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HISTORICAL and GENEALOGICAL 

RESEARCH SOURCES

for OREGON'S SOUTH COAST

 

Prepared by Steve Greif

and the Coos County Historical Society (2013)

(Please contact the Historical Society for additions or edits to this guide)

 


INTRODUCTION


      The following information is intended to be a general, preliminary guide for those persons conducting research on Coos County and south coast history and genealogy. Operating hours for libraries, courthouses, and museums vary, so call ahead for the latest information. Native Americans lived on the Oregon south coast for thousands of years establishing a culture that continues today. Starting in 1542, European explorers began sea exploration of the area. A Hudson’s Bay Fur Company explorer, Alexander McLeod (1827) and an American fur trapper, Jedediah Smith (1828) became the first Euro-Americans to explore the region by land. The wreck of the Captain Lincoln occurred on the North Spit of Coos Bay in 1852; the following year, Empire City on Coos Bay was established as the first townsite. By December 22, 1853 Coos County was formed by the Oregon territorial legislature. The county, river, and bay took their name from the native Coos Indians and first appeared in print in the Lewis and Clark journals as “Cook-koo-oose”. The Coos County Historical Society was formed in 1891. Empire City served as the county seat from its founding until 1896, when citizens voted to move the county seat to Coquille. At various times the county economy has thrived on mining (gold/coal), shipbuilding, lumbering, agriculture, fisheries, and tourism.


MUSEUMS


     There are many good museums on the south coast which allow visitors the chance to view interesting artifacts. Most have very limited research capability for patrons, however. Call ahead for information about exhibits, hours of operation, and services. Some have good websites (see below...and check the "Links" connection on the menu of this website).

Bandon Historical Society Museum (bandonhistoricalmuseum.org

270 Filmore, Bandon, OR 97411. Phone: 541.347.2164


Coos Historical and Maritime Museum (cooshistory.org) 

1220 Sherman Ave., North Bend, OR 97459. Phone: 541.756.6320


Coos County Logging Museum (coquillevalley.org/loggingmuseum) 

705 Maple, Myrtle Point, OR 97458 Phone: 541.572.1014


Coos County Fairgrounds Museum 
(fairgroundsmuseum.coquillevalley.org) 

770 4th Street, Myrtle Point, OR  97458 Phone: 541.572.2002  


Coos Art Museum (coosart.org

235 Anderson, Coos Bay, OR 97420. Phone: 541.267.3901


Coquille Valley Museum (coquillevalley.org)  

153 N. Central, Coquille, OR  97423 Phone: 541.396.2773


Chetco Valley Historical Society Museum (chetcomuseum.org) 

15461 Museum Road, Brookings, OR 97415 Phone: 541.469.6651


Curry County Historical Society (curryhistory.com) 

29419 Ellensburg Avenue, Gold Beach, OR 97444 Phone: 541.247.9396


Marshfield Sun Printing Museum 

1049 Front St. (PO Box 783), Coos Bay, OR 97420


Umpqua Discovery Center (umpquadiscoverycenter.com

409 Riverfront Way, Reedsport, OR 97467 Phone: 541.271.4816

 

GENEALOGY

 

The Family History Center at 3355 Virginia Street, North Bend, OR 97459 Phone: 541.756.3575 has a large collection of genealogical material related to Coos County in this LDS library including: The Oregon Biography Index; the Coos County Ancestor File; Coos County territorial and federal census records; cemetery and obituary records; marriage, birth, and death records; land and probate records; tax and military records; and various directories. Open Tues (10am-9pm), Wed (10am-6pm), Thurs (10am-9pm), Fri (10am-4pm) Website: familysearch.org

 

INTERNET

 

• The Oregon Encyclopedia is an internet based resource that has many articles related to the south coast.  See www.oregonencyclopedia.org

  • The Coos County Home Historian website has links for those people interested in finding more information about a particular home, or any other building, in Coos County.
  • For access to the vast library resources of Coos County or the Oregon south coast visit cooslibraries.org
  • Many Oregon newspapers, including some in Coos County, are now available online at a website called Historic Oregon Newspapers: http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/ Previously microfilmed newspapers are being digitalized through a program at the University of Oregon Library. Key word searches are made available at the site
  • The Southern Oregon Digital Archives at http://soda.sou.edu/ brings together books, maps, government documents, oral histories, correspondence, and miscellaneous materials that document the unique historical experience of Southern Oregon, including Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine Counties.

     • The website you are on, Coos County Historical Society (www.cooshistory.org), has a timeline of  

        south coast history, a short history of the Coos Bay area, and other history links.

  • You can learn about the pioneer cemetery near Marshfield High School by visiting this website: cbcemetery
  • Many Oregon newspapers, including some from Coos County, are now available online at a website called Historic Oregon Newspapers found at:  http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/.  Previously microfilmed newspapers are being digitalized through a program at the University of Oregon Library. Key word searches make this site user friendly.

 

AT THE COURTHOUSE


Coos County Courthouse 250 North Baxter, Coquille, OR 97423 Phone: 541.396.3121 or the annex in North Bend at 541.756.2020

      • Land Records

Index to Deed, Mortgage and Misc. Records available from 1854 to present in the office of the County Clerk. Part one, an alphabetical list of all grantors and grantees, provides the index number for part two which abstracts all documents related to the individual or family represented by that number. Deeds are available from 1854 to present. Books 1 - 16 are available at the Family History Center and the CB Public Library.

  • Marriage Records
Marriage certificates, consent notes are available from 1854 to present in the office of the County Clerk. Records are arranged chronologically. Microfilm copy of the early records has an alphabetical index. Remainder is indexed in each volume by first letter of the surname only. Prior to 1899 records were indexed for the groom only.

  • Naturalization
Records available from 1850's to 1906, mostly at County Clerk’s office. Some records may be found in County Court minute books or in the Circuit Court Journal. After 1906 records are available from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

  • Miscellaneous Records
County Commissioners Minutes: 1854 to present in office of the County Clerk. Contains early jury lists, road orders, accounts, etc. County Law Packets: early cases of minor infractions heard by County Court. Road Cases: Contain petitions, reports, road surveys and other data dealing with construction and maintenance of county roads. Birth & Death Registers: Several registers cover the time span of 1903 - 1929. Not all events recorded. Also available… Womens Separate Property; Authority to Solemnize Marriage; Peddlers Licenses 1909 – 1917; Record of Registered Nurses; Medical Licenses; Warrants; Mechanics Liens; Mining Claims

  • Probate Records
Available from 1854 to the present located through the Court Administrator for Coos County Circuit Court. Have been microfilmed, but some of the early packets are unreadable. Packet may contain petitions for probate, lists of heirs at law, sometimes wills, inventories, guardian records, accounts, receipts, etc. Original wills are in the probate packets. The first book of recorded wills is labeled Will Book "B" and begins in 1870. Circuit Court Journal contains man early naturalization records. Circuit Court Record packets have divorce actions and other civil court cases, many dealing with probate and land disputes. Packets contain petitions, answers, depositions, motions, subpoenas, etc. Criminal Packets contain indictments, depositions, etc.

 

LIBRARIES


Area libraries have published material available for check out with additional rare or out-of-print resources available for reference use in the library only. Some also house microfilm for newspapers and oral histories (see below). For vast library resources on Coos County or the south coast visit www.cooslibraries.org

Coos Bay City Library, 525 Anderson, Coos Bay, OR 97420. Phone: 541.269.1101
North Bend City Library, 1800 Sherman Ave., North Bend, OR 97459 Phone: 541.756.0400
Coquille Public Library, 105 Birch Street, Coquille, OR 97423, Phone: 541.396.2166
Bandon City Library,1204 11th St. SW, Bandon, OR 97411 (PO Box 128) Phone: 541.347.3221
Myrtle Point Public Library, 435 5th Street, Myrtle Point, OR 97458 Phone: 541.572.2591
Lakeside Library, 915 North Lake Road, Lakeside, OR 97449 Phone: 541.759.4432
Hazel M. Lewis Library, 302 Fir Street, Powers, OR 97466 Phone: 541.439.5311
Dora Public Library, 56125 Goldbrick Road, Myrtle Pt, OR 97458 Phone: 541.572.6009
Southwestern Oregon Community College Library, 1988 Newmark, Coos Bay, OR  541.888.7270
Reedsport Public Library, 395 Winchester, Reedsport, OR 97467  Phone: 541.271.3500
Curry Public Library, 29775 Colvin, Gold Beach, OR 97444  Phone: 541.247.7246

 

MAPS AND GEOGRAPHY
          

Maps provide a context for the study of historical sites and events. Pioneer Trails of the Oregon Coast by Samuel Dicken (1971, reprint 1978) is an important work showing Native American and pioneer routes. Samuel and Emily Dicken also produced The Making of Oregon: A Study in Historical Geography (1979). This text covers the entire state but includes information, maps, and photos of south coast. The Atlas of Oregon by William Loy (2001) is a newly revised atlas of the entire state. Also consider Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest by Derek Hayes (1999) or Resource Atlas: Coos County,OR by Oregon State University (1973). Information about the origins of place names is found in Oregon Geographic Names by Lewis McArthur (7th edition, 2003). Fire insurance maps like those from the Sanborn-Perris Map Company, located in local libraries and on-line at the Coos Bay Public Library website (cooslibraries.org), are good sources for determining which buildings stood in the cities at various times in their history.


ORAL AND VIDEO HISTORIES
         

     A “Living History Series” is held at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay. The impressive, indexed oral history collection has over 250 interviews on taped cassettes of long-time county residents relating their memories. There are also videos on various aspects of Coos County history in the county library collection.

     The Coos Bay Public Library has digital recorders available for patrons to check out and record oral history. The also have CD's and paper transcripts of oral histories they have already collected.


PHOTOGRAPHS
  • The Coos Historical and Maritime Museum in North Bend has over 250,000 images including approximately 3000 historic negatives from the Jack Slattery Collection; about 50,000 images from past issues of The World newspaper, over 50,000 images from the Victor West maritime collection, and another 7000 prints, postcards, glass plates and other negatives. The Society's images are being digitalized and indexed and will eventually be available for the public to browse and purchase. Researchers should note that The World images have not yet been indexed but are currently arranged by their date of publication.

    The Coos County Historical Society and The World newspaper jointly published two volumes of Coos County historic photographs: Coos County: The Early Years (1998) and Coos County: The Glory Years (2000), both edited by Kathy Erickson. These volumes are for sale both at The World in Coos Bay and the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum in North Bend.
  • Other collections of photos are found in the Images of America series. Images of America: Coos County, by Lise Hull (2007) has photos almost exclusively from the collection of the Coos County Historical Society. Images of America: Lighthouses and Life-Saving on the Oregon Coast by David Pinyerd (2007) has sections on the Umpqua River, Coos Bay, Coquille River, and Cape Blanco lights. Images of America: North Bend by Dick and Judy Wagner (2010) uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs with extensive captions to show the history of the city of North Bend, Oregon. Images of America: Shipwrecks of Coos County by H.S. Contino (2011) uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs with extensive captions to show the history of local shipwrecks. Images of America: Reedsport by Jim Akre, the Umpqua Discovery Center, and the Douglas County Museum (2011). This volume has many captioned photos about the town on the lower Umpqua River. For other pictures of early Reedsport see Pictorial History of the Lower Umpqua an official Bicentennial project of the Lower Umpqua Historical Society (1976). Images of America: Coos Bay by Andie Jensen (2012) uses many CCHS photos to show the history of city of Marshfield / Coos Bay.


• The Bandon Historical Society Museum in Bandon also has a large collection of digitalized images, many of which are available for sale. A volume that has many historic photos of Bandon, contrasting them with more modern photos of the same places, is Bandon Then & Now, by the Bandon Centennial Committee (1989). See the Langlois Centennial Committee (1981) for an album of that Curry County town called Langlois: 1881-1981.


PUBLISHED MATERIAL: GENERAL HISTORY

The Coos Historical and Maritime Museum, and local bookstores, are good sources for books available for sale. Currently the museum stocks a number of modern titles in the gift shop and offers a 10% discount to current members of the Historical Society. Many of the volumes below are out of print although most may be found in special reference sections in local public libraries.

  • The standard beginning place is: A Guide to Oregon South Coast History: Following the Jedediah Smith Trail by Nathan Douthit (self published in 1986, revised edition by OSU Press, 1999). This is the best modern general history of the south coast from the Chetco River to the Umpqua River. The book traces the 1826 route of Jedediah Smith, the first American to explore the south coast by land, and also tells the story of each locality since the Smith expedition.

    One of the earliest published histories, but out of print, is Pioneer History of Coos/Curry Counties: Heroic Deeds and Thrilling Adventures of the Early Settlers by Orville Dodge (1898, reprint 1968). It has stories of the very beginnings of white settlement on the south coast and is largely a compilation of pioneer narratives.
  • The CCHS published A Century of Coos and Curry: History of Southwest Oregon by Emil Peterson and Alfred Powers (1952, reprint 1977) that is still available for sale at the CCHS bookstore. This text sketches the Indian-White encounters and white town developments in the 19th century up to about 1950 and includes a compilation of short essays by local writers on various subjects like culture, agriculture, and industries.
  • History of Southern Oregon Comprising Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Curry and Coos Counties by A. G. Walling (1884), which has valuable biographies, is also out of print.
  • Another early important standard is Destination West: A Pioneer Woman on the Oregon Trail by Agnes Sengstacken (1942, reprinted 1972). This is the narrative of Ester Lockhart, one of the first three Coos Bay region pioneer women, who came to Empire City in 1853.
  • The Way it Really Was in Coos and Curry Counties by Boyd Stone (1993)
  • Also explore issues of the Coos Historical Journal found in the Coos Bay City Library and a collection of Southwestern Oregon Community College student research papers in that library titled “History of Southwestern Oregon” (1974).
  • Images of America:  Coos County by Lise Hall (2007). One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs with extensive captions to show the history of Coos County, Oregon. There are "Images of America" books on several other specific topics and localities (see below).

PUBLISHED MATERIAL: SPECIFIC LOCALITIES


Bandon

  • Wooden Ships and Master Craftsmen by Ernest Osborne (1978)
  • Bandon Then & Now by the Bandon Centennial Book Committee (1989).
  • The Night Bandon Burned by Curt Beckham (1997, 1985)
  • Bandon By-The-Sea by Dow Beckham (1997)
  • Bandon Tales by Carol Fanning (1997)
  • Bandon Tales : Stories of Country Life by Granny Abbott [i.e. Carol Fanning] (1997)


Charleston

  • Blood on the Half Shell (1983) and Romance on the Half Shell-- and More (1990), both by Alfred Qualman, tells of a Coos Bay oyster business by an local oyster-man.
  • Ojiisan: oh gee saan, the Life and Times of Al Qualman by Alfred Qualman (1989)
    The Simpsons of Shore Acres by Stephen Dow Beckham (1971, reprinted 1991)
  • South Slough Adventures: Life on a Southern Oregon Estuary ed. by Melody Caldera (1995, second edition 2006)


Coos Bay

  • “An Historical Sketch of Coos Bay” [manuscript] by William T. McLean (1966)
  • Coos Bay, the Pioneer Period (1851-1890) by Stephen Dow Beckham (1973)
  • The Coos Bay Region 1890-1944: Life on a Coastal Frontier by Nathan Douthit (1981, 2nd edition, 2005) is a book about the post-pioneer era. He relied on oral history interviews as well as historical documents and photographs.
  • “A History of the Port of Coos Bay (1852-1952)”, a manuscript by George B. Case (1984)
  • And Everybody Knew Everybody: Life in the Coos Bay Region in the Years from World War I through the Depression by Deanna McDaniel (1986)
  • Hard Times in Paradise: Coos Bay, OR, 1850-1986 by William Robbins (1988, revised edition 2008) took on the issue of corporate responsibility for the stability and survival of timber dependent communities.
  • Eighty-Eight Years on Coos Bay by Lorance Eickworth (1993)
  • History of the Public Library of Coos Bay, Oregon by Jon Littlefield, Ellen Thompson, and Carol Ventgen (2009) is a centennial publication.
  • Law on the Bay: Marshfield, Oregon 1874-1944 by Andie E. Jensen (2010). The author shares extensive newspaper research about the crimes and law enforcement officers in old Coos Bay.
  • Fifty Years, Honoring Our Past, Lighting the Future: The Story of Southwestern Oregon Community College by William Lansing (2011). Richly illustrated with key documents, this volume describes the founding, development, funding issues, and programs associated with the first 50 years os SWOCC.
  • Between Two Worlds: Chinese of Marshfield, Oregon by Jon Littlefield (2011). Chinese immgrants came to Coos County to build the railroads, work in the mines and canneries, serve as cooks in lumber camps, and operate stores. This is the story of several Chinese families in the area from about 1880 to 1940.
  • Images of America: Coos Bay by Andie Jensen (2012). One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs from the Coos County Historical Society with extensive captions to show the history of the city of Coos Bay, Oregon. 
  • My Memories by Philip A. Matson (2012). "A collection of memoirs of growing up and beyond in Marshfield, Oregon during the mid-twentieth century".
  • O Pilot! Historical Sketches of the Coos Bay Bar Pilots by Captain Steven E. Woods and Jeanne Woods (2013). Sea stories from the 1850s to the present are told through the biographies of the men who were bar pilots on the Coos Bay harbor. There is also a first person account of the attempted rescue of the New Carissa.


Coos River

  • Coos River Echoes by Charlotte Mahaffy (1965).  Mahaffy collected biographical sketches of people who lived on the river valley and clipped short news articles from local newspapers to  illustrate river community life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The Goulds of Elkhorn by Aileen Barker Rickard (1982). This is a family history, centering on George Gould's settlement near the center of the "Big Burn" of the Coos County forest fire of 1868 and what it was like to raise a family in a wilderness homestead from 1885 to 1912.
  • Caulked Boots and Cheese Sandwiches: A Forester's History of Oregon's First State Forest "The Elliot", 1912-1996 by Jerry Phillips (1997). A personal history of the Elliot by a forester who worked there from 1956-1989.

  • Above the Falls: an Oral and Folk History of Upper Glenn Creek, Coos County, Oregon by Lionel Youst (1992, 2nd edition 2003). This detailed book tells about the wilderness homesteads on a tributary of the East Fork of the Millicoma RIver.
  • Millicoma: Biography of a Pacific Northwest Forest by Authur V. Smyth (2000). A personal history of the Weyerhaeuser Millicoma Forest.
  • Lost in Coos by Lionel Youst (2011). "Heroic Deeds and Thrilling Adventures of Searches and Rescues on Coos River, Coos County, Oregon, 1871-2000". Twelve stories of accidents and rescues in the wilds of Coos County.
  • In the Shadow of Sugarloaf by George H. Whitney, compiled and edited by Carolyn Whitney Prola (2012). Memoirs of a Myrtle Point area resident who also spent a part of his early life up Coos River.


Coquille

  • Bits and Pieces of Coquille History by Curt Beckham (1985)
  • You Are the Stars: History of the Coquille Area by Boyd Stone (1995)
  • Coos County Courthouse: 100 years, 1896-1996 by the Coquille Valley Sentinel
  • Memories from Out of the Past by Boyd Stone (1999)
  • My Valley by Boyd Stone (2008). A history of the Coquille River Valley, its outlying areas, and more.
  • The Coquille Valley by the Coquille Valley Historical Society, edited by Patti and Hal Strain (2009) is a comprehensive two-volume work.


Curry County

  • Pioneer History of Coos/Curry Counties: Heroic Deeds and Thrilling Adventures of the Early Settlers by Orville Dodge (1898, reprint 1968).  It has stories of the very beginnings of white settlement on the  South Coast and is largely a compilation of pioneer narratives.
  • The CCHS published A Century of Coos and Curry: History of Southwest Oregon by Emil Peterson and Alfred Powers (1952, reprint 1977) that is still available for sale at the CCHS bookstore. This text sketches the Indian-White encounters and white town developments in the 19th century up to about 1950 and includes a compilation of short essays by local writers on various subjects like culture, agriculture, and industries.
  • Requiem for a People: Rogue Indians and the Frontiersmen  by Stephen Dow Beckham (1971, 2nd edition 1996).  The classic treatment of the Rogue River Indian War. 
  • Tall Tales from Rogue River: The Yarns of Hathaway Jones edited by Stephen Dow Beckham (1974) is an important folklore collection from the Rogue River area as presented by famous local miner and mail carrier Hathaway Jones. 
  • The People and the River: a History of the Takelma Indians of the  Upper Rogue RiverCountry by Elizabeth Heckert (1977) 
  • Illahe : the Story of Settlement in the  Rogue River Canyon by Kay Atwood (1978)
  • A Guide to  Oregon South Coast History: Following the Jedediah Smith Trail by Nathan Douthit (1986, revised 1999) tells about each campsite of the Smith expedition on their Oregon trip and has been one of the most popular recent local history books.
  • Settling the  Rogue Valley : the Tough Times and Forgotten People by Barbara Hegne (1995) 
  • The People and the River: a History of the Takelma Indians of the  Upper Rogue RiverCountry by Elizabeth Heckert (1977)
  • The  Rogue RiverIndian War and its Aftermath: 1850-1980 by E.A. Schwartz (1997)
  • Until the Last Arrow, A True Story of the Indian Wars and Gold Rushes that Opened the…Rogue River Valley by Percy T. Booth (1997)
  • They Found Gold on the Beach: a History of Central Curry County, an Oregon Documentary by Walt Schroeder (1999)
  • Uncertain Encounters: Indians and Whites at Peace and War in Southern Oregon 1820s-1860s by Nathan Douthit (2002)
  • Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast  by Elinor DeWire (2010).  Stories about 64 lighthouses from southern  California to northern Washington including local lighthouses at Cape Blanco, Coquille River, Cape Arago, and the Umpqua River .
  • Images of America: Port Orford and North Curry County by Shirley Nelson (2010).  One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs, with extensive captions, to show the history of northern Curry County.
  • Images of America: Gold Beach and South Curry County by Meryl Boice (2012).  One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs, with extensive captions, to show the history of southern Curry County.


Eastside/Catching Slough

  • A Man from Eastside : the Autobiography of James Hubert Whitty by James H. Whitty (1975)
  • Geordie: The Life and Times of George Ross, Jr., (1905-1995) by Gordon Ross (2000)
  • Yester Years by Gordon Ross (2001)
Kentuck Inlet
  • Up Kentuck Inlet by Edna Selthon (1992, 1994)

Lakeside
  • Heart of Lakeside by Edna Skinner (1978)

Myrtle Point
  • The Baltimore Colony and Pioneer Recollections Taken from the Original Notes of the Honorable Binger Hermann by Binger Hermann and the Baltimore Colony Centennial Committee (written in 1916; published in 1959)
  • After the Covered Wagons : Recollections of Russell C. and Ellis S. Dement, by E.R. Jackman (1962). In 1934, at the age of eighty-three, Russell C. Dement. recorded some of his early day experiences in his exact words, except for some explanatory material, so indicated, supplied by his son Ellis.
  • Pioneers and Incidents of the Upper Coquille Valley by Alice Wooldridge (1971). Wooldrige collected biographical sketches of people who lived on the river valley and clipped short news articles from local newspapers to illustrate river community life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Remember When by Nellie Palmer (1983)
  • Myrtle Point Beginnings by Curt Beckham (1986)
  • A Love Affair with Oregon by Dee Jamison (1989)
  • Grandma Northup's Diary by Jane M. Northup, transcribed by Evelyn Northup (1990)
  • As I Remember by Kenneth Peel (1993)
  • Seventh Son by Aileen Barker Rickard (2001)
  • In the Shadow of Sugarloaf by George H. Whitney, compiled and edited by Carolyn Whitney Prola (2012). Memoirs of a Myrtle Point area resident who also spent a part of his early life up Coos River.
  • Images of America:  Myrtle Point and Vicinity 1893-1950 by Chuck King, Linda Kirk, Carolyn Prola, and Mary Ellen Robertson (2014).  One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs, with extensive captions, to show the history of the city of Myrtle Point, Oregon.  

  • Reminiscing:  One Man’s Recollection of Logging in the Golden Years by Glen Olson (2014).  A history of South Coast logging by one of the strong supporters of the Coos County Logging Museum located in Myrtle Point. 



North Bend

  • Vern C. Gorst: Pioneer and Grandad of United Air Lines by Wilbur Gorst (1979). This book by Gorst's son has the history and photos of how early pioneers coped with transportation issues in the Bay Area and on the West Coast.
  • Louie Simpson’s North Bend by Richard Wagner (1986) includes photos, a map, and descriptions of key buildings in the early days of the city.
  • In A Small Puddle by Nellie Ripper (1987)
  • “North Bend’s Depression Issue Myrtlewood” by Patricia Choat Pierce (1993) is a brief pamphlet about how the city creatively dealt with the closure of its only bank in 1933.
  • Birth, Boyhood and Beyond by George E. Gebhardt (1994) is the autobiography of an important North Bend businessman.
  • And Afterward: a Sometimes Every Now & Then Journal by Nellie Ripper (2002)
  • The Uncommon Life of Louis Jerome Simpson by Judith and Richard Wagner (2003) is the best biography about the life of the founder of the city of North Bend.
  • North Bend Between the Wars: 1919-1941 (2005) by Richard and Judy Wagner continues the North Bend story with more photos and description of the growing city up to World War II.
  • Vern Gorst and the Pacific Air Transport Air Mail by Ron Bartley (2006). This chronicles the life of an important aviation pioneer that lived in North Bend from 1912-1964.
  • Instigator: the Troubled Life of Lorenzo Dow Kinney by Richard and Judy Wagner (2008) is the study of one of North Bend’s most flamboyant promoters.
  • Images of America: North Bend by Dick and Judy Wagner (2010). One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs from the Coos County Historical Society with extensive captions to show the history of the city of North Bend, Oregon.


Norway

  • Years Ago at Norway by Mrs. Roy Robison (1983)

Powers
  • The Powers Story by Victor Stevens (1979)
  • A Love Affair with Oregon by Dee Jamison (1989) who was a cook in a logging camp above Powers

Reedsport/Gardiner
  • Umpqua: The Lost County of Oregon by Jerry Winterbotham (1994)
  • Gardiner, Oregon: 1850-2000 by Patricia Rohde and E. Lorraine Potter (2001)
  • Images of America: Reedsport by Jim Akre, the Umpqua Discovery Center, and the Douglas County Museum (2011). One in a series of Images of American books, this volume has many captioned photos about the town on the lower Umpqua River.



PUBLISHED MATERIAL: SPECIFIC TOPICS

Agriculture

  • Life of a Cranberry Grower by Ethel Reichenbach (1981) tells the authors life story and gives information about the cranberry industry.
  • $10,000 or Ten Years: Memoirs of the Brelage Family by Herman Brelage (1991) known for his family dairy.
  • Curry County Agriculture: the People and the Land - an Oregon Documentary by Walt Schroeder (1998)


Animals

  • Clam Digging & Crabbing in Oregon by John A. Johnson (1990)
  • Birding the Southern Oregon Coast by Stephen Brown (1996)
  • Curry County Agriculture: the People and the Land - an Oregon Documentary by Walt Schroeder (1998)
  • Birds of Coos County, Oregon: Status and Distribution by Alan Contreras (1998)
  • The Beachcomber's Guide to Seashore LIfe in the Pacific Northwest by J. Duane Sept (revised edition 1999).


Biography

  • Doubling Back: Autobiography of an Actor by Edwards Hoag Meade (1916) who came to Coos County in 1914.
  • Destination West: A Pioneer Woman on the Oregon Trail by Agnes Sengstacken (1942, reprinted 1972). This is the narrative of Ester Lockhart, one of the first three Coos Bay region pioneer women, who came to Empire City in 1853.
  • The Lady and the Lumberjack is an autobiography by Olive Barber (1952)
  • After the Covered Wagons : Recollections of Russell C. and Ellis S. Dement, by E.R. Jackman (1962). In 1934, at the age of eighty-three, Russell C. Dement. recorded some of his early day experiences in his exact words, except for some explanatory material, so indicated, supplied by his son Ellis.
  • Coos River Echoes by Charlotte Mahaffy (1965).  Mahaffy collected biographical sketches of people who lived on the river valley and clipped short news articles from local newspapers to  illustrate river community life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • A Man from Eastside : the Autobiography of James Hubert Whitty by James H. Whitty (1975)
  • Vern C. Gorst: Pioneer and Grandad of United Air Lines by Wilbur Gorst (1979). This book by Gorst's son has the history and photos showing how early pioneers coped with transportation issues in the Bay Area and on the West Coast.
  • Life of a Cranberry Grower by Ethel Reichenbach (1981) tells the authors life story and gives information about the cranberry industry.
  • The Goulds of Elkhorn by Aileen Barker Rickard (1982). This is a family history, centering on George Gould's settlement near the center of the "Big Burn" of the Coos County forest fire of 1868 and what it was like to raise a family in a wilderness homestead from 1885 to 1912.
  • Ojiisan: oh gee saan, the Life and Times of Al Qualman by Alfred Qualman (1989) a local oysterman.
  • Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon by Mitzi Asai Loftus (1990) describes a first hand account of the Japanese relocation camps of the WWII era.
  • $10,000 or Ten Years: Memoirs of the Brelage Family by Herman Brelage (1991) known for his family dairy.
  • The Life and Times of Daniel Giles (1836-1918): From His Reminiscences, Biographical Memoirs and Personal Remembrance of His Wife edited by Richard "Dick" Hansen (1993) follows the story of a Randolph/Whiskey Run area gold miner.
  • Eighty-Eight Years on Coos Bay by Lorance Eickworth (1993)
  • Birth, Boyhood and Beyond by George E. Gebhardt (1994) is the autobiography of an important North Bend businessman.
  • She’s Tricky Like Coyote: Annie Miner Peterson, An Oregon Coast Indian Woman by Lionel Youst (1997) is the story of the last native Coos language speaker who served as an informant to anthropologists in the 1930s.
  • Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend by Tom Jordan (1997) is the story about the career of Marshfield High School and University of Oregon track star, Steve Prefontaine.
  • Geordie: The Life and Times of George Ross, Jr., (1905-1995) by Gordon Ross (2000)
  • The Lusty Life of Loon Lake Lloyd: WWII Marine, Logger, and Resort Owner by Lloyd and Ellen Keeland (2000).
  • Elegant Arches, Soaring Spans: C.B. McCullough, Oregon's Master Bridge Builder by Robert W. Hadlow (2001) is a good source of information about Conde McCullough and his bridges on Highway 101, including the McCullough Bridge over Coos Bay.
  • Coquelle Thompson, Athabaskan Witness, A Cultural Biography by Lionel Youst and William R. Seaburgh (2002) is about another native who served as an informant to anthropologists.
  • And Afterward: a Sometimes Every Now & Then Journal by Nellie Ripper (2002)
  • The Uncommon Life of Louis Jerome Simpson by Judith and Richard Wagner (2003) is the best biography about the life of the founder of the city of North Bend.
  • A Star to Steer By: The Seafaring Adventures of Captain Jim Common edited by Christopher Common (2005)
  • Vern Gorst and the Pacific Air Transport Air Mail by Ron Bartley (2006). This chronicles the life of an important aviation pioneer that lived in North Bend.
  • Instigator: the Troubled Life of Lorenzo Dow Kinney by Richard and Judy Wagner (2008) is the study of one of North Bend’s most flamboyant promoters.
  • Steve Prefontaine: Rocketman by Bree Donovan and Linda Prefontaine (2008). This story of Pre is specifically written for young people. Rocketman is told through the eyes and voice of fictitious a literary conduit through which the entirely factual events and characters are presented. The stories are of the people who knew and loved Steve Prefontaine, and the people Pre loved.
  • Steve Pre: The Unfinished Story of Running Icon Steve Prefontaine by Golden Krishna (2009) This is a short account of Prefontaine's life told through the viewpoint of his former coach, Bill Bowerman.
  • The Pre Log: To Becoming a Better Runner by Linda Prefontaine (2011). This is a journal where runners can keep track of their training while reading quotes from the famous track star Steve Prefontaine or from others who knew him. Readers also learn about local training routes.
  • Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges by July Fleagle and Richard Smith (2011). A biography of Oregon’s master bridge builder, Conde McCullough, and the story of the major bridges along Highway 101.
  • Between Two Worlds: Chinese of Marshfield, Oregon by Jon Littlefield (2011). Chinese immigrants came to Coos County to build the railroads, work in the mines and canneries, serve as cooks in lumber camps, and operate stores. This is the story of several Chinese families, especially the family of Gow Why, from about 1880 to 1940.
  • My Memories by Philip A. Matson (2012). "A collection of memoirs of growing up and beyond in Marshfield, Oregon during the mid-twentieth century".
  • In the Shadow of Sugarloaf by George H. Whitney, compiled and edited by Carolyn Whitney Prola (2012). Memoirs of a Myrtle Point area resident who also spent a part of his early life up Coos River.
  • O Pilot! Historical Sketches of the Coos Bay Bar Pilots by Captain Steven E. Woods and Jeanne Woods (2013). Sea stories from the 1850s to the present are told through the biographies of the men who were bar pilots on the Coos Bay harbor. There is also a first person account of the attempted rescue of the New Carissa.
Business, Industry, and Labor
  • Life of a Cranberry Grower by Ethel Reichenbach (1981) tells the author's life story and gives information about the cranberry industry.
  • The Company by the Bay: A Portrait of Edward S. Evans and the People of the Evans Products Company of Coos Bay, Oregon 1928-1962 by Sandra Beebe (1988) is a book about a Coos Bay company that produced, among other things, battery separators during WWII.
  • The First Fifty: from Lamplights to Satellites: Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc. by Rick Steber (1988)
  • Hard Times in Paradise: Coos Bay, OR, 1850-1986 by William Robbins (1988, revised edition 2008) took on the issue of corporate responsibility for the stability and survival of timber dependent communities.
  • Eagles of the West: Western Bank 1904-1994 by Jay Mullen and Joy Dunn (1994)
  • Plundertown, USA: Coos Bay Enters the Global Economy by Al Sandine (2003). The thesis in this book is that large timber corporations were ultimately harmful to the local economy.
  • Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Menasha Corporation and its One Hundred Year History in Coos Bay, Oregon, 1905-2005 by William A. Lansing (2005) is a good centennial description of the Menasha corporation, and a very good history of other lumber companies as well.
  • A Fleet to Be Forgotten: The Wooden Freighters of World War One by Louis A. Hough (2009) has a couple of very good chapters about the effort by North Bend and Coos Bay shipyards to produce wooden vessels during WWI.
  • The Job Messiahs by Wim de Vriend (2011).  The author's subtitle is: "How government destroys our prosperity and our freedoms to create jobs" and focuses mainly on the economic activities of the Port of Coos Bay.
  • Progressive Thoughts: Essays and Reviews by Lionel Youst (2012) Two chapters from the book deal with the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W. or "Wobblies") who fought for an eight hour working day and better conditions in the logging camps of the PNW. Workers on the new railroad from Eugene to Coos Bay also joined the I.W.W. fight in 1913. Youst describes the storm of protest and mob action against the I.W.W.from Marshfield businessmen that ensued.


Churches

  • A History of Oregon’s South Coast Vicariate by Rev. Scott Vandehey and Steven Greif (1981) chronicles the first 75 years of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in North Bend.
  • Gloria Dei Lutheran Church [Coos Bay] Centennial Edition:1884-1984.
  • Episcopal Marriages of the Southern Oregon Coast, 1884-1940 compiled by Barbara Eakley (1997).
  • Arago Community Church History: 75th anniversary, 1923-1998
    100 Years with North Bend Methodist Church
    (2003)


Education

  • Most of the high schools in the counties, as well as the libraries in the county, have copies of their high school yearbooks. The Coos County Historical Society has some copies as well (not every year, mostly North Bend High and Marshfield). These are rich sources of historical and genealogical data for researchers.
  • “Coos River School Days” by Florence Smith (1960), a very short manuscript.

  • “The No Beginning Possibly One Hundred Year History of Coos County School District 13” by Nancy M. Weybright (1986) is a manuscript produced about the history of North Bend schools based upon minutes of school board meetings.
  • The Progress Club 100th anniversary, April 1904 - April 2004 commemorates the diamond jubilee of the Progress Club of Coos Bay (originally Marshfield), Oregon, a women's organization for which the original "purpose shall be the study of general and literary subjects," which also became a force for civic improvement.
  • Remember When: Coos County Schools 1850-1940 by William A. Lansing (2008) has great photos and descriptions that chronicles 90 years of public instruction.
  • History of the Public Library of Coos Bay, Oregon by Jon Littlefield, Ellen Thompson, and Carol Ventgen (2009) is a centennial publication that not only tells the story of the library, but of the cultural progress of Coos Bay.
  • Fifty Years, Honoring Our Past, Lighting the Future: The Story of Southwestern Oregon Community College by William A. Lansing (2011). Richly illustrated with key documents, this volume describes the founding, development, funding issues, and programs associated with the first 50 years of SWOCC.
Exploration
  • The Journals of Capt. L.L. Williams edited by Richard W. Stickroth (1992) gives an account of exploration of both Coos and Curry counties.
  • A Guide to Oregon South Coast History: Following the Jedediah Smith Trail by Nathan Douthit (1986, revised 1999) tells about each campsite of the Smith expedition on their Oregon trip and has been one of the most popular recent local history books.
  • Exploring the Far West with Jedediah Smith by Charles Davis (2002)


Fisheries

  • Fish or Cut Bait by Smith
  • World of the Oregon Fishboat: A Study in Maritime Folklife by Janet Gilmore (1986)
  • Blood on the Half Shell (1983) and Romance on the Half Shell--and More (1990), by Alfred Qualman. Both tell of a Coos Bay oyster business.
  • Springer's Quest: Life of a Pacific Chinook Salmon by Nina Foran Gee (2009). A short narrative, that both children and adults would enjoy, about the life cycle of a  salmon .


Geology

  • Roadside Geology of Oregon by David D. Alt and Donald W. Hyndman (1978, reprinted in 2009). The book has several chapters covering south coast roadside geology.
  • Secrets of the Oregon Dunes: How Did All That Sand Get There, Anyway? by Dina Pavlis (2008). The book is intended to provide information about the Oregon Dunes in non-scientific terminology for young and mature readers.

 

Guidebooks

  • The Beachcomber's Guide to Seashore LIfe in the Pacific Northwest by J. Duane Sept (revised edition 1999).
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast and Coast Range (2000), Hiking Oregon’s History, and Trips and Trails: Oregon (2004), all by William Sullivan, are the best hiking books.
  • Oregon's Coos Region Canoe & Kayak Guide by Ron Wardman (2001) for those who wish to ply the local waterways.
  • Roads Less Traveled in Southwest Oregon: A Guide to Backroads and Special Places by Steve Arndt (2005)
  • Oregon Coastal Access Guide by Kenn Oberrecht (2001, 2nd edition 2008). “A mile by mile guide to scenic and recreational attractions.”
  • Exploring Southern Oregon’s Beautiful Places by John Kemper (2003). A good description, with color photos and maps, of scenic places and natural history.
  • Out Our Back Door by Tom Baake (2008) suggests numerous Coos County road trips by printing descriptions and roadmaps of a variety of routes.


Law/Crime

  • Necktie Parties: A History of Legal Executions in Oregon, 1851-1905 by Diane L. Goeres-Gardiner (2005) has three chapters on executions in Coos and Curry Counties.
  • Hangman’s Call: the Executions and Lynchings of Coos County, Oregon 1854-1925 by Andie E. Jensen (2009)
  • Law on the Bay: Marshfield, Oregon 1874-1944 by Andie E. Jensen (2010). The author shares extensive newspaper research about the crimes and law enforcement officers in old Coos Bay.


Lumbering

  • The Lady and the Lumberjack is an autobiography by Olive Barber (1952)
  • The Woods Were Full of Men by Irma Emmerson (1963) is the true story of a female cook in a Coos County logging camp.
  • Gyppo Logging Days (1978), Early Coos County Loggers (1987), and Tall Timber Tales (1989), and are all first hand logging accounts by Curt Beckham.
  • Hard Times in Paradise: Coos Bay, OR, 1850-1986 by William Robbins (1988, revised edition 2008) took on the issue of corporate responsibility for the stability and survival of timber dependent communities.
  • The Company by the Bay: A Portrait of Edward S. Evans and the People of the Evans Products Company of Coos Bay, Oregon 1928-1962 by Sandra Beebe (1988)
  • Swift Flows the River: Log Driving in Oregon by Dow Beckham (1990) is a book about the unique “splash dams” used to get logs to the mills.
  • Timber Country: Working People's Stories of Environmental Conflict and Urban Flight by Beverly A. Brown (1995). This book’s setting is mainly the Rogue River Valley.
  • Caulked Boots and Cheese Sandwiches: A Forester’s History of Oregon’s First State Forest “The Elliot”, 1912-1996 by Jerry Phillips (1997)
  • High Lead Logging: Tough Men and Wooden Trees by Harold Gardner (2000)
  • The Millicoma: Biography of a Pacific Northwestern Forest by Arthur V. Smyth (2000). A personal history of the Weyerhaeuser Millicoma Forest.
  • Plundertown, USA: Coos Bay Enters the Global Economy by Al Sandine (2003) whose thesis is that large timber corporations were ultimately harmful to the local economy.
  • Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Menasha Corporation and its One Hundred Year History in Coos Bay, Oregon, 1905-2005 by William A. Lansing (2005) is very good history of the lumber industry and the Coos Bay Wagon Road history
  • Sawdust in the Western Woods: A Personal, Pictorial, and Primarily Oral History of the Small Sawmill in the Douglas Fir Region, 1926-1956 by Lionel Youst (2009) primarily tells the story of gyppo logging through the stories of the author’s father.
  • Reminiscing:  One Man’s Recollection of Logging in the Golden Years by Glen Olson (2014).  A history of South Coast logging by one of the strong supporters of the Coos County Logging Museum located in Myrtle Point. 

Maritime
  • Sentinels of the North Pacific by James Gibbs (1955)
  • Men of Action: A History of the U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Pacific Coast by Ernest Osborne and Victor West (1981)
  • A Guide to Shipwrecks Along the Oregon Coast by Victor West and R.E. Wells (1984)
  • Oregon Fishboat: A Study in Maritime Folklife by Janet C. Gilmore (1986, 2nd edition 1999). The author describes life on a late 1970s fisherman’s vessel in the Coos Bay community of Charleston based upon her years of interviewing and research.
  • Peril at Sea: A Photographic Study of Shipwrecks in the Pacific Ocean by “Shipwreck Jim” Gibbs (1986) has a chapter on Oregon coast wrecks.
  • Windjammers of the Pacific Rim by Jim Gibbs (1987). A book about coastal commercial sailing vessels, with many photos, that includes vessels of Oregon’s south coast.
  • South Slough Adventures: Life on a Southern Oregon Estuary ed. by Melody Caldera (1995, second edition 2006)
  • The Unforgiving Coast: Maritime Disasters of the Pacific Northwest by David Grover (2002) has several chapters devoted to shipwrecks off the southern Oregon coast.
  • A Star to Steer By: The Seafaring Adventures of Captain Jim Common edited by Christopher Common (2005)
  • Oregon Disasters: True Stories of Tragedy and Survival by Rachel Dresbeck (2006) has chapters on the wreck of the New Carissa, the Columbus Day Storm, Brookings-Harbor rescues, and the Biscuit Fire among others.
  • Images of America: Lighthouses and Life-Saving on the Oregon Coast by David Pinyerd (2007) is mainly a photo collection with sections on the Umpqua River, Coos Bay, Coquille River, and Cape Blanco lights included.
  • A Fleet to Be Forgotten: The Wooden Freighters of World War One by Louis A. Hough (2009) has a couple of very good chapters about the effort by North Bend and Coos Bay shipyards to produce wooden vessels during WWI.
  • New Carissa: The Ship That Refused to Die by Steven Michael Smith (2010). The author has illustrated a book for young readers about the story of an important 1999 shipwreck off of Coos Bay.
  • Images of America: Shipwrecks of Coos County by H.S. Contino (2011). One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs with extensive captions to show the history of local shipwrecks.
Mining
  • Gold Mines of Southwest Oregon by Roy F. Mayo (1987)
  • The Life and Times of Daniel Giles (1836-1918): From His Reminiscences, Biographical Memoirs and Personal Remembrance of His Wife edited by Richard "Dick" Hansen (1993) follows the story of a Randolph/Whiskey Run area gold miner.
  • Stars in the Dark: Coal Mines of Southwestern Oregon by Dow Beckham (1995)
  • They Found Gold on the Beach: a History of Central Curry County, an Oregon Documentary by Walt Schroeder (1999)
  • Can't You Hear The Whistle Blowing: Logs, Lignite, and Locomotives in Coos County, Oregon (2007) by William A. Lansing is a complete book, full of photos, about the mining and logging railroads of the area.
Native American  
  • Requiem for a People: Rogue Indians and the Frontiersmen by Stephen Dow Beckham (1971, 2nd edition 1996)
  • Indian Battles Along the Rogue River (1855-1856) by Frank Walsh (1972)
  • When Grandmother Sang Her Song by Esther Stutzman (1975)
  • The Indians of Western Oregon: This Land Was Theirs by Stephen Dow Beckham (1977) is the classic of history and culture of Native Americans in southwest Oregon.
  • The People and the River: a History of the Takelma Indians of the Upper Rogue River Country by Elizabeth Heckert (1977)
  • The Coquille Indian: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow and People of the Coquille Estuary, both by Roberta Hall (1984)
  • White Moccasins by Beverly Ward (1986)
  • Living With the Land: The Indians of Southwest Oregon, ed. By Nan Hannon and Richard K. Olmo (1990) is a collection from the 1989 Proceedings of the Symposium on the Prehistory of Southwest Oregon that includes articles related to South Coast Indian history.
  • The Rogue River Indian War and its Aftermath: 1850-1980 by E.A. Schwartz (1997)
  • Until the Last Arrow, A True Story of the Indian Wars and Gold Rushes that Opened the…Rogue River Valley by Percy T. Booth (1997)
  • She’s Tricky Like Coyote: Annie Miner Peterson, An Oregon Coast Indian Woman by Lionel Youst (1997) is the story of the last native Coos language speaker who served as an informant to anthropologists in the 1930s.
  • Coquelle Thompson, Athabaskan Witness, A Cultural Biography by Lionel Youst and William R. Seaburgh (2002) is another native who served as an informant to anthropologists.
  • Uncertain Encounters: Indians and Whites at Peace and War in Southern Oregon 1820s-1860s by Nathan Douthit (2002)
  • Foot prints in the Sands of Time: Autobiography of Jerry Running Foxe, Chief of the Na-so-mah Indians, the Coquilles, 'Ko-Kwel' by Jerry Running Foxe (2004)
  • Oregon Indians: Voices From Two Centuries (2006) by Stephen Dow Beckham is an important collection of primary sources "that strives to let Oregon Indians tell their own story". It includes some primary sources from the south coast.
  • Changing Landscapes, edited by Jason Younker (a periodical by the Coquille Cultural Preservation Conference) has numerous articles by archaeologists as well as tribal members.
  • Seeking Recognition: The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, 1855-1984 by David R.M. Beck (2009). This volume by a professor at the University of Montana examines relationship between the Federal Government and the local tribes from its beginnings in the 1850s, through " termination" in the 1950s, and eventual restoration of the Confederated Tribes in 1984.
  • The People are Dancing Again: The History of the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon by Charles Wilkinson (2010). This history of the Siletz also has excellent information about other south coast Native Americans such as the Coos, Coquelle, Lower Umpqua, and Rogue River. It also has good maps and illustrations.
  • Ethnobotany of the Coquille Indians:100 Common Cultural Plants by Suzanne Fluharty, Denise Hockema, and Nicole Norris and the Coquille Indian Tribe, Cultural Resources Program (2010). "This field guide is intended to assist natural resource managers, educators, and the general public to identify some of the plants and plant habitats that are important in the cultural traditions and heritage of the modern Coquille Indian tribe."
  • Our Culture and History: The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians by Don Whereat, with Patty Whereat Phillips, Medody Caldera, Ron Thomas, Reg Pullen, and Stephen Dow Beckham (2011). This is a compilation of 12 years of research to write over 60 articles for the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI) newsletter.
Theater
  • Doubling Back: Autobiography of an Actor by Edwards Hoag Meade (1916) who came to Coos County in 1914.
  • Hobblin' In and Dancin' Out by Hope Cahill (1991) is a history of the RSVP follies from 1972-1976.
  • Encore: A History of Theaters and Theater on Oregon’s South Coast by Dow Beckham (2003) is the most complete book on this topic.
Transportation
  • Ships and Ship-Builders of Southern Oregon by Victor West
  • Mosquito Fleet of Coos County by Victor West
  • “A Century of Coos County Railroads” is a manuscript by Steven Greif (1974) available at the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum.
  • Vern C. Gorst: Pioneer and Grandad of United Air Lines by Wilbur Gorst (1979). This book by Gorst's son has the history and photos of how early pioneers coped with transportation issues in the Bay Area and on the West Coast.
  • Southern Oregon Mosquito Fleet: Stories About Coos County Boats, 1853 -1948 by Victor West (1986)
  • Elegant Arches, Soaring Spans: C.B. McCullough, Oregon's Master Bridge Builder by Robert W. Hadlow (2001) is a good source of information about bridges on Highway 101, including the McCullough Bridge over Coos Bay and the Patterson Bridge over the Rogue River.
  • Oregon's Coos Region Canoe & Kayak Guide by Ron Wardman (2001) for those who wish to ply the local waterways.
  • Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Menasha Corporation and its One Hundred Year History in Coos Bay, Oregon, 1905-2005 by William Lansing (2005) includes a definitive section on the history of the Coos Bay Wagon Road.
  • Oregon Disasters: True Stories of Tragedy and Survival by Rachel Dresbeck (2006) has a chapter on the wreck of the New Carissa.
  • Lifting Oregon Out of the Mud: Building the Oregon Coast Highway by Joe R. Blakely (2006)
  • Vern Gorst and the Pacific Air Transport Air Mail by Ron Bartley (2006). This chronicles the life of an important aviation pioneer that lived in North Bend from 1912-1963.
  • Can't You Hear The Whistle Blowing: Logs, Lignite, and Locomotives in Coos County, Oregon (2007) by William A. Lansing is a wonderful book, full of photos, about the mining and logging railroads of the area.
  • Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges by July Fleagle and Richard Smith (2011). A biography of Oregon’s master bridge builder, Conde McCullough, and the story of the major bridges along Highway 101.
  • Images of America: Shipwrecks of Coos County by H.S. Contino (2011). One in a series of Images of America books, this volume uses chapter introductions and hundreds of photographs with extensive captions to show the history of local shipwrecks.
  • Images of America: Oregon’s Covered Bridges by Bill Cockrell (2008). One in a series of Images of America books, this volume includes a chapter on Coos County highway and railroad covered bridges.
Weather
  • The Big Blow:The Story of the Pacific Northwest's Columbus Day Storm by Ellis Lucia (1963)
  • West Coast Disaster: Columbus Day 1962 by Dorothy Franklin (1963). Describes the windstorm and its effects in northern California, and western Oregon and Washington.
  • Oregon Disasters: True Stories of Tragedy and Survival by Rachel Dresbeck (2006) has a chapter on the Columbus Day Storm among other disasters.
  • The Oregon Weather Book: State of Extremes by George Taylor and Raymond Hatton (1999) gives weather and climate records for the entire state and includes many statistics about the South Coast 
World War II
  • Silent Siege by Bruce Webber (1984) describes WWII Oregon coastal defense systems
  • Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon by Mitzi Asai Loftus (1990) describes a first hand account of the Japanese relocation camps of the WWII era.
  • Bombs Over Brookings by William McCash (2005) details the only Japanese bombing of the U.S. mainland in WWII at Brookings and the postwar friendship between Brookings and the Japanese pilot who dropped the bomb. 

 

FICTION

  •  Zane Grey, who had a cabin on the Rogue River, is a famous western author. One novel, Rogue River Feud, was originally published in 1929.
  • The Lady and the Lumberjack by Olive Barber (1952) is a partly fictionalized memoir of a school teacher who married a logger who worked primarily on the Coos River.
  • Tioga Pigs by A.E. Krewson (1955) is a partly fictionalized tale of piioneers who fattened their pigs in the remote Tioga Creek area of east Coos County and then drove them the Coquille River for market.

  • Gold Saga of the Umpqua: an Historical Novel of Southwestern Oregon by Harriet Ward (1966) is a tale based upon actual characters of the gold era in SW Oregon.
  • The Woods Were Full of Men by Irma Lee Emmerson with Jean Muir (1963) is a partly fictionalized memoir of a cook at the logging camp on Tioga Creek on the upper reaches of the South Fork of the Coos River.
  • Tall Tales from Rogue River: The Yarns of Hathaway Jones edited by Stephen Dow Beckham (1974). Folklore from the Rogue River area as presented by a famous local miner and mail carrier: Hathaway Jones.
  • A Gathering of Finches by Jane Kirkpatrick (1997). A novel based on the lives of Louis and Cassie Simpson, founders of North Bend and Shore Acres State Park.
  • Coos Bay Shanghai by Naomi Russell (1999). A pioneer family in Coos Bay at Catching Slough experiences adventure in a maritime community in the late 1800s.
  •  Katie's Gold by Tom Mitcheltree (2000) is a mystery with a Rogue River valley setting.

NEWSPAPERS

 

     Coos County has had an abundance of newspapers published in the past 130 years and most are available on microfilm at various Coos County libraries. (See chart below.) The oldest publication held is the Coos Bay News which reported about the Bay area starting from the year 1874. The Marshfield Weekly Coast Mail is on record from 1879 and the Coquille City Herald from 1883. Issues of the Bandon Recorder can be viewed from 1890 through June of 1916 and the Myrtle Point Enterprise is available from late 1895 through 1917. News of the community of Powers was reported in the Powers Patriot from 1918 to 1923. The longest-running newspapers available are topped by the Coquille Valley Sentinel with 67 years of news on microfilm from 1915 through 1982, followed by Myrtle Point’s Herald which records 61 years of stories from 1928 to 1989. The Marshfield Sun reveals 53 years of Bay area events from 1891 until mid-1944 while the Coos Bay Times reports for 51 years, starting in 1906 and running just into 1957.
      Many Oregon newspapers, including some in Coos County, are now available online at a website called Historic Oregon Newspapers found at this address: oregonnews.uoregon.edu/.  Previously microfilmed newspapers are being digitalized through a program at the University of Oregon Library.  Key word searches are made available at the site

     The most efficient search of any newspaper archive should begin with a target date: the outbreak of a major fire or other news event, a death date, a seasonal event, etc.  A target date will help to determine which microfilm reel will be searched for the desired article.
      The following table shows the names of city newspapers on microfilm. Following each newspaper name is the library where the microfilmed newspaper is located and the publication dates available for viewing.


BANDON newspapers

  • Bandon Recorder; Coos Bay library; (1890 - Jun 27, 1916)
  • Prime Time; SWOCC library; (Jun 1993 - Oct 1994; May 1997 - current)
  • Western World; Coquille library; (Current 6 months)

CHARLESTON newspapers

  • Charleston Herald; Coos Bay library; (Aug 1995 - Mar 1996 irregular)
  • Charleston Herald; SWOCC library; (Apr 1995 - Mar 11, 1996)

COOS BAY (Marshfield) newspapers

  • Bay News Weekly; SWOCC library; (Jun 19, 1985 - Oct 23, 1985)
  • Bay Reporter; Coos Bay library; (Feb 28, 1979 - Sep 1984)
  • Bay Reporter; SWOCC library; (Sep 21, 1983 - Sep 1984)
  • Coos Bay Harbor; Coos Bay library; (1905 - 1950)
  • Coos Bay Harbor; North Bend library; (1905 - 1950)
  • Coos Bay News; Coos Bay library; (Aug 1893-Nov 1901; Jul 16, 1907-Oct 1917)
  • Coos Bay News; NB library; (1874-76; Jul 1877- Jan 78; 1879-1901; July1907- 1917)
  • Coos Bay Times; Coos Bay library; (Jul 4, 1906 - Jan 7, 1957)
  • Empire Builder; Coos Bay library; (Oct 8, 1953 - Feb 28, 1979)
  • Marshfield Sun; Coos Bay library; (Feb 12, 1891 - Jun 16, 1944)
  • Marshfield Southwest Oregon Daily; Coos Bay library; (Jan 23, 1915 - Apr 12, 1940)
  • Marshfield Coast Mail; Coos Bay library; (May 17, 1879 - 1880; 1884 - Jun 1906)
  • Southwester; SWOCC library; (Nov 10, 1961 - Nov 1, 1988; Mar 1992 - current)
  • The World; Coos Bay library; (Jan 8, 1957 - current)

COQUILLE newspapers
  • Coquille City Bulletin; Coos Bay library; (Jun 7, 1901 - Jul 1, 1904)
  • Coquille City Bulletin; Coquille library; (Jun 7, 1901 - Jul 1, 1904)
  • Coquille City Herald; Coos Bay library; (Sep 11, 1883 - Oct 10, 1893)
  • Coquille City Herald; Coquille library; (Sep 11, 1883 - Sep 4, 1917)
  • Coquille Herald; Coos Bay library; (Sep 23, 1902 - Sep 4, 1917)
  • Coquille Tribune; Coos Bay library; (Apr 1933 - Mar 1947)
  • Coquille Tribune; Coquille library; (1929 - Mar 28, 1947)
  • Coquille Valley Sentinel library; Coos Bay; (1917 - Nov 8, 1940)
  • Coquille Valley Sentinel library; Coquille; (1915 - Jul 21, 1982) 


LAKESIDE newspapers

  • Tenmile Times; SWOCC library; (Apr 10, 1985 - Dec 17, 1985)

MYRTLE POINT newspapers
  • Myrtle Point Herald; Myrtle Point library; (Mar 29, 1928 - Mar 3, 1989)
  • Myrtle Point Enterprise; Coos Bay library; (Nov 16, 1895 - Nov 1917)
  • Myrtle Point Enterprise; Myrtle Point library; (Nov 16, 1895 - Jun 5, 1908)
  • South Coos County American; Coos Bay library; (Dec 1917 - Mar 22, 1928

NORTH BEND newspapers

  • North Bend News; North Bend library; (1951 - Aug 27, 1986)
  • Coos Bay Harbor; Coos Bay library; (1905 - 1950)
  • Coos Bay Harbor; North Bend library; (1905 - 1950)

POWERS newspapers

  • Powers Patriot; Coos Bay library; (Apr 26, 1918 - Apr 23, 1923)

 

TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES HISTORICAL LIST

 

The following titles are in order by the oldest year listed for each. The city library where the volume is located is noted below the PUBLISHER line. Note that on Coastline there are duplicate links to some of the directories that underwent title and publisher changes but were essentially the same publication; therefore in order to avoid duplication, dates are only listed under the title printed in the directory.

Coos County Libraries, August 2011

Compiled by Dianne Zarder and Ann Couture

R.L. Polk & Co.'s Coos County Directory                   

PUBLISHER   Portland, OR : R. L. Polk

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1904, 1907

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 COOS, 1907

Polk's Coos County Directory                                       

PUBLISHER   Portland, OR : R. L. Polk

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1916, 18, 24, 26, 36, 38, 40, 48, 54

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 COOS, 1913, 24, 38, 40, 48, 54

Marshfield and North Bend city directory            

PUBLISHER   North Bend, Or. : Coos Bay Harbor

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1922     

North Bend and Marshfield City Directory           

PUBLISHER   North Bend, OR : Coos Bay Harbor

North Bend, OR Case 910.25 NORTH, 1922       

Oregon State farmers' directory. Coos County     

PUBLISHER   Portland, OR. : Farmers' Directory Co.

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 OREGON, 1922

Coos county directory for 1946                                   

PUBLISHER   Coos Bay, OR : Wilson & Goad

Coos Bay,  OR, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1946  

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 COOS, 1946

Telephone directory: Bandon, Brookings,             

PUBLISHER [Coos Bay, Or.] : West Coast Telephone Co

Coos Bay, Coquille, Empire, Gold Beach, Lakeside, Langlois, Myrtle Point, North Bend,

Port Orford, Powers, Reedsport-Gardiner Oregon

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 TEL, 1954 – 1969

Coos county directory                                               

PUBLISHER   Portland, OR : Tscheu Publishing

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1959, 61, 65, 68

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 COOS, 1959, 61, 65, 68

Rural directory of Coos County, Oregon                

PUBLISHER   Portland, Or. : Tscheu Publishing Co.

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1959, 65, 68, 75

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 RURAL, 1959, 1968

 

Coos Bay-North Bend City Directory                     

PUBLISHER   Eugene, OR : Johnson Publishing

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1969, 70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 80, 87 – 89

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 COOS, 1969, 70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 80, 87, 88

Southern Oregon coast                                                   

PUBLISHER   [Everett, Wash. : Verizon Directories Corp.]

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 TEL, 1969 to present, except do not have 1984, 1987, 2003 

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 SOUTH, 1981 – 84, 86, 87, 89 – 95, 97 – 2000, '02, '04 to present

Polk cross-reference directory for So. Oregon Coast       

PUBLISHER   Detroit, MI : R.L. Polk & Co.

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1994, 1995 [under 910.25 POL], 1996

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 POLK 1994, 1995

Polk city directory for South-Central Oregon Coast        

PUBLISHER Livonia, Mich. : R.L. Polk & Co

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 1996 – 98       

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 COOS, 1996, 97, 98 [at Ref Desk]

Bandon, Desk Ref, 1998

Myrtle Point, Work Room, Ready Reference 1996

InfoUSA city directories cross reference directory consumer and business guide for Coos Bay - Southern Oregon Coast and vicinity.  Alternate title: Hill-Donnelly cross reference directory for Coos Bay - Southern Oregon Coast.            

PUBLISHER   Omaha, Nebraska : infoUSA  

Coos Bay, Oregon Archive 910.25 COO, 2000 – 2010

North Bend, Oregon Case 910.25 HILL-DONNELLY, 1996, 1997, 1999 – 2006

Myrtle Point, Work Room 910.25 Hill-Donnelly, 1999 – 2001, 2004, 2007

1220 Sherman Ave.
North Bend, OR 97459
Phone: 541-756-6320
info@cooshistory.org

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