Tillamook, Oregon

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

We left Waldport this morning figuring the 80 mile trip wouldn’t take very long, even with stops at scenic viewpoints. Wrongo, Cowboy! The road is not conducive to mach speeds in a motorhome.

Throw in a fatality traffic accident that occurred in our path which shut down US Highwy 101 and the trip time balloons to over four hours. No biggie, we are not in a hurry.

The first town of consequence we come to is Newport. Newport is a city in Lincoln CountyOregon, United States. It was incorporated in 1882, though the name dates back to the establishment of a post office in 1868. Newport was named for Newport, Rhode Island. The city has a total population of 9,989 souls, an increase of nearly 5% over its 2000 population; as of 2019, it had an estimated population of 10,853.

The area was originally home to the Yacona tribe, whose history can be traced back at least 3000 years. White settlers began homesteading the area in 1864. The town was named by Sam Case, who also became the first postmaster.

Newport has been the county seat of Lincoln County since 1952, when voters approved a measure to move the center of government from nearby Toledo to Newport.[9] It is also home of the Oregon Coast AquariumHatfield Marine Science CenterNye BeachYaquina Head LightYaquina Bay Light, Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, and is notable as the western terminus of U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the United States.

Depoe Bay is a city in Lincoln CountyOregon, United States, located on U.S. Route 101 on the Pacific Ocean. The population was 1,398 souls at the 2010 census. The bay of the same name is a 6-acre (2.4 ha) harbor that the city promotes as the world’s smallest navigable harbor.

Depoe Bay was named for Siletz Indian Charles “Charley” Depot who was originally allotted the land in 1894 as part of the Dawes Act of 1887. There are conflicting accounts of the origin of his name.[8] One says he was given the name “Depot Charley” for working at the military depot near Toledo, Oregon. The family was later known as “DePoe”.[11] His original tribal affiliation was Tututni.[12]

In 1975, the fishing trip sequence in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed in Depoe Bay.

Lincoln City was incorporated on March 3, 1965, uniting the cities of Delake, Oceanlake and Taft, and the unincorporated communities of Cutler City and Nelscott. Lincoln City is home to one of the world’s shortest rivers, the D River, connecting Devil’s Lake with the Pacific Ocean. Lincoln City has three primary economic resources: tourism, healthcare, and retirement. Two kite festivals are held annually in Lincoln City, the Summer Kite Festival in June and the Fall Kite Festival in October. Both festivals are each held at D River Wayside, where several other world-class kite events are held. The city is known by some as the “Kite Capital of the World”.

Hebo, 230 souls, means “Lord of the River” in Chinese. It is located in the Nestucca Valley a farming and ranching area just inland from the Pacific Ocean.

The city of Tillamook  is the seat of Tillamook County. The city is located on the southeast end of Tillamook Bay. The population was 5,231 souls at the 2020 census. The city is named for the Tillamook people, a Native American tribe speaking a Salishan language who lived in this area until the early 19th century. Anthropologist Franz Boas identifies the Tillamook Native Americans as the southernmost branch of the Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

Captain Robert Gray first anchored in Tillamook Bay in 1788, marking the first recorded European landing on the Oregon coast. Settlers began arriving in the early 1850s, and Tillamook County was created by the Territorial legislature in 1853. In 1862, the town itself was laid out, and the first post office was opened in 1866. The town was voted to be the county seat in 1873, and Tillamook was officially incorporated as a city in 1891.[

During World War II, the US Navy operated a blimp patrol station near the town at Naval Air Station Tillamook. The station was decommissioned in 1948, and the remaining facility now houses the Tillamook Air Museum. The Tillamook area is also home to five rivers, the Tillamook, Trask, Wilson, Kilchis, and the Miami just north of the city.

Historically, the Tillamook economy has been based primarily on dairy farms. The farmland surrounding the city is used for grazing the milk cattle that supply the Tillamook County Creamery Association‘s production of cheese, particularly cheddar, gourmet ice cream and yogurt, and other dairy products. Approximately one million people visit the cheese factory (located north of Tillamook on Highway 101 each year.[10]

The lumber industry also is experiencing a comeback from the replanting that followed the Tillamook Burn forest fires of the mid-20th century. The burned remains of some of the trees can still be found in the forests surrounding Tillamook.

Tillamook also serves tourists on their way to the ocean beaches and as a location for second homes. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is the Tillamook County Creamery Association’s original cheese production facility. The Tillamook Cheese Factory also serves as a Visitor Center and hosts over 1 million tourists each year.

And for you trivia lovers, The Tillamook County Fair is world-famous for the annual Pig-N-Ford race where contestants have to catch a pig and race stripped Model T Fords around an oval track with the pig under one arm.

We drove the short distance to Bay City (1286 souls) for a look around. Nice little town but nothing there that interested us. Today we drove to Cape Meares. We missed the turnoff and wound up going to the cape via Netarts (744 souls). Netarts is located at the mouth of Netarts Bay which is separated from the ocean by a club shaped forested sand arm. Netarts, in the language of the local Tillamook Tribe means “near the water”. Many varietes of clam thrive in the bay. Nearby Cape Lookout State Park offers camping and hiking opportunities. Just to the north of Netarts is the quaint little village of Oceanside (360 souls). Three Rocks National Refuge lies just offshore.

We make our way to Cape Meares and its lighthouse. That’s when we realize we took the correct route to the cape as the road had been blocked just past the turnoff to the lighthouse. Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is known for its lighthouse, stunning ocean views and octopus shaped Sitka spruce.

It lies at the northern end of the Three Capes Scenic Loop. You may even spot migrating whales, dolphins or sea lions while admiring the scenery here. The steep cliffs and offshore rocks are nesting sites for thousands of seabirds

Cape Meares Lighