated about one half mile offshore and three and a quarter miles north of Yaquina Head. About a mile to the north is a larger rock. Sea otter formerly inhabited these rocks. No one has been able to learn who suggested the name either of the rock or for the post office. In 1919, Wallis Nash wrote: “...a couple of Indians came in out of the dark, one carrying slung over his shoulder, some long, dark beast, which he jerked on the counter before the storekeeper. Moseley pricked up his ears and came to the notice. From nose tip to tail the animal was about four to five and a half feet long, plainly of the otter type—the fur dark brown and glossy: but the feet were webbed... The Indian began to dicker with “Bush” [Hammond] for the hide: the bidding started at $200, and Moseley’s face fell, for, by slow degrees it went up to $400, and changed hands at that. The price was too high for him, and he had to content himself with the skeleton, which we arranged to have cleaned by the ants at a neighboring, ant-heap in the woods. In due time the skeleton followed him to Oxford and took its unique place in the Museum of Natural History. Even then these sea otters were rare—now they are all but extinct. They live in the great kelp fields along the ocean front. There they are shot from the shore with long range rifles. One otter means a year’s work for white or Indian hunters. If one is seen disporting itself in the kelp, it is followed up and down the coast for miles until the chance for a shot comes: then all is staked on success which is much rarer than failure.”
Oyster City, a ghost town, is the site of Mo’s Oyster Farm which supplies Mo’s Chowder House located next to Aunt Belinda’s candy shop on Newport’s Bayfront. Before the building became used for what it is today, it was known as the Good Eats Cafe. In 1942, Mohava Niemi and a partner purchased the Good Eats and renamed it Freddie & Mo’s. Later, when her partner dropped out, the name was shortened to Mo’s. It has a world-wide reputation for first class clam chowder and seafood. It also has the distinction of being one of the few restaurants in the world that has a garage door as part of its store front. The building was never used as a garage. In the mid-1960s, a surprised woman drove her car through the front of the building all the way to the cash register. Instead of patching the huge hole left by the car, a garage door was installed. On cool days, when the door is closed, a painting of a woman behind the wheel of a car can be seen. In 1968, Mo’s was a stopping place on the presidential campaign for Rbt. F. Kennedy (1925-1968). There are three species of clams that thrive in Yaquina Bay. They are: (1) gaper (horseneck clams), (2) cockle, and (3) soft shell clams. The gaper and cockle are found in the mud flats on the north and south sides of the Bay approximately half a mile up the Bay from the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Soft shell clams are found farther up the Bay, along the edge of any of the small mud flats. Gapers lived 14 to 16 inches below the surface of the mud flats, and must be dug up with a shovel. Cockles live only two to three inches below the surface and can simply be raked up. The soft shell clam lives 8 to 14 inches below the surface and can be taken with a shovel at 0.0 inches low tide or less. Other clams, such as butter, little neck, bent nose, sand, and razor clams are in Yaquina Bay but are not as plentiful.
Oysterville was a railroad station on the Corvallis & Eastern Railway. The post office, located at Winant, about two miles due south of Yaquina City, on the north bank of the Yaquina, was established Nov. 17, 1902, with Emma Leabo first postmaster. It closed to Yaquina City on Nov. 30, 1946. The Yaquina Bay oyster industry has an illustrious history. It had its start in the 1860s, when thousands of pounds of the small native oysters were harvested and shipped to Portland and San Francisco on coastal schooners which sailed into the harbor to deliver cargo from California and load oysters and lumber for transport to the Golden State. The town of Oysterville was established at the site of the Oregon Oyster Company and directly across the Yaquina from Oyster City. The oysters were so popular that they were almost harvested into extinction. Pacific and Kumamoto oysters have now replaced the once-famous native. In 1865 an oyster schooner, Annie Doyle, was wrecked in Yaquina Bay near the site of Oysterville. On board was a seaman named Meinert Wachsmuth, a German-born immigrant. The incident nearly ended his sailing career, but not his interest in oysters. His family still owns the Oregon Oyster Company which consists of 70 acres of Yaquina Bay oyster beds and the Oyster Bar in Portland. Dr. B. F. Hutchinson and Melvin McKee, his adopted son, were found dead Aug. 16, 1882, ages 75 and 14, at their residence on McCaffrey Slough (Oysterville). The two had been murdered. Cash from the sale of cattle was missing.
Pikes Camp is on the northeast or right bank of the Siletz about a mile upstream from the mouth of the river and the location of Kernville in 1945. It is near the old ferry landing and about opposite the former Kernville post office, which was on the southwest bank. The camp was named for a fisherman who camped there while he fished for the Kern cannery.
Pioneer was located at the head of tidewater, about two miles north from Elk City on the Yaquina River. This old town was laid out in 1866 by Dr. Geo. E. Kellogg, who also built the first house on the site, in 1865, which was used as a warehouse to accommodate trade on the Yaquina. Kellogg was division commercial supervisor of the present Pacific Telephone & Telegram Company in 1927. In 1873, E. S. Altree erected a gristmill in the vicinity of Pioneer. It was soon afterwards carried away by a freshet in the river. Pioneer Rock Quarry was located about 200 yards up the canyon west of Pioneer on the right hand side of the creek. Up this narrow creek bed was also the path of the old military wagon road as it continued its journey to Toledo. Pioneer Sandstone Company, Morrison Station, Yaquina rock, and the Bevens quarry all tie together. Work began Sep. 1893, and on Oct. 12, 1894, Pioneer shipped the first rock to San Francisco for the construction of several buildings. Tests were made that proved the stone from the two quarries of Howe and Morrison at Pioneer was of superior quality and such information was sent to the government for a decision regarding the Federal building. An 1893 issue of the Lincoln County Leader states in its locals Pioneer needed its own store and post office, because those facilities were “too far away.” The article also stated that “Salem is planning to build a city hall. A community inspecting [sic] unanimously agreed that Pioneer Rock Quarry in Lincoln County has the best stone they’ve inspected—it takes a nicer finish more easily, worked [sic] and withstands pressure and effect of the heat; is better than any other. All the bids must be estimated on Pioneer stone.” An Aug. issue of the Leader pointed out that “in a short time Pioneer Rock Quarry will begin shipping random stones to city hall at Salem, 50 or 60 car loads will be used.” Frederick C. Hoffman was a stone cutter from Denmark. He opened a small quarry on his place on the Yaquina. Hoffman built doorsteps, gravestones and well curbs. His second wife was Rosy Bly. They were parents of Lemuel Hoffman, known for his tugboats used in towing rafts of logs and other river work. The Oct. 19 issue of the Leader said that Hoffman, “with a full set of tools has gone to work out stone of Dave Ramsdell place. He is an expert, and pronounces the stone of superior quality.” Large sheets of stone were broken off and place on railroad cars, reloaded on scows at Yaquina, and towed to San Francisco. The Mar. 14, 1894 issue of the Leader stated that the work was well underway and that piling was “...ready for Elk City Bridge. Frederick C. Hoffman of Ramsdell Rock Quarry will handle rocks on scows the style of the Rebecca. Pioneer Rock Quarry now has ten men working there and will add 12 to 15 soon.” The Apr. 26 issue of the Leader proudly announced that “Pioneer Rock Quarry shipped its first rock to San Francisco yesterday,” and the Jul. issue proclaimed that the workers “...have rock quarries on all sides of us now. Frederick C. Hoffman has a fine prospect now on F. M. Carter’s place two miles from town. He has now four ledges in sight with 32 feet of solid rock and very little rock waste. Pioneer Rock Quarry is running night and day. Frank Woods of Albany has commenced work on Barney Morrison’s place to supply building stone.” Tracy Davis was captain on one of the tugs. Oldtimer Virgil Landess met a man who cut and shaped blocks on the California job. Buildings that are known to be made of this rock, are the San Francisco post office and the Parrott, Call and Monadnock. Genealogist Peggy Collins worked in an office in the building, which is located near the corner of Third and Market streets. The building withstood the 1906 earthquake that virtually destroyed San Francisco. Clifford Benson recalled the Education Hall as one of several buildings at OSU was made of Pioneer stone that was shipped to Corvallis via railroad. Pioneer stone was used in Portland in the Selling-Hirsh building and the Auditorium. The stone was considered—and possibly used—for Salem City Hall in 1894. Pioneer post office was established Oct. 4, 1900, with Barney Morrison (1827-1907) first postmaster. The post office was for some years known as Morrison, and was established Aug. 29, 1894, with Morrison serving as postmaster. It was located on the Yaquina and the Southern Pacific Railway, about four miles west of Chitwood. The name of that office was changed to Pioneer because of confusion with Morrison Street in Portland. The name Pioneer was selected because of the operations in that section of the Pioneer Sandstone Company. Morrison continued to act postmaster at Pioneer after the name was changed. The covered bridge over the Yaquina was directly in front of the Pioneer post office. In 1921-1922, much of the stone was used in building the Newport jetties, those “long fingers extending seaward from the promontories” west of Yaquina Bay Bridge. A huge hand-worked stone in the Elk City Cemetery was erected by the fellow workmen in memory of Wm. R. Mosier who was killed at Pioneer Rock Quarry, Dec. 5, 1894. He and his wife had five children and lived in one of the quarry houses. The bookkeeping records from this early work were destroyed, according to the late Maggie Bell Kleut, who worked at Pioneer post office. Kleut and Ike Burpee made inquiries assisting Lewis A. McArthur (1883-1951) to authenticate information in his 1928 first edition of Oregon Geographic Names, which was revised and enlarged in 1992 by his son, Lewis L. McArthur.
