A look at Oregon's History
Earthquake History of Oregon
Oregon Coast History Information
Clatsop County Historical Society--1618 Exchange--Astoria 325-2203
Columbia River Maritime Museum--1792 Marine Dr. Astoria 325-2323
Fire Fighters Museum--2986 Marine Dr. Astoria 325-0920
Flavel House--441 8th Astoria 325-2563
Heritage Museum--1618 Exchange-- Astoria 325-8395
Fort Stevens State Park--Hammond, Oregon 861-0879
Seaside Museum & Historical Sociey--570 Necanicum Dr. Seaside, Oregon 738-7065
History of Lincoln City
In 1837, North Lincoln County received its first tourists and vacationers. The
Reverend Jason Lee and his bride, Anna Marie Pittman, together with the Reverend's
assistant, Cyrus Shepard and his new bride, Susan Downing, visited the area on their
honeymoons in July of 1837. They traveled for four days on horseback from the
Willamette Valley to reach the coast (today, visitors from the Willamete Valley can
reach Lincoln City in 1 to 2 hours!).
Even though the region has been receiving vacationeers since 1837, the area
surrounding Lincoln City has not opened to settlement until 1895. Two years prior
to that , on February 20,1893, the county of Lincoln was formed by combining portions
of Polk and Benton Counties.
Before the onset of white settelment in 1895, the region was inhabited by several
branches of the Salish or Salishan Indians. These included the Tillamook, Nehalem
and Siletz branches. Specifically, the Siletz River and he Siletz Bay areas at the
south end of Lincoln City were the home of the Siletz branch. Today, the Siletz Pow-Wow
is an annual event held to recognize and celebrate the important part of our past.
The first white settlers to the area were fisherman who were attracted by the large
number of salmon that could be found in the Siletz and Salmon Rivers. Quick to follow
were farmers and homesteaders. To access their homes and land, these early settlers
used a military road that ran from Corvallis (in the Willamette Valley) to the Yaquina Bay
and a road from Toledo to the Siletz River. From that point, travelers had to
proceed upriver by boat.
By 1926, Highway 101, then known as the coast route or the Roosevelt Highway,
was passable from Taft to Newport. In places it consisted of long streches of wooden
planks approximately four feet above the ground. Particularly in the wintertime,
"passable" must surely have been a matte of opinion!
On July 6, 1896, the first post office in the area was established in Kernville. It was
housed in a fish cannery on the Siletz River. John Kern, brother of the town's founder,
Daniel Kern of Portland, became North Lincoln County's firdt postmaster. In 1899, the
Cutler City post office wa formed, and 1906, 1923, 1927 and 1929, those at Taft,
Delake, Oceanlake and Nelscott, respectively, were established.
After the annexation of Wecoma Beach in 1955, it was decided that the area's
residents would be serverd if the five townships of Cutler City, Taft, Delake, Oceanlake
and Nelscott were consolidated into one. Additional srtife arose over the consolidation
and naming of the new town. It quickly became evident that an entirely new name
for the city was needed. Many suggestions were submitted and "Lincoln City" was
ultimately chosen. On March 5, 1965, consolidation was voted in.
Today, Lincoln City is a thriving community strongly dependent on the tourism trade
for its economic well-being. It has become a popular retirement area and is expanding
in many areas of business and commerce as well.
THE HISTORY OF DEVILS LAKE
Indian Folklore...The mystery of Devils Lake remains unsolved.
The legend does not die but grows with retelling. Devils Lake was once
known as Indian Bay until it was inhabited by an evil spirit. Siletz Indian
warriors were sometimes mysteriously lost in the lake. On one occasion, as
later recited by early white setters, Chief Fleetfoor dispatched his warriors
across the waters. Suddenly in the moon path of the evening waters of the
lake there was a turmoil. Gigantic tentacles wrapped themselves about the
frail canoes. With cries of warning they were pulled below the surface
never to be seen again. It is said that if a boat crosses the moons reflection
at night in the center of the lake a strange chill of fear will be felt by
the occupants of the boat. Even today great feasts and festivals are held on
the shores of Devils Lake to pacify the spirit of the lake.
14,000 BC-----Devils Lake formed when sand dunes and beach deposits blocked the lower
end of the valley drained by the D River.
1800's--------Devils Lake named for Indian legend
1900's--------Human activity around the lake contributed to a degradation
of water quality.
1980----------Lincoln City qualified for an EPA Clean Lakes Phase 1 Diagnostics
and Feasibility Study, the first step toward lake restoration.
1982----------Preservation Association of Devils Lake was formed to promote
1982----------Diagnostis and fesability study completed
1984----------Devils Lake Water Improvement District formed by vote of the people
1985--------- Devils Lake Water Improvement District qualified for an EPA
Clean Lakes Phase II Restoration Grant using a multifaceted approach
centered on biological controll of aquatic vegetation using grass carp.
1986--------Devils Lake stocked with 27,090 weed-eating Chinese Grass Carp
1986-92----Monitoring program to assess the effects of the Grass Carp on
the weeds, gamefish, wildlife and water quality. Recreation increases as
vegetation is reduced by the Grass Carp.
THE LEGEND OF BANDON'S FACE ROCK
Seatka, the evil spirit of the ocean,lived along the
coast. No good came from him. All the coast tribes
feared him, for they knew how dangerous he was.
The tribes of the far mountains feared him not and when
they came to the coast to trade, they brought with them
their families, horses and dogs and the children carried
The great Chief Siskiyou was coming that Chinook moon of
long ago, bringing with him his daughter, Ewauna. This
was a great honor and a potlatch was planned by the four
chiefs of the coast. Necomah, being the strongest of
them all, was appointed by the other three chiefs as
manager of the affair.
Because of the determination to show how prosperous the
coast nations were, the potlatch of all potlatches was
The days before the potlatch were busy for the coastal
tribes. Necomah ordered great quantities of clams and
mussels gathered and placed in huge mounds covered with
sea moss and spicy leaves of the myrtle tree ready for
Eight fat bear were readied for the hot spit. The Elks
brought 100 salmon, cleaned and ready for the spits of
green willow boughs under which glowed driftwood fires,
the hot coals of which were best for the roasting.
The old squaws tended these. The Sixes brought the meat
of a dozen elk; the Rogues, 20 cayuses loaded with deer,
dressed and ready for the feast.
Under a long arbor of cedar trees, the tables were
placed - logs split down the middle were used with flat
>From cedar bark, the squaws made huge trays which were
filled with huckleberries and wild honey. Spoons of clam
shells, plates of bark and cups, hollowed from burnt
wood, kept the squaws busy, although plenty of time was
allowed for the preparations.
On the hills behind the camp, a lookout was placed to
herald the approaching visitors. On the bluff, armed
warriors were watching so that Seatka could not cause
With a yell, the runners tell of the coming of the
Siskiyou a day and a night off. Into the pit go the
bear, elk and deer, covered deep with hot bark. The
clams are not cooked until the last hour before the
First to arrive was Chief Siskiyou with his beautiful
daughter. He encamped at some distance from the potlatch
Ewauna had never seen the ocean. To her, it was most
beautiful for she thought at last she had found the
place where the beautiful clouds were made that she saw
each day from her home in the mountains.
She laughed at the warnings of the old men to be careful
not to wander alone near the bluffs as Seatka might see
her and claim her for his own.
She brought with her her dog, Komax, and her cat and
kittens which she carried in a basket. Her father had
bought the cat from a French trader who had carried it
from Montreal. The cat and kittens were great
curiosities to the coast tribes who had never before
seen a domestic cat. The wonder of the Tenas Puss Puss
was passed from tribe to tribe.
In the early morn of the second day came the four chiefs
dressed in their magnificent regalia. Necomah, with
salutations of good will, magnanimously presented his
gift of wampum inviting the great chief and his people
to the greatest of all potlatches given in honor of the
magnitude of the Chief Siskiyou's power.
This impressed the great chief and he accepted with
stoical indifference. The four chiefs were followed by
Chief Siskiyou and in single file, the men were followed
by the women.
The wind wafted the odors of the great viands of the
feast. It quickened their steps. Soon all were seated.
Necomah gave the welcome talk:
Klakahama, my friend:
Klakahama talks to the great spirit -
The great spirit talks to Klakahama.
I make much sun, much grass.
Many bear, many elk, many fish.
I make plenty to eat.
All day they feasted until they could eat no more. They
slept where they sat. Ewauna slipped away from the
sleeping camp. Calling her dog and her cat and kittens,
she started for the beach. She wished to see old Wecoma,
the sea, making the white clouds.
The full Chinook Moon hung low over the sea - lucid,
resplendent in all its glory. Ewauna ran and danced with
delight, singing her dance song to the moon. So happy
was she with the grandeur of this beautiful Wecoma, she
danced nearer and nearer to the water, feeling the
wonder of the cool touch of it.
She dropped her basket, telling Komax to watch. She ran
out into Wecoma and swam and swam - wild with glee. On
and on she swam, paying no attention to the dog's cry of
danger. On and on, far from the shore she swam. The
friendly moon became obscured as by a black hand and the
next thing she knew, she was being grasped by a fearsome
creature who came out of the water near her.
Komax, who had failed to make her hear his danger call,
swam out with the basket and, as the monster seized his
beloved mistress, Komax struck his sharp teeth into the
hand. Howling with rage, the creature kicked the dog
off, causing him to drop the basket. Grabbing the cat
and kittens, he threw them far into the sea.
Seatka held the girl tightly, trying to make her look at
him, as his treacherous power lay in his eyes. This she
refused to do, telling him she never, never would -
keeping her face to the friendly moon.
At sunrise, her father awoke, and finding his daughter
gone, gave the alarm. They rushed to the sea. Fearfully,
they gazed out, seeing the dawn break through the white
mist, and then they saw the beautiful face of Ewauna
lying on the sea, smiling up at the white clouds coming
from the north. To the west, they saw her cat and
kittens and near the beach, poor Komax baying for his
Behind the large rocks near the shore sits Seatka,
gazing at Ewauna - still trying to catch her eye.
But never, never does she falter.
Many, many moons has she been there.
Now, they have all turned to stone.
Oswald West State Park
Oswald West State Park
Oswald West State Park was to honor an early Oregon Governer who advocated that the beaches
of Oregon belonged to the people and that access should be available to all.
The name 'Smugglers Cove' came from the Prohabition days and was a port where Rum was being
There is a trail that will take you up the north side of Neahkahnie mountain, to the top
of a 1700' spectacular view of the pacific ocean and down the south side to Highway 101.
Neahkahanie mountain was a watch post for the Coast Guard in WWII. Blimps
from the Tillamook Air Station patrolled the Oregon Coast. This air station is now the
Tillamook Naval air Museum.
If you have stories about the history of the oregon coast you would like to share,
Please e-mail me with your story.
© All rights reserved 1996-2000 Coastman Inc.