Reuben Shipley was born a slave in Kentucky and emigrated to the Willamette Valley over the Oregon Trail in 1853 with his enslaver, Robert Shipley. In return for accompanying the family to Oregon, Reuben was given his freedom and worked for Eldridge Hartless on a farm south of Corvallis. He saved $1,500 with which he purchased 101 acres of the Charles Bales’ Donation Land Claim.
Mary Jane Holmes was born in …
Coal was first discovered in Coos County in 1853, and several mines opened before R. A. Graham and J. D. Spreckles and Brother Co. of San Francisco decided to run a spur of their railroad, the Coos Bay, Roseburg and Eastern, to a hill near Beaver Slough. The railroad reached Beaver Hill on August 22, 1894, and construction of houses and a store quickly got underway. The company town prospered …
In 1846, Oregon Trail pioneers Richard Howard (originally from Ohio), his wife Cynthia (of Kentucky), and their six children, staked a 640-acre Donation Land Claim around the oxbow of Milk Creek. That claim led to the founding of Mulino, and provided a livelihood for three generations of the Howard family.
Howard’s Grist Mill
Within a few years of the Howards’ arrival, water-powered industrial development and a successful milling business had transformed the …
Sightseeing at the mouth of Coos Bay
Whether you are a history buff, a naturalist of a visitor who loves it all, Coos Bay offers something for everyone. Spend the day exploring and you are certain to find something you enjoy!
Crossing the Bar
While the natural harbor of Coos Bay has been a shipping hub since the 1850s, the bar at its entrance was a challenge to navigators, Bar pilot Capt. James …
Dunes are an ever-changing landscape
The Coos Bay dune field is one of ten different sand due sheets spreading across half of the Oregon coast. The Coos Bay dune field, directly across the bay in front of you, is the southern end of a 60-mile-long dunes sheet that runs north to Florence. How and when did these dunes form?
Layers of a Dune “Sandwich”
The Coos Bay dunes consist of layers of ever-changing …
Life comes from the land and water
Here stood the Hanis Coos village of Qaimisiich. Along with their neighbors, the Miluk Coos, the Hanis Coos lived along Coos Bay, south to the Coquille River, and east to the Coast Range.
Experts in a sustainable life, the Coos people hunted, fished, and gathered here for many centuries. They traded with other tribes to obtain goods they could not find locally, such as …
In 1943, The African-American 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was formed. The “Triple Nickles” -as they spelled it- were the first black paratroopers in the segregated US Army during World War II.
In 1944- 1945, Japan launched incendiary balloon bombs across the Pacific to set US west coast forests ablaze and cause civilian panic. In May 1945, the military ordered the 555th on a classified mission, “Operation Firefly,” to counter this threat, …
Joel Perkins was 23 years old when he and several relatives traveled the Oregon Trail from Indiana in 1844. He quickly settled a land claim and, in December 1846, established the town of Lafayette, which the Oregon Provisional Government recognized as Yamhill County’s first county seat. Perkins made himself the town’s clerk, and when he officially platted it in 1849, he donated a full block to be used as the …
Formed in 1943, the all-Black 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was the first opportunity for African American officers and enlisted men to become paratroopers in the segregated US Army during World War II.
Balloon Bomb Blazes
In 1944-45, Japan launched balloon bombs eastward across the Pacific to set US west coast forests ablaze and cause civilian panic. In May 1945, the military ordered the “Triple Nickles” on a classified mission, code named “Operation …
Welcome to the Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast boasts forested headlands, towering dunes of sand, and sparkling lakes and rivers. From the Columbia River south to Bandon, the picturesque coastline is bordered to the east by the peaks of the Coast Range Mountains. These peaks are the remnants of a chain of volcanic islands that collided with the North American continent some 50 million years ago. The rugged southernmost section of …