Pioneer City was located about two and a quarter miles up the Yaquina from the place later known as Elk City and about three quarters of a mile downstream from the place later known as Morrison and still later Pioneer. The two similarly named communities were not the same locality, though they were not more than a mile apart. Pioneer City sat on the inclined base of a hill, sandwiched between two rock bluffs, overlooking the bend of the river just before the Pioneer site, and was on the same side of the river as Pioneer, across from the county road. Pioneer City was named in honor of the steamer Pioneer, owned by Dr. Geo. E. Kellogg and engaged in general transportation from the mouth of Yaquina Bay to the new community at tidewater. The Southern Pacific Railway track now runs along the front of the site where boats were docked while people made their way up the steep bank a hundred or so feet to the settlement. On Sep. 16, 1864, cpl. Royal A. Bensell wrote in his journal: “Clear. Start with Hatch to Yaquina Bay, taking a canoe at the Depot, and sending our mules around by the trail. Reach Oysterville by 4pm and stay all night. The little steamer Pioneer and a skiff of capt. Dodges’ convey passengers, principally pleasure seekers, to and from the mouth of Elk Creek.” Pioneer was later named Morrison Station, and was located on the Yaquina and the Southern Pacific Railway, about four miles west of Chitwood. Named for Zimma and Barney Morrison (1827-1907), the post office was established Aug. 29, 1894, with Morrison first postmaster. Morrison was born Jun. 1, 1827 in Washington County, Tennessee. He was married Zimma Stoner on Apr. 1, 1846, and the couple had eight children. Pioneer post office, located on the Yaquina near Pioneer Mountain, and about two miles north of Elk City, was established Oct. 4, 1900, and Morrison continued to serve as postmaster. The name Pioneer was selected because of the operations in that section of the Pioneer Sandstone Company. The covered bridge over the Yaquina was directly in front of the post office. Morrison died at his home at Pioneer, Sep. 24, 1907 at the age of 80 years, three months and 24 days. Of those children living at the time of Morrison’s death were Ruth Embree of Dallas, J. H. Morrison of Washington, Chelsey L. Morrison (1859-1940) of Pioneer, Tabitha Simpson and Josephine Bevens. The “Good Wife,” his obituary said, also survived him. Maggie Bell Kleut prepared the mail sack at the Pioneer office. If there was no need to stop, she threw the sack and caught the incoming mail on the platform at back. The post office closed to Elk City on Aug. 31, 1929, and the house burned down while owned by Ethel McClaflin. Several square nails were found in the ashes. The rock quarry can be seen through the surrounding alders. Margaret Attridge stood on the original road from Pioneer to Newport and took a picture of the quarry in 1984. In 1985, the location was still owned by Dond Darlene Deardoff. The Pioneer City post office was established Jul. 2, 1868, with G. E. Kellogg first postmaster. The Newport post office was established the same day. That same year, Elk City was established Jul. 12, and Little Elk, Toledo, and Yaquina City opened their doors on Jul. 14. These six offices took care of the postal needs in that part of Oregon for several years. Pioneer Mountain and Pioneer Summit are west of those old post office locations. The mountain was named before the Pioneer City post office, which closed on Aug. 10, 1868, after less than a month in operation. The locality was later served by the Morrison and Pioneer post offices.
Roots post office, located on the Siletz at the mouth of Roots Creek, five miles east of Depoe Bay, was established May 24, 1897, with Thms. A. Roots first postmaster. The office seems to have been moved from time to time if maps of that period are to be relied on. Roots post office closed to Siletz Oct. 15, 1906. Roots Creek flows into the Siletz from the east about a mile north of Mowrey Landing.
Rose Lodge, located on Salmon River, about four miles east of Otis, was named for the rose bower or “gazebo” over the gate of the first postmaster, Julia E. Dodson, wife of Oliver McMinn Dodson. Dodson had a rose bower or “gazebo” over her front gate, and named the post office, established Feb. 8, 1908, on that account. On Dec. 30, 1964, the Rose Lodge office was designated a rural station of Otis. When the first squatters came to the north end of Lincoln County they couldn’t have foreseen the changes that have taken place and visioned that it would become the home of many retirees who sought the quiet beauty and mild climate of this coastal community. Maybe the name “Rose Lodge” sounded inviting. A person wouldn’t expect to find roses in this remote wilderness, planted by Ms. Dodson who had received 50 different varieties of roses from her father who lived in California. The first homesteaders came to the area about 1888, and several others followed. Among those were Walt Crowley, Jim Crowley, Olvie and Tom Ackerson, John, Marion, Ples and Henry Deaken, John Fletcher, Clint Star, Jasper Agee and Frank Gesner, most of them settled on Slick Rock Creek. Otis McMillen, Jacob Sleighter, and Bill Gorton were among the squatters on Bear Creek. The Wesley Horner homestead was in a remote area of Bear Creek. Other early squatters coming to the coast to make a living in the forested valleys included the Lauri Makis, the Will Blooms, and Eric Lunds. The Jas. Slater family came in 1919, and the Irwin Hubbard family came in 1923. Alex. Seder settled on Bear Creek, and Rbt. Seder lived near what is now the Rose Lodge Store. He was one resident who had received his mail at the Rose Lodge post office for over 50 years. Life was trying in those early days, and roads did not exist. Supplies were brought in from Sheridan, and to reach Rose Lodge the Salmon River had to be forded six times, and Slick Rock Creek once. The squatters did not want for meat and fish. Venison was plentiful, and when the salmon were spawning and Salmon River would be alive with salmon to the extent that wagons had to wait for schools of fish to swim be before they could cross the river with a team. Log cabins were the first homes for these sturdy squatters, and babies were born with the help of a neighbor. Ms. Eric Lund, who had been a practical nurse in Spokane, Washington before coming to the coastal area assisted in many of the births. Some women even bore their babies while alone on homesteads when their menfolk were away from the home. There were no dentists in the area, but “Granddad” Crowley did own a pair of forceps, and when someone had an unbearable toothache, he would pull the infected tooth for the sufferer, free of charge. The Kangiser family moved to Rose Lodge and put in a new mill, providing employment for many as well as better housing for the residents. Chas. Harding put in a small store which was a great convenience for the squatters. Otis McMillen hauled freight for the store, as well as others who needed items from the valley. Later, Howard McMillen had the contract to clear the right-of-way for the new highway between Rose Lodge and Otis. He also hauled the mail between these two points. In the summertime, his wife, Beulah McMillen, hauled the mail while her spouse worked elsewhere. The McMillens are now spending their retirement years in a home near Otis. Slick Rock Creek boasted a covered bridge located near the Eric Lund place. This has now been razed and replaced by a new bridge, and instead of serving just a few residents it is being used for many with which to make their homes. As the valley widens toward the sea, typical tideland growth becomes abundant. Logging is the chief industry, but a small cheese factory has been in operation since 1907. Willow, ash, and alder trees root in the marshy land, and in spring, the broad-leafed skunk cabbage lifts its yellow bloom.
Salado settlement was located some 12 miles up the Big Elk from Elk City. The post office was established Apr. 18, 1891, with Geo. A. Hodges serving as first postmaster. Hodges managed the post office with his wife, Levina Sager, and carried the mail between Elk City and Harlan three times a week. Hodges named the post office and community for his former home, Salado, TX. Salado is a Spanish word meaning “salty” or “saline,” or a “plain encrusted with salt.” Salt, along with sulfur, helium, asphalt, graphite, bromine, natural gas, cement and clay, give Texas first place in mineral production. The City of Grand Saline northeast of Salado grew from a primitive salt works established in 1845, and is not the site of one of the largest salt plants in the nation. The salt dome under the city is about 1.5 miles across and some 16,000 feet thick; it could supply the world’s need for salt for 20,000 years. In Western Texas, the small community of Salt Flat grew near extensive surface salt deposits left by intermittent lakes in Hudspeth County just west of the Guadalupe Mountains. The area was the focus of a bloody dispute known as the Salt Wars of the 1860s and 1870s. Before the dispute reached a confused, tragic end, it had involved both Mexican and US citizens, political parties, legislators, mob action, army troops and Texas Rangers. Murder, assassination and revenge killings took place on both sides. A charming Bell County village on I-35 south of Temple in Central Texas, Salado dates from the state’s early days. Situated south of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, the town grew around the Sterling C. Robertson home and plantation, and was incorporated in 1867. Named for Salado Creek, the town prospered with the founding of Salado College in 1860, and was prominent on the Chisholm Trail. The first farmer’s Grange in Texas was established in 1873. But when bypassed by the railroad, the late 19th Century’s ultimate transportation mode, the college closed and the town dwindled to the status of an isolated village. Tree-shaded Salado Creek, which was Texas’ first designated natural landmark, was the site of an Indian campground long before recorded history. Since Main Street was part of the Chisholm Trail, ruts from wagon wheels still appear in the bedrock of the creek just north Pace Park. The visitor’s register at the Stagecoach Inn, a prominent site on the Chisholm Trail in the 19th Century, reads like a frontier Who’s Who: Geo. A. Custer (1839-1876), Rbt. E. Lee (1807-1870), Sam Houston (1793-1863), Jesse James (1847-1882) and Shanghai Pierce were among the celebrated guests. Formerly known as Shady Villa Inn, the primary old frame structure is today restored as a notable restaurant, surrounded by a modern motor inn. On Apr. 23, 1907, the Salado Post Office burned to the ground, and it was not until Mar. 27, 1911 that it was re-established. At this time George and Levina’s son, Jim, started carrying the route as a free agent. In 1912 the government let a contract for the job for the first time, and Jim won the job. On Jul. 31, 1944, the Salado office closed to Elk City. Jim Hodges carried the mail in this area continuously for 45 years, except for two four-year contract periods when Wm. Clark outbid him on one occasion, and Andrew Bristlin underbid him another. Jim’s son, Henry, did most of the carrying in the later years of his tenure. The route was probably one of the shortest and smallest in Lincoln County. In the 1950s, it served 13 families, and at no time, ever went over 20 boxes. It was 12 miles in length and was carried twice a week. On May 31, 1956, the Post Office Department opened bids for a new mail route to serve the Elk City-Harlan areas in Lincoln County. Under the new proposal, the route would be carried every day. And instead of starting at Elk City and going up the river only 12 miles, it would start at Blodgett and serve Nashville, Eddyville, Elk City and Harlan, serving approximately 210 boxes.
Salishan is an excellent example of a well-chosen name for a commercial development. In 1964 John Gray of Portland began the development of a planned community and resort motel at the south end of Siletz Bay. The careful planning of architect John Storrs and landscape architect Barbara Fealy integrated the public facilities east of US-101 into the rolling terrain and typical coast vegetation. The name Salishan was taken from Salish tribe. Although more numerous north of the Columbia, this linguistic group was represented south of that river by the Tillamook and the Siletz. The Siletz River flows through Lincoln and Polk counties. The Siletz were the southernmost Salish tribe on the Oregon Coast. The name now designates all the tribes on the former Siletz Reservation —Athabascan, Yakonian, Kusan, Takelman, Shasta and Shahaptian linguistic families. The name has been called Celeste, Neselitch, and Sailect. Siletz River was named for these Indians. There was for many years a Siletz Agency in Oregon. It is estimated there were 2000 Indians at Siletz Agency in 1867.
Schooner Creek is a well-known stream that flows into Siletz Bay just south of Taft. In 1945 Andrew L. Porter of Newport said that the stream was named for a shipwreck of a large vessel, at least “100 feet between perpendiculars and of about 30 feet in beam,” the remains of which are in the sands of Siletz Bay. The exact type of ship, its actual name and the year it drifted into the bay are still debated. Perhaps it was the Blanco which capsized off Siletz Bay in 1864; or the Sunbeam, hailing from New Jersey, which disappeared in 1887. Porter reported that some of the ship’s ribs were still showing above the sand at low tide. Porter also said that he understood that about 1894 the ship’s bell was taken to Grand Ronde and used at the Indian School. The schooner was hauled above high tide by means of oxen and tackle and in 1944 it was reported that some of her remains were on the ground. A small point of rocks about a quarter of a mile north of the mouth of the creek is called Schooner Point. P A model of a schooner was built and donated to the North Lincoln County Museum by Dr. Norman C. Hall.
Seal Rock was the terminus of the Corvallis & Yaquina Bay Wagon Road, the first road to reach the Oregon Coast from the Willamette Valley. The townsite was platted in 1887 and a large hotel was built. Development lagged and the federal and assets of the road company were transferred, at least on paper, to the Oregon Pacific Railway promotion of T. Egerton Hogg.86 The area has a illustrious history, dating back to the mid-1800s. In May 1864, cpl. Royal A. Bensell wrote about Seal Illahee in his journal: “Clear. Cross the Alsea River by swimming. Passed Collins Mine by 8:30am. Shortly afterwards we pass Seal Illahee, saw plenty of huge seal barking on the bare rocks. These seal weigh from 1000 to 1200 pounds. The fur is worthless. The Indians kill a great many. The meat is said to be good.”87 In 1868, Capt. A. W. Chase located Seal Illahee, rocks which are covered with sea lions that form a ledge of partly submerged rocks extending parallel to the coast for about two and a half miles and a distance of a half to three quarters of a mile from the beach. The highest rock rises about 20 feet above water. The Coast Pilot used the name Seal Rocks, and that style was used in pioneer days for the locality along the shore about ten miles south of Newport. There is one large rock at the shoreline and several smaller ones. The place was called Seal Illahee, meaning “seal place” or “seal home.” The word Illahee signifies earth or stone, in Chinook Jargon, and these rocks were at that time and are yet the breeding ground for the Stellar seal, that have proven so destructive to fish and so attractive to the thousands who annually visit the Cliff House on the coast of California, near the City of San Francisco. Yaquina Bay, with its splendid coast fisheries extending north and south of the Bay a distance of 75 miles, abounding in a variety of fish, the quality and quantity of which cannot be found elsewhere in Oregon, was destined to furnish the great interior with this valuable commodity, very much as the lakes furnish white fish for the people of the western states. It was one of the many dormant resources which the completion of the Oregon Pacific Railway helped develop. The pleasure seekers then and now come here and spend a day or a week along the coast fishing, after the style of those who “go down to the sea” on the Eastern coast, and cast a line for a codfish, bluefish or mackerel. At that time, it was speculated that probably no place in Oregon would be so popular as the now nonexistent Yaquina City for the toiling thousands who, in later years, would come here to enjoy the ocean breeze, and for a time escape the heat of the valley. Naturally possessing greater attractions than other sea ports, early speculators thought little remained to be done to furnish accommodations and such “artificial amusements” as the public taste demands. Seal Rock is the terminus of an eight mile beach, and once characterized as being “one of the finest drives in the world.” The land opposite the rock was described as being “well situated for hotel purposes, the purest water, cozy little rocks, and a delightful view of the coast and ocean.” The inner ledge of rock is habitat to almost every variety of water fowl, while seals can be seen on the outer rocks, and with a glass of ordinary power, the habits of that strange animal could be observed. There being no reserved seats on the rock, actual possession maintained by a constant warfare is the rule. The scene is exciting, instructive and entertaining, and will attract the most indifferent. Well protected from the north winds, Seal Illahee was billed as “suitable for sea bathing” during the early settlement period. “The beach is a shoal and full of warm places—natural bathtubs or bathing places, free from the danger of undertow; a child could play in these places with perfect safety.” The completion of the Oregon Pacific Railway opened to capital many profitable investments, but it was speculated that “probably none, considering the outlay required, would prove more remunerative than the erection of a hotel and the improvement of grounds near Seal Rock,” a challenge took up 1887 by Lydia Owens and Jas. W. Brassfield who attempted to develop the area. South of Highlands and For Far, which were developed in 1888 by Wm. Grant, a Scotsman who was described in a newspaper of the day as a hard working tailor from Corvallis, was Seal Rocks Resort, developed by Lydia Owens and Jas. W. Brassfield in 1887.88 Brassfield was born in Platt County, MO, Jan. 16, 1840. His father, Thms. W. R. Brassfield, was a Missouri pioneer in 1821. At the age of 14, Brassfield entered his father’s store where he received his early education in the mercantile business. In 1860, he moved to Saint Joseph, where he clerked for two years. He then joined a party of young men on their way to California, then known as the Golden State. Upon arriving at Ft. Hall, their route changed, and they ended up in Oregon. In 1863, Brassfield moved to Harrisburg, where he was employed by judge Hiram Smith, and one year later he was admitted as a partner under the firm of Smith & Brassfield. Jan. 1, 1865, he married Lydia Owens, a native of Kansas and a daughter of col. Henry Owens, of Topeka, in Harrisburg, Kansas. The couple had five children: Arthur S., Hiram, Thms., W. R., Frank O. and Sadie.89 The firm of Smith & Brassfield continued for ten years, after which the Brassfields sold out and started a store in Junction City where they did business until 1881. In 1887, Lydia and Jas. Brassfield sold out again and moved to Yaquina Bay where they opened a general store. They purchased the well-known Seal Rock property—one of the most delightful places on the Pacific Coast—and filed a plat map showing their holdings divided into 600 lots. In 1885, historian David Fagan wrote that “the place, together with a large tract of land adjoining, was then the property of Jas. W. Brassfield, a merchant of Newport, who erected a fine residence near the beach and a short distance south of Seal Rock, where his family in the summer months resided and enjoyed the beauties of nature and the ceaseless roar of the surf, which at this place is truly magnificent; and, fortunate indeed is he who is permitted to enjoy the hospitality of the Brassfields.” At this point are shell beds, indicating that it had been the home of the Coastal Indians for generations, as the beds are numerous and range in depth of one to six feet.”90 Three entire blocks were dedicated for hotel construction. A year later, two additions to Seal Rocks Resort were mapped. The couple managed to build a hotel and sell a few lots before getting into financial trouble. Many of their lots were deeded to a Portland creditor. Of the few lots they sold, most were abandoned by their purchasers and sold at auction by the county for as little as $9 a piece. The post office, now a community post office out of Waldport, is on US-101. It is named for the rocks, but is called Seal Rock. The post office was established Apr. 25, 1890, with Jas. W. Brassfield postmaster. In those days the rocks were well covered with seals and sea lions.91 In the past, a pedestrian-friendly community with well-organized streets, parks, and public gathering places was, for the most part, a sales pitch. Today the vision of developers is being rekindled in many Lincoln County communities. People are now actively working to make such improvements a reality. Today, the chainsaw sculptures of Ray Kowalski and Brian McEneny are featured prominently at Seal Rock on US-101.
Siletz is located about seven miles north of Toledo. Siletz post office was established Feb. 24, 1890, with Francis M. Stanton (1837-1913) first postmaster. The office was named for Siletz River, which flows through Lincoln and Polk counties. As established in 1855, Siletz Reservation covered more than 1,300,000 acres, but as the pallid population of Oregon increased, the newcomers decided that there was “too much valuable land in the hands of the Indians.” Though there were more than 2000 Indians on the reservation in 1867, genocide, famine, and disease had reduced the number to about 550 in 1887. By 1882, the allotments to the Siletz covered only 47,000 acres. In 1925, through the number of Indians had increased, the Siletz Agency was closed. The agency caring for all Indian affairs west of the Cascades is now at Salem; members of various tribes— Coos, Umpqua, Siuslaw, Rogue River, and Tututini—live on individual allotments and the rest are largely “squatters” on public domain. John Fleming Wilson’s novel, The Land Claimers (1911), tells the story of those who rushed into the Siletz lands where they were thrown open to white settlement. Many of those who came in hopefully to established homestead claims and built their cabins in their last frontier have left; deserted cabins and clearings now covered with brush and relics of their brief stay. Because many “antagonistic” tribes had been placed on the reservation, it was the scene of numerous affrays. Native braves were sometimes buried with a $20 gold piece in one fist and a knife in the other—prepared to pay or fight their way through to the happy hunting ground. Philip H. Sheridan was stationed here during a part of his Oregon sojourn. The Siletz were the southernmost Salishan tribe on the Oregon Coast. The name now designates all the tribes on the for Siletz Reservation: Athabascan, Yakonan, Kusan, Takelman, Shasta and Shahaptian linguistic families. The tribe been called Celeste, Neselitch, Sailect. Leo Frachtenberg, the philologist, in a letter to prof. Frantz Boas from Siletz dated Sep. 5, 1915, states that Rogue Rivers first applied the name Silis meaning “black bear” to what is know known as Siletz Lake. The Indians and the river took their name from the lake. The Tututinis are an Athabascan tribe or group of small tribes occupying villages along the Lower Rogue River in Southern Oregon, and on the Pacific Coast north and south of its mouth. Parrish in 1854 located eight bands on the Oregon Coast and three on Rogue River. The gentile system prevailed among them, men marrying outside of their own villages, and a child belonging to the village of the father; yet they can not be considered as one tribe, as villages warred one upon another without violation of national unity or tribal sentiment. The Tututini were removed to Siletz Reservation as prisoners of war in 1856. They formerly practiced polygamy, widows being buried alive in the graves of their deceased spouses. In 1854 the total population was 1,311, consisting of 448 men, 490 women, 205 boys, and 168 girls. According to Parrish the bands were: Nashmah (Nasumi, a Kusan village), Chocreletan (Chocrelatan), Quahtomah (Kwatami), Cosutteutum (Kwusatthl-khuntunne), Euquachee (Yukicketunne), Yachute (Chemetunne), Chetlessentun (Chetlesiyetunne), Wishtenatin (Khwaishtunnetunne), Cheatte (Chetco), Tototin (Tututunne), Mackanotin (Chastacosta). J. O. Dorsey gave the following list of former bands or villages on the coast north of Rogue River: Chemetunne, Kaltsergheatunne, Kosotshe, Kwatami, Kthukhwuttunne, Kwusathklhuntunne, Natutshltunne, Niletunne, and Yukicketunne. The following were on both banks: Chetlesiyetunne, Etaatthatunne, Kunechuta, Kushetunne, Mikonotunne, Targheliichetunne, Targhutthotunne, Testthitun, Thethlkhuttune, and Thechuntunne. On or near the coast south of Rogue River were the following: Aanetun, Chetleschantunne, Enitunne, Khainanaitetunne, Kheerghia, Khwaishtunnetunne, Nakatkhitunne, Natthutunne, Nuchumatuntunne, Sentethltun, Skumeme, Tsetintunne, and Tsetuttune. Kthutetmetseetuttun was on the coast just north of Rogue River. There was for many years a Siletz Indian Agency in Oregon. It is estimated there were 2000 Indians at Siletz Agency in 1867. Salt Chuck, which is Chinook jargon for “salt water,” is a general term applied indiscriminately to Coast tribes by inland tribes in the Pacific Northwest. In 1884, ethnologist Jas. O. Dorsey (1848-1895), when at Siletz Agency, heard this term applied, not only by the inland tribes (as Takelma) to the coast peoples (Athabascan, Kusan, etc.), but even by Athabascan to themselves.
South Beach is an unincorporated part of Lincoln County located on the south shore of Yaquina Bay. Harborton is the name of the place on the official platt, but that name is not in general use. The earliest notice of the area was during WWI when the US Army spruce division established Camp III at Idaho Point to get out lumber for planes and ships. Camp I was at Beaver Creek near Waldport. Logs were shipped by rail to South Beach and then rafted to Toledo to the mill. Some of the old track bed can still be seen at the Toledo air strip, which is visible through the old piling on the far side of the Yaquina. The air strip is 1,725 feet long, and accommodates single engine planes. An early resident of South Beach, Elsie Omlid, was a cook at Camp III. Three buildings on 4th Street were used as the US Army hospital during the war. The Omlids remained in South Beach following the war, and their children attended a school located west of Toby Murray Auto Body on US-101. Omlid recalls one of her daughters rode the jitney on a spur of the railroad to school. She remembers there was ferry service to Newport every hour. People could ride free, but rigs cost $1.50. The Omlids ran a stage coach service for passengers and mail along the beach. At times winter storms and high tides held them up. A post office, store, and tavern were among the first businesses in the area. South Beach post office, located on the south side of Yaquina Bay, two miles south of Newport, was established May 18, 1916, with Margaret F. Conrad first postmaster. The post office was discontinued Jan. 31, 1946, and re-established Jun. 1, 1949. On Jul. 31, 1960, South Beach became a rural station of Newport. In Aug. 1999, South Beach’s cozy and sequestered post office, housed in a neighborhood of wooden houses and gravel roads, relocated to the Newport Business Plaza on US-101. While the old post office had only one service window, the new one—located about one-eighth of a mile away—has the capacity to double the number of mail boxes available for rental to 1400. Its new, store-front location is situated in a 78,000-square-foot complex that houses about 25 other businesses, most of which are not retail. The garage-like sites house car repair shops along with some manufacturing businesses and distribution centers. The old building, which resembled a trailer, was situated on a residential street where nearby home-owners walked to or made quick drives to retrieve their mail.
South Yaquina, now a ghost town, was directly across the bay from Yaquina City, but this area apparently was never developed to the extent of its sister city to the north. Fagan is quoted as saying: South Yaquina is “a town that as yet has only its name to boast of,” and did not have a post office. Yaquina Bay, Yaquina Station and Yaquina River which heads near the Benton-Lincoln county line, and flows into the bay, bear the name of the Yaquina. In the early days there was also a Yaquina City, was situated on the eastern side of Yaquina Bay, about four miles from its mouth and was the terminus of the Willamette Valley & Coast Railway, where the company had a large dock and two warehouses, and a great amount of material, giving employment to many workmen. There also was the Custom House presided over by Collins Van Cleve. The town consisted of Jacobs & Neugass’ General Merchandise Store, a drugstore, meat market and hotel, the interests of the place being ably kept before the public by the Yaquina Post. The land on which the town was situated was owned by the railroad company who saw in it the future great city of the Northwest. Directly across the bay was South Yaquina, a town that had only its name to boast of.
Stanford post office, established Jul. 29, 1893, was located on the north shore of Alsea Bay. This post office was also known as Drift Creek, Collins, Lutgens and, eventually, Nice. Its location varied from site to site along the north shore of the Yaquina Bay. W. C. Shepard was first postmaster while the office was named Stanford. The name of the office was changed to Lutgens on Jun. 21, 1897.
