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Exploring the Rich History of Oregon’s Coastal Towns

The Oregon Coast is not only a beautiful and scenic destination, but it is also rich in history. The coastal towns that dot the 363 miles of coastline have been shaped by a variety of industries, including fishing, logging, and shipping. In this post, we’ll take a journey through some of the most historically significant towns on the Oregon Coast and explore the stories that have helped shape them.

  1. Astoria: Located at the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. It was a hub for the fur trade, a center of maritime activity, and a key location during both World War II and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Today, visitors can explore the town’s many museums and historic sites, including the Columbia River Maritime Museum and the Astoria Column.
  2. Newport: Newport was a major center of the commercial fishing industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with a bustling harbor filled with canneries and processing plants. Today, visitors can learn about the history of the fishing industry at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center and explore the many shops and restaurants in the historic Bayfront district.
  3. Coos Bay: Coos Bay was once a center of the timber industry, with sawmills and shipping docks lining the waterfront. Today, visitors can explore the history of the industry at the Coos History Museum and take a scenic drive through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which was once covered in vast forests of coastal pine.
  4. Florence: Florence was originally founded as a shipping and transportation center in the late 1800s, and later became a popular destination for vacationers and retirees. Today, visitors can explore the historic Old Town district, which is filled with charming shops and galleries, and learn about the town’s history at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum.
  5. Seaside: Seaside has been a popular destination for tourists since the late 1800s, when the first hotels and vacation homes were built along the beach. Today, visitors can explore the town’s many historic sites, including the Seaside Aquarium, which was built in the 1930s and is one of the oldest public aquariums in the country.

The Oregon Coast is not only a beautiful and scenic destination, but it is also a treasure trove of history and culture. From the bustling ports of Astoria and Newport to the quiet charm of Florence and Seaside, each coastal town has its own unique story to tell. So whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to learn more about the rich heritage of the coast, be sure to take the time to explore these fascinating towns on your next trip to the Oregon Coast.


  • Greyson Shore

    Greyson Shore is a writer and photographer who lives along the beautiful Oregon Coast among the ancient Sitka Spruce forests, the misty mountains, and the soothing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Shore Greyson

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