Storrs community was located about half way between Toledo and Elk City. Alfred Cloake migrated from London with his parents in 1844 and learned the carpenter trade from his father, Walter, while they lived on the farm which today is the site of the City of Milwaukee, WI. He parted with his family at Corvallis, coming to the Yaquina Valley and later marrying Mahala Galloway. Her parents and kinfolk were living on the Yaquina. In 1866, the Cloakes built their first house across from Siding One, which was renamed Storrs Railroad Flag Station in 1893, according to an item in the Lincoln County Leader. Mahala and Alfred cleared fields, planted orchards, and raised a large family. Their Niece, Maude Brown Hatler of Redding, CA, remembered a winter she lived with her Aunt and uncle. It was the year Cloake worked at Parker Sawmill near Yaquina. He rowed home Saturday evenings, towing a raft of lumber to be used for completing their home upriver from the cemetery. Hatler recalls holding the lantern. The Cloakes, who were members of the Adventist Church Corps, later became missionaries for the church in Florida. Previously, they had donated a small lot of their land for an adventist church building and cemetery next to the Adam Rae place. Rae’s first wife (?-1903), who was born in Scotland, is buried in that little cemetery lot that is now under the Elk City Road. The Cloake’s daughter is buried near the road on the hill above the last schoolhouse at Elk City. A Native American couple who worked for Edwin Alden Abbey (1824-? NY), possibly Ann (1845-? OR) and Rbt. Hill (1826-? OH), and Jas. Chester Dixon (1871-1932) are also said to be buried there. In 1894, Mahala and Alfred Cloake deeded the 17 acres of Section 15 to Geo. T. Smith of Chitwood. Six years later, the church was torn down and the precious lumber was rafted on the tide to a location near Chitwood. Cook’s oxen moved it to the new site where the old church was reassembled on land donated by Flora and Lafe Pepin. Another member of the Storrs Community was Saml. A. Logan, who was born in Putnam County, IN, Dec. 16, 1840. When Logan was six years old, his parents moved to Saint Joseph, MO, and one year later, removed to Marion County, Iowa, where they lived until 1862, when he, his wife, Elizabeth Lightsinger (1843-1890) and parents, crossed the plains to Oregon. In 1866, he moved to Yaquina Bay, and in February of that year, homesteaded 168 acres on the south side of Yaquina River between Toledo and Elk City. Logan also owned 280 acres at Oysterville and was engaged in farming. The Logans’ three children were Clara A., Yaquina Olive and Allen M. Logan was a member of the Storrs Community. Six miles upriver from Toledo at Logan’s Bend, he built a boat dock from which he would sell his vegetables. Logan also took his produce by boat into Newport and Toledo. In 1893, the Leader reported: “Sam Logan has lettuce grown on his farm at Storrs, the one big leaf as big as a water pail.” The Cloakes moved to Walla Walla, WA. In 1893, O. A. Hooker, a Civil War veteran, purchased the property, and added a barn by way of improvement. In 1905, Hooker sold the land to Flora and John D. Parry. In 1910, the Parrys gave use of a small parcel of land for a schoolhouse which was on the flat above the house. Apparently there was and earlier school facility at Storrs. In 1894 the Leader reported that “Effie Crosno (1877-1967) closed school at Storrs.” In 1966, Florence Payne Howell wrote: “Ben Horning also taught at the Storrs School and probably others to earn money for his higher education. For many years, he has been an eminent MD. He was the younger brother of the late Fred and Elmer Horning of Toledo, and the son of Mary Jones and Thms. Horning.” Schools in the eastern part of the county were located at Elk City, Storrs, at Sunnyridge and Toledo. Both Parry and Updike taught at least one of these schools. In 1978, Violet King Updike recalled: “Wherever I taught I tried to spend weekends with them [parents]. I taught at Moody and Storrs, which is the Glen and Evelyn Parry place. There was a school there in 1918. Frank came home from the war in 1919.” Mahala and Alfred Cloake’s original home burned down in 1948. There was a family by the name of Gibbs living at Storrs around 1897: Prof. Louis Kossuth Brooks “was also the examiner who gave prospective Teachers their qualifying tests. Among some of these were Ms. Gibbs of Storrs, Ms. Reynolds of Waldport, Ms. Eva Ewing, J. J. Turnidge of Toledo, Geo. McCluskey and his sister, Mamie McCluskey Litchfield and Brooks’ daughter, Ada.” Capt. Nathan P. Stevens (1818-1903) and his family lived across the Big Elk from the Cloake’s new house. They were members of a large Toledo family that included the Geo. Stevens who drowned at Newport in 1883. The Stevens, who migrated from Maine, cultivated beautiful flowers and kept a good dock. Later, one of the Stevens’ daughters, who was married to a man by the name of Webber, settled nearby. Ora Sharp, the daughter of Lottie Harding (1872-1930) and Wm. Sharp (1864-1942), built a house on the property after 1930. Sharp’s parents are buried at Elk City Cemetery.98
Taft is located on the north shore of Siletz Bay in the urban strip, which is now named Lincoln City. The community was named for Wm. Howard Taft (1857-1930), 27th president of the US. The post office was established Jan. 22, 1906, and was named when Taft was Secretary of War (1904-1908). John W. Bones was first postmaster, and is said to have suggested the name. On Dec. 8, 1964, Taft voted to become part of a new community to be called Lincoln City, and on Sep. 24, 1965, the Taft office was designated a classified station of Lincoln City.99
Tidewater lies ten miles east of Waldport, and received its name because it is near the head of tide on Alsea River. The post office was established Apr. 1878. Thms. Russell (1819-1894), was the first postmaster. At Tidewater, the Alsea widens into an estuary, salt waters mingling with the fresh. In season there is much trolling for salmon at this point. In this region the Alsea, formerly comprised the northern boundary of the Alsea Indian Reservation, with headquarters at Agency Farm near Yachats. Tides are periodic short-term changes in the height of the ocean surface at a particular place caused by a combination of the gravitational force of the moon and sun and the motion of the earth. There are two bulges that form, one that is beneath the moon’s position, and another at a point on the earth directly opposite. The bulges are the crests that cause the high tides. Low tides correspond to the troughs. There are two low waters and two high waters each day in Oregon. The highest predicted tide usually occurs during Dec. and Jan. The lowest tides of the year generally occur in summer. Because of the concurrence of extreme astronomical phenomena, the best clam tides are in the evening in Dec. and in the morning in June. Cannibal Mountain (1946'), in the Coast Range, about five miles south of Tidewater, has one of those names that seems to defy efforts to rind a reason for the application. The region is not noted for its cannibals, unless they be deer flies and mosquitoes, at seems hardly likely that anyone ever named the peak for such pests. The compiler has an old map with the name Cannonball Mountain for this peak, but in 1946, H. G. Hopkins, district ranger for the USFS at Waldport, tried to learn the history of the name of the mountain and could find no one in the locality that ever heard of Cannonball. The point was sometimes called Canniber Mountain, supposed to be an Indian name meaning saddle, but search so far has disclosed no such Indian word. Canniber was also said to be derived from the fact that old timers went to the place for canning berries, but this seems fanciful. Hopkins reports that stories that two well-known hunters were there to get venison to eat raw were denied as ridiculous by one of the hunters still surviving. Stories that a pioneer trapper, during a snowstorm ate his Indian Squaw rather than starve are of the guidebook type rather than for jury trial.100
Toledo is located on the Yaquina, seven miles east of Newport. John Graham, the town’s first settler, was a native of County Donegal, Ireland, and coming from that restless clan of Grahams, what wonder that he should inherit his ancestors’ dispositions and seek to lay the foundation of a family in some more favored country. In 1826, Graham set sail for America in company with several members of his family. On arriving in the “land of the free” he settled in Ohio, where he lived for 29 years. In 1855, he moved with his family to Kansas, and while there took an active part in defending the free state from the depredations of the Missouri Raiders of 1856-1857, and was often brought in contact with the celebrated John Brown (1800-1859), also known as “Old Brown of Osawatomie,” a Kansas border town, was an American Abolitionist. Nine years residence, however, convinced Graham that Kansas was not a farmer’s paradise, so in 1864, he sold most of his property and, with his wife and nine children, started one team of five yoke of cattle, one four-mule team and one two-horse hack with a drove of 80 head of cattle to cross the plains to the far West. On arriving in Eastern Oregon, he lived there for a short time before moving to Corvallis. 1867, Graham moved to Yaquina Bay, and took as a claim the land where the town of Toledo now stands, and during the frontier era built a 16-room estate on the west bank of Depot Slough, a little above tidewater. He remained in Toledo until his death, Feb. 16, 1883. His only son, Jos. D. Graham, was born in Carroll County, OH, Feb. 1, 1847. He was engaged for a number of years in the mercantile trade in Toledo, during which time he was postmaster. Toledo post office, established Jul. 4, 1848, was in Graham’s house, and consisted of a box nailed to the wall with a few divisions in it where the letters for outlying ranches were placed. Wm. Makey, another early settler, was first postmaster. In 1885, he owned 160 acres of land adjoining the town on which he lived, was married and had two sons, Wm. and John. G. M. Buford of Toledo, for whom Buford Hill is named, was born in Corvallis, Jun. 22, 1880. He was the son of Mary B. Howell and Thms. J. Buford. He attended Oregon State College and Behnke-Walker Business College in Portland. Buford married Thecla P. Dove of Salem, Sep. 8, 1907. The couple had two children: Bertha (Johnson) and Ronald W. Buford was an administrator for the Lincoln County School District from 1928-1940. Buford Creek in Wallowa County rises in Oregon a little north of Flora, and flows northward into Washington, where it drains into Grande Ronde River. It was named for Park Buford, a pioneer settler nearly. The locality became important because Buford Canyon was used for the highway from Enterprise to Lewiston. Park Buford is reported to have died as a result of a rattlesnake bite, which he received while reaching u cabin trying to find a pup.101
Vernon post office, located three miles due north of Fisher, was established May 1, 1905, with Martin L. Earnest first postmaster. The office closed to Fisher Feb. 29, 1908. Fisher post office, named for the martin, was located on Crab Creek, some 14 miles due east of Yachats. The office was established Mar. 19, 1892, with Martin Johanson first postmaster. J. W. Mink later held the office. Remarkable nomenclature. The office closed to Alsea on Sep. 30, 1942.
Waldport, a small maritime community surrounded by thickly wooded hills, is located on the south shore of Alsea Bay in what was part of the Coast Reservation. David Ruble, who founded the community, was born in Virginia, Dec. 11, 1831. When he was four, his family migrated to Wabash County, IN, and lived there until the spring of 1853 when Ruble, who was a miller, crossed the plains to Oregon. In 1872, Ruble and his wife, Orlena Russell (1834-1912) settled in the Alsea Valley where he erected a gristmill, and later a sawmill on the North Fork of the Alsea. The Waldport area was not opened to settlement until 1875. During several years before he moved to Waldport in Oct. 1879, Ruble freighted flour and grain down the Alsea in the flat boat he built. In all, he is said to have made 67 trips. Waldport (Port of the Woods) was so named in the 1880s at the suggestion of Paul V. Wustrow, then postmaster at Alsea, about 19 miles southwest of Philomath. Col. Wustrow, a well-known character in the Alsea Valley of European birth and up-bringing, held that position for nearly a quarter of a century, from Mar. 30, 1876 until May 28, 1898. Collins post office, on the north side of Alsea Bay, was established Jan. 31, 1875, with Matthew Brand serving as postmaster, and the Waldport office was established Jun. 17, 1881, with David Ruble in charge of the office. When Ruble became postmaster of Collins, the site moved from the north to south shore of Alsea Bay. Ruble lost the position on Feb. 23, 1882, and the Collins post office moved back to the north shore. A few months later, on Aug. 15, 1882, a new post office was acquired for Waldport on the south shore, with Orlena’s father, Thms. Russell, serving as postmaster. Ruble succeeded him on Sep. 27, 1883. Early settlers in this Alsea River basin were Germans who came for the brief goldrush then stayed to develop the timber industry. The winter of 1879-1880, Ruble and others washed $1700 in gold dust from beach sands. When the townsite was platted in 1884, the streets of Old Town were laid out by the stars, without benefit of a survey. The City of Waldport was chartered in 1890. Originally a stronghold of the Alsea Indians, the quiet beach town also has had incarnations as a goldrush town and lumber port. A point south of town bears the name of Chief Yaquina John, one of the last members of the Alsi tribe. Waldport’s history is written in a hundred years of forest products. Until the last two decades, fishing and dairying were also active. The area once had several sawmills and salmon canneries. Logging still prevails as an occupation, but no sawmills remain in the area. At one time, Waldport even started its own railroad and was accessed by train. The line was built in 1918 by the US army to log spruce that was used to build airplanes during WWI. After the war ended, the line was acquired by the C. D. Johnson Lumber Company, which used to log an area south of town known as Camp One. When the logging was completed in 1935, the railroad was abandoned. Mid-century, Waldport was manufacturing the brightly colored cedar floats that mark the crab fishermen’s nets, which resemble huge butterfly nets, with steel rings at the top and sinkers at the lower end, where bait is fastened. These nets were used near the ocean ashore and in the bays, while copper or iron crab pots were employed farther out on the banks. The Alsea Historical Society is currently working to establish a museum dedicated to the local history. Commercial literature about the place touts Waldport’s livability, suggesting that the town’s “relative obscurity” has spared it the fate of more crowded tourist towns. This may also be explained by a nondescript main drag that gives no hint of surrounding beaches and prime fishing spots. A recent influx of retirees has spurred new homebuilding, but this cozy little hamlet is decidedly low-key. It is hard to picture the quiet beach town of Waldport as the object of national media scrutiny, but it happened twice during the 1970s and again in 1997. During the 1970s, a Sixty Minutes investigative team came here to document the link between dioxin-based defoliants used in the area timber stands to eliminate blackberries, vine maples, and other vegetation that impede the growth of Douglas fir, to an abnormally high incidence of birth defects and miscarriages. This report and the ensuing government ban on this substance in Oregon forests took on national significance when soldiers exposed to ill-effects of the same chemical (Agent Orange) in Vietnam were denied compensation by the Pentagon. But this wasn’t the only occasion that Waldport basked in the hot glare of a national media spotlight during the 1970s. A 1975, New York Sunday Times article described a bizarre UFO cult’s recruitment of followers here to undertake a rendezvous with a spacecraft that would transport them to a higher place of existence. Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor and the like followed up with TV coverage. Their leader, Marshall Applewhite, exhorted the faithful to give up their possessions and depart Oregon for Colorado where the ascension was to take place. The same Marshall Applewhite resurfaced in the spring of 1997 at Gold Beach on the South Oregon Coast, and the town, like Waldport, gained international recognition following the Heaven’s Gate suicides in Southern California. Mark Miller of Newsweek reported that “in Mar. 1997, “some followers of Heaven’s Gate embarked on a bus trip to Santa Rosa, CA, and to Gold Beach, OR, the place where cult leader Marshall Applewhite first found his calling in the wilderness. They continued on to Ashland, OR, and Sacramento, CA, running up more than $2000 in hotel bills.” The cult’s mass suicide in Southern California prompted another media explosion with reverberations felt in Waldport. Broadcast media from Dateline NBC to Good Morning America interviewed locals here for impressions of the deceased, as a stunned and curious nation looked on. On Nov. 17, 1998, people from as far away as Australia, England and Canada gathered at Tillicum State Park in South Lincoln County to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of a British clipper off the coast near Waldport. Fr. Gerald Steckler of Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Waldport blessed the stone and plaque placed in the park in memory of the 23 seamen, including the Atalanta’s captain, who died Nov. 17, 1898. The Atalanta had stopped at Tacoma, WA, and was heading south for a run to South Africa with a cargo full of wheat, when it went aground off the coast. John McMahon, a descendant of one of the three crew members to survive the wreck, Frank McMahon, gave a brief speech. A proclamation from the mayor of Sydney, Australia, the city from which the ship had set out, was also read. Among those attending were Waldport Mayor Phyllis Boehme, Yachats mayor Arthur Roberts and his wife, Fern Roberts, and Lincoln County Commissioner Nancy Leonard, as well as Port of Alsea Manager Maggie Rivers and Doris Tai, a representative of the US Forest Service, who arranged for the plaque and memorial stone. Placer Lake is on Reynolds Creek about four miles south of Waldport. It was named by the USFS in 1966 as this part of the Siuslaw National Forest was developed for recreation. Sometime in the 1870s a promoter staked mining claims in the area and constructed an elaborate system of ditches and flumes to fool prospective purchasers. The scheme fell through but later Chinese miners moved in and reportedly recovered a sizable quantity of gold by placer mining with water from the creek and lake. Evidence of the old ditches could still be seen in 1966.
Wecoma Beach is two miles north of Lincoln City, overlooking the ocean. John Gill in his Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, 1909, says that wecoma is the jargon word for ocean or sea. First named Wecoma, the post office was established Apr. 3,1935, with Wm. Lohkamp serving as first postmaster. The Wecoma office was located on US-101 at the intersection of Holmes Road. On Nov. 1, 1949 that office closed when it was renamed Wecoma Beach. On Apr. 1, 1957, Wecoma Beach was designated a rural station of Oceanlake. On Dec. 8, 1964, the town voted to become a part of a new community to be called Lincoln City, and on Sep. 25, 1965 the post office was designated a contract station of Lincoln City. The Wecoma Beach office was discontinued on Aug. 31, 1969.
West Yaquina was on the south bank of the Yaquina River, almost directly across from Yaquina City, a railroad boom town of the 1880s. The settlement was named for the Yaquina, a small tribe of the Yakonan family, formerly living about Yaquina Bay. Hale gives the the name as Iakon and Yakone, in Ethnology and Philology, 1846; Lewis and Clark give Youikeones and Youkone; Wilkes’ Western America, 1849, gives Yacone. Another form of the word is Acona. Yaquina John Point, on the south side of the entrance to Alsea Bay just southwest of Waldport, was named for Yaquina John, a chief or councillor of the Yaquina, who lived in the vicinity of Alsea Bay. Yahal was a Yaquina Village on the north side of the Yaquina. Though Yaquina City has been called a lost city, most local people know how to get there—by driving three miles southeast of Newport up Yaquina Bay Road to Sawyers Landing. Yaquina City at least left a paper trail. A post office operated there from July 14, 1868, to Jul 31, 1961. Wm. Wallace Carr served as first postmaster. West Yaquina is a lost city too, though it really was nothing more than a settlement. Sometime during the railroad boom of the 1880s, a plat map for West Yaquina was filed at the county courthouse (then in Corvallis). It shows a perfectly planned rectangular settlement with 40 blocks of lots and eleven streets running east-west that intersect three north-south streets: Granville, Collins and Emery. Early property ownership maps indicate Sam Case, founder of Newport, was probably West Yaquina’s owner and developer. Case’s West Yaquina vision of grandeur never materialized. His village shows up in the distant background of a photo taken around 1890 as four or five buildings that appear to be houses. What was the reason for West Yaquina’s existence? What did potential lot buyers see in its future? It may have been the location of a salmon cannery. In March 1888 Thms. Culbertson and James Scott announced their intention to construct a cannery at West Yaquina. Whether or not it was ever built is not known. One reason for West Yaquina’s descent into obscurity may have been its loss of the county seat to Toledo in the 1896 election. In May 1895, pres. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) signed the bill opening the Siletz Reservation. This would have a decisive effect on the early history of Toledo. For Toledo simultaneously was locked in a battle with the town of West Yaquina for the county seat. West Yaquina no longer exists; it is possible Toledo would have met the same fate if it had lost hold of the seat. The first election came up in June 1894, and it was a relatively calm affair. The Leader said nothing on the matter until two weeks beforehand, when it came out with a dispassionate, but large piece on the reasons to vote for Toledo. Geographic proximity to the rest of the county, good roads, and the cost of moving the seat were listed prominently. Also given space was the argument that the prospective opening of the reservation would move even more people into the Toledo area. In any case, the editor was confident that no city would get a majority with Newport and Elk City also in the race. He was right; votes split geographically and West Yaquina garnered only 41 percent of the vote to Toledo’s 32 percent. The final vote between the two cities two years later was much more lively. West Yaquina apparently got the first blow in April 1896, as the Leader responded with a big front-page article, “Something About Rings.” Stewart writes: “One of the stock arguments kept on hand and constantly in use by those opposed to Toledo for county seat is that there is a “ring” at Toledo which they want to tear down.” Yet they do not say who runs this “ring” or who composes it, he complains: “If by the wholesale charge of “ring” it is meant that the people of Toledo work together and pull together for the common good, then we plead guilty and ask no mercy. There is such a “ring” in Toledo.” Only one Toledo resident had yet held county office, he states, and only two have been nominated for this election. Stewart then turns on West Yaquina: “This ‘ring’ is not backed in their fight for the county seat by any foreign capitalist, town lot boomer, national banker, nor even a busted banker, but is making a clean, honorable fight for it.” This theme is developed much more fully the next week in “Has Lincoln County a County Seat For Sale?” Stewart acknowledges the common talk that outside interests are trying to influence the election with money, and he then writes: “Are the citizens and taxpayers of the grand young county of Lincoln ready to let the town let speculators, the national bankers, and the coterie of speculating shylocks come into our community and debauch an election; to defeat the will of the people with money; to upset and defeat the will of the people in order that their town lots that they have bought for speculation may be enhanced in value and thus bring dollars to their pockets? Can the bankers and speculators twist and wind the people of the county to their own use and benefit by their brazen check and dollars? We do not believe they can.” Things quieted down in the month before the election. The harshest the Leader got was to proclaim “Keep it fairly before the people—Boodle boon town lots and high taxes means West Yaquina; home people and low taxes mean Toledo.” On June 4th, the Leader calmly announced Toledo’s “victory,” also stating that the Indians had behaved very well in their first election. In the next week’s Leader we are able to discover just how well the Indians had behaved. The election table showed Siletz precinct going 149 to 0 for Toledo (even the vote in Toledo precinct was only 163 to 11!). The final vote was 615 to 504. Clearly, Toledo won the county seat because of the timing of the reservation’s closure. Even though Stewart made no comment on this fact, West Yaquina picked upon it and threatened to contest the election in order to get the Indian votes thrown out. The Leader responded with a threat of its own. Toledo, it said, had hired one of the best attorneys in the state and started investigating voters in other precincts. “The use of money can now be established,” Stewart wrote, and “We do not hesitate to predict that if a contest is started that the county seat will remain at Toledo; but some persons who voted in Lincoln County on June 1, 1896, will come very near to the doors of the Oregon penitentiary.” West Yaquina quietly dropped the challenge. Bushrod W. Wilson, a popular resident and pioneer of Benton County, was actively involved in the Corvallis & Yaquina Bay Railroad. He was one of the original incorporators of the line, which had its terminus at West Yaquina, where he owned property, and held the positions of secretary as well as president. A short article dated March 16, 1911, from the Newport Signal indicates West Yaquina was a shipping hub for dairy products and produce grown in the Beaver Creek-Ona area of south county. From West Yaquina, good were floated across the river to Yaquina City and loaded onto Willamette Valley bound trains. Why didn’t farmers simply bring their goods to Newport? The short answer is inadequate roads. As a bird flies, the distance between Newport and Ona was estimated at eight or nine miles, but the lack of roads made it seem much farther. In 1911, L. M. Commons of Ona claimed that due to a lack of roads, she had not visited Newport for two years. A 1906 map in the archives of the Oregon Coast History Center shows there were two “wagon roads” that went to West Yaquina. One originated on the beach where Moore Creek empties into the ocean, in the vicinity of the south end of the present-day Newport Airport. The second came from the south, perhaps originating at Ona. As it reached West Yaquina, it paralleled McCaffrey Slough. A few unconfirmed stories have circulated that West Yaquina was more than a transportation hub. Some have claimed it was a watering hole where residents of Yaquina went to drink and patronize its brothels. West Yaquina probably declined as transportation routes improved. Apparently there were a few houses (lacking running water and electricity) there as recently as the 1950s. At that time, they were accessible only by boat. There are just a few old-timers around who know anything about the long-gone settlement called West Yaquina. Perhaps even fewer people know where it was and how to get there today. Adventurous hikers and mountain bikers who have stumbled upon the site of West Yaquina reported only a few remnants of Sam Case’s settlement remain today—trees planted in a row, the outline of a house or two. West Yaquina’s story has yet to be written, but these few sources shed some light on its history.
Whale Cove is a tiny hamlet at the north base of Cape Foulweather, two miles south of Depoe Bay. There are many caves cut in sandstone cliffs here. Many years ago by a party of whites found some native people at work on the carcass of a dead whale, inspiring the name. In the first months of 1996, the media exploded with stories raising the possibility that Whale Cove could supplant Plymouth Rock as the birthplace of a nation. Rotting timbers from what is theorized to have been a stockade built by sir Francis Drake in 1579 were unearthed in an area where stories have long circulated of the English pirate’s landfall. These notions have been fueled by an unsigned ship log from Drake’s voyage in a museum in England that identified 44 degrees latitude (same as Whale Cove) as a landing site, and an English shilling found on the Central Oregon Coast in 1982 dating from 1560; excavations of a nearby Indian village though to have been buried in the year 1600 that turned up brass items, blades and Venetian beads; a photo from the 1930s showing a local resident with a distinctly English sword he unearthed; a ship’s cutlass found in Newport at the turn of the 20th century bearing the markings of 16th century English arsenal. Since the initial blizzard of publicity, there has been no word from the archaeologists and historians involved in corroborating these claims. As most history books have placed New Albion, Drake’s fabled lost settlement, near San Francisco, researchers will not be too quick to claim otherwise without years of research. In any case, given such stories of Drake’s supposed landing and the area’s legacy as a bootlegger’s harbor during Prohibition, Whale Cove has to have the most interesting unwritten history on the Oregon Coast.
Winant post office was named for capt. Jas. J. Winant (1838-1895) who made his home nearby. There are few names indelibly connected with the history of Yaquina Bay than J. J. Winant, who was born in upstate New York, Apr. 12, 1838. In the fall of 1856 he followed his brother Mark to California where they began dealing in oysters in San Francisco Bay; they were the real pioneers of the oyster trade on the Pacific Coast. Winant was master of vessels on the Pacific Coast for nearly a third of a century. He had command of the schooner Anna G. Doyle, running between Shoalwater Bay, Oysterville, WA, and San Francisco in the 1860s. He traded pearls in the South Pacific and hunted walrus and whales along the shore of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and the Coast of Siberia. A salvage voyage to the coast of Mexico, where he explored the sunken ship City of San Francisco and recovered $23,000 of her treasure, was the climax of his legendary career. In 1862 or 1863, the Winant brothers began the oyster trade on Yaquina Bay. In June 1882, Winant married Amy A. Peck in Alameda County, CA. They had one child, Anita. Winant was located at Oysterville Station on the Corvallis & Eastern Railway, about two miles due south of Yaquina City, on the north bank of the Yaquina. The post office was established Nov. 17, 1902, with Emma Leabo first postmaster. The office closed to Yaquina City Nov. 30, 1946.
Yachats is south of Newport, where the Coast Range presses closer to the sea, and commercial hustle gives way to tidepools, seal lions, and whales. Known as the “Gem of the Oregon Coast,” Yachats may be the perfect coast town. This resort community of 600-some people nestled in the shadow of Cape Perpetua is down close to the water, nearly buried in salal and huckleberry. Yachats Bay gravels yield and abundance of agates, flowered jasper, blood stones and petrified woods. Yachats is a corruption of the Alsea word yahuts, meaning “dark waters at the foot of the mountain,” which is certainly descriptive of this area where the Coast Range abuts the ocean in an unyielding tumult of relentless surf against basalt bastions. On a calm day it can be an exciting contest to witness; in stormy weather it is awesome. Consequently, this is a favorite stretch of coastline for watching winter storms. Many people have lived here for the past 8000 years; the remnant was removed to Siletz Reservation and is virtually extinct. Alsea Indians used the beach regularly, and left middens, or piles of clam, oyster, crab, and mussel shells. Middens formed when, after a seafood feast, diners threw sand over the shells to lessen the odor. After many shellfish meals, the middens resembled small dunes. While Native campfires are gone now, the legacy of the Alsea will live on forever as long as people come here to gaze in wonder at sunsets and at the fury of winter storms. Formerly known as Ocean View, Yachats is located at the mouth of the Yachats, eight miles south of Waldport. Ocean View post office was established Nov. 5, 1887, with Geo. M. Starr first postmaster. The office was discontinued Sep. 27, 1893, and re-established Apr. 27, 1904. This early office was located about a mile north of the City of Yachats. The new post office was established Oct. 13, 1916, with Donna Berry first postmaster. The name of office was changed from Ocean View to Yachats at the suggestion of J. K. Berry because it was at the mouth of Yachats River. The rustic building at the corner of Third and Pontiac streets in Yachats has been a part of this coastal community for generations. Built in the shape of a cross from timber hauled down the Yachats River, the Little Log Church was completed and dedicated in 1930. It was served by ministers from the Oregon Conference of the Evangelical Church, and later by pastors from the Presbyterian Church. When the congregation grew too large for the building, members built a new church a few blocks away, and the Little Log Church and property were sold to the Oregon Historical Society. It became a museum in 1970, and the site was deeded to the City of Yachats in 1896. The church underwent complete restoration in 1993, made possible by community support and volunteer laborers. Some of the original logs were saved and can be seen at the top of the church. Also saved were the bell and belfry, windows and sashes, flooring, pulpit, pews (some additional pews have been added to the west wing of the church sanctuary, chairs, wood stove, choir-rail, a painting of the three wise men, and a harmonium. The church is used for weddings and special events. In 1997, the 400-square-foot museum annex was built with the help of the Friends of the Little Log Church to house exhibits not connected with the original building. It sits in the “footprints” of the old church manse, later a Sunday school, which was torn down in 1976. Today, the museum houses local historical artifacts, local art and literature. Clothing and tools from pioneer days are on display at the museum along with period furnishings. In 1971, Alma Phelps Plunkett, who operated the Burnt Woods general store and post office for many years, recalled: “My father, Rev. Rolla Phelps, moved to Waldport. He didn’t have any kind of religious service at Yachats at all, so he got to thinking that he really ought to have a church down there. He and his brother got busy and started cutting logs. Rolland Dawson in Upper Yachats helped them, as did a lot of other people. In 1927, they built the little log church which now belongs to the Lincoln County Historical Society.” For many years “Dunk” Dunkelberger was a blacksmith at Yachats for several gypo logging outfits. One day a hobo entered the shop and asked for a job. “Business was slack and Dunk wanted to get rid of the “bo” as quickly as possible so he told him that the job was his if he could make a three-way weld, a task that was considered impossible. Then Dunk went out to lunch chuckling to himself and expecting the tramp to be gone when he got back. The hobo was gone when he returned, but he left behind Dunk’s duckbilled tongs neatly welded together about the horn of the anvil in a perfect three-way weld. It took almost two days to saw and file the tongs from the anvil and retemper the horn. Smelt Sands State Recreation Area is located at the north edge of Yachats, one of the few places in the world blessed with a run of oceangoing smelt. From April to October, sea-run smelt hurl themselves up the Yachats River, aiming straight towards locals with clever triangular smelt nets and oily diets. During the Yachats smelt fry held in July, up to 700 pounds of this sardine-like fish are served on the grounds of Yachats School. This is also the location of the well-known sculpture by local artist Jim Adler that has become a symbol of the Moon Fish arts program in Yachats. Off Camp One Road north of Yachats, a “Cullen-Friestedt” Burro railroad track-laying crane sits on a small section of railroad track that was laid by an all volunteer track crew on the morning of July 1. These new tracks, which came from Toledo, sit on the ground where in 1918, the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed a railroad. Members of the Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society, an enthusiastic group of Lincoln County rail fans interested in exploring and preserving the area’s railroad and timber history, placed the latest set of tracks. President Larry Reisch and treasurer Rich. Cullison, both of Yachats, described the history of the railroad in the area. “In 1918, the Army Corps of Engineers built what they called the Spruce Pacific Railroad from Camp One north to South Beach,” Cullison said. “The plan was to haul out the spruce wood they cut here and use it to build the planes for WWI. The train was the only way out. It crossed over a trestle in Waldport on the way to South Beach, since there weren’t really any usable roads. But just as they got it going, the war ended, and the tracks sat idle until 1922. Then Gordon Manary bought them, turned Camp One into a logging camp, logged the spruce, took it to South Beach via the train, and floated it upriver to Toledo to C. D. Johnson’s sawmill. “They ran the operation from 1922 to 1937, and at one time, 400 people lived here in Camp One,” he continued. “They had their own school and commissary— Manary’s old house is still standing. They used a big engine to haul the timber to South Beach and smaller, sidewinder engines worked the spur tracks all over these hills, bringing the logs into the main camp. There were miles of tracks everywhere. Camp One was one of 12 logging camps scattered all over the area. The 12th one was in Siletz.” It’s fascinating to look at the connection between the railroad and the timber industry in this area,” said Reisch. “Our goal as the historical society is to bring knowledge to the public of the major impact the railroad had.” Reisch said the historical society hopes to build an interpretive center in Toledo. “We were taken by surprise with an awesome gesture by Bob Melob of Willamette & Pacific Railway, who donated the railroad post office car that has been sitting next to the platform since the opening party (of the new Toledo Post Office) to us,” he said. “He feels that with appropriate interior renovation, this car could be ‘good to go,’ on a variety of assignments, including public awareness of track safety issues through Operation Lifesaver.”
Yamada was located on South Beaver Creek, three miles north of Alsea Bay and two miles due south of Ona. Yamada post office was established Mar. 26, 1898, with Newton L. Guilliams (1866-1932) first and only postmaster. The story of Yamada is an interesting but brief chapter in Lincoln County’s postal past. The rise and fall of Yamada took place in a span of about 21 months. Yamada’s story has its roots in Japan, where there are at least two places by that name. It is reported that Yamada post office was established as the result of some feuding between people on South Beaver Creek against the patrons of Ona post office, which was on the main Beaver Creek, or north branch. It is unfortunate for inquiring minds that the crux of the controversy was not recorded for posterity. Whatever the dispute, it probably came to an end when Guilliams persuaded postal authorities to established a post office on South Beaver Creek. The proliferation of post offices in the early days of Lincoln County probably can be attributed to poor or even nonexistent roads. Home delivery was challenging, if not impossible, and travel to a distant, centrally located post office for mail pickup was impractical. Quite often the post office was nothing more than a small corner of an isolated store that served a rural area rather than a real town. Store owners coveted a post office contract, as that amounted to a guarantee of a steady flow of foot traffic. A store with a post office instantly became a community’s social center and gathering place. In any event, Yamada post office had a short life. The name of a new post office usually was selected by the first postmaster. Whether Guilliams had ever been to Japan is not certain, but his brother, Rufus F. Guilliams (1862-1894), was a ship’s captain who in the year prior to his unexpected death in Dec. 1894 had been sealing off the coast of Alaska and cruising off the coast of Japan. The Japanese word yamada means a mountain field. They liked the sound of the word and later applied it to the Lincoln County post office. The Guilliams family had lived in Lincoln County since 1879 when Newton’s parents, Rachel Evelyn Barnes (1840-1932) and John L. Guilliams (1833-1917), and their eight children settled in South Beaver Creek. For reasons unknown, the Yamada post office was discontinued on Dec. 26, 1899, less than two years after it opened. The rival Ona post office remained in operation into the 1940s. Guilliams apparently lived out his years in Lincoln County. In the 1910 census he is listed as a farmer. Newton Guilliams, his parents and many of his siblings are buried in Fern Ridge Cemetery at Seal Rock.
Yaquina City, now a ghost town, was situated on the southeastern shore of Yaquina Bay, about four miles from its mouth, and was the terminus of the Willamette Valley & Coast Railway, where the company had a large dock and two warehouses, and a great amount of material, giving employment to many workmen. At Yaquina City wheat, and much other produce, would be shipped to the San Francisco market, en route to the wide world. The history of town is the history of railroading and tourism in Lincoln County and the development of the greater Newport area. Yaquina City, now only a memory of its boom town days of the late 19th and early 20th century was in its heyday the largest population center in Lincoln County with almost 2000 citizens. It was also a thriving tourist center. Although first platted just a brief seven years earlier, in 1889 Yaquina City boasted of: “Good school and church privileges, a fine hotel, a sawmill, three salmon canneries, the only banking house in the county outside of Corvallis, a shipyard, custom house, telephone office, large warehouses and docks with equipment for handling freight, railway depot and yard with the company’s machine shops and a number of other business establishments.” Other business establishments included Jacob’s & Neugass’ General Store as well as a drug store and a meat market. The grade school at one time reached an enrollment of 35 students, and a teacher daily crossed the bay to teach at the rapidly growing school. The Custom House, erected in 1881, was presided over by custom’s collector Collins Van Cleve and was situated about a quarter of a mile to the north of the dock of Yaquina City. The interests of the place being ably kept before the public by the Yaquina Post, a newspaper originally established in Newport by Van Cleve in Apr. 1882, and was moved to Yaquina City a month later. The paper consisted of eight pages, each with five columns, and its force was directed chiefly to “the benefit of the bay country.” Van Cleve was born in Morgan County, IL, Aug. 26, 1833. His father, Dr. John Van Cleve, was a Methodist minister. At the age of 14, Van Cleve apprenticed for the printer’s trade until the Civil War. Following the war, he worked for the Oregonian and Portland Times. In 1868, Van Cleve founded the Albany Register, which he edited until 1882. Directly across the bay from Yaquina City was the town of South Yaquina, but this area apparently was never developed to the extent of its sister city to the north. Fagan is quoted as saying: South Yaquina is “a town that as yet has only its name to boast of.” Yaquina post office, located about three miles miles southeast of Newport, was established Jul. 14, 1868, with Wm. Wallace Carr first postmaster. The post office was discontinued Oct. 25, 1869, and re-established Jul. 24, 1882. The office was discontinued again May 10, 1883, and re-established once more on Dec. 30, 1885. The office became a rural station of Newport on Jul. 31, 1961. West Yaquina, South Yaquina, Yaquina City, Yaquina Bay and Yaquina River, which heads near the Benton-Lincoln county line, and flows into the bay, bear the name of the Yaquina, a small tribe of the Yakonan family, formerly living about Yaquina Bay. Hale gives the the name as Yakon and Yakone, in Ethnology and Philology, 1846, p. 218; Lewis and Clark give Youikeones and Youone; Wilkes’ Western America, 1849, gives Yacone. Another form of the word is Acona. Yaquina John Point is on the south side of the entrance to Alsea Bay just southwest of Waldport. It was named for Yaquina John, a chief or councillor of the Yaquina, who lived in the vicinity of Alsea Bay. Yahal was a Yaquina Village on the north side of the Yaquina. In 1912, there were a few survivors, for the greater part are of mixed blood, on the Siletz Reservation. Located at Toledo, the world’s largest spruce sawmill was built by the US government in 1918 to cut spruce lumber for airplane manufacture. The mill was later sold to C. D. Johnson Lumber Company (now Georgia-Pacific Corporation). The 1500 soldiers of the Spruce Division who were stationed here were headquartered at Yaquina City.
Sermons (1): An Online Ministry of Rev. Marilyn A. Riedel
Early Words and Sermons (2) Early Words and Sermons (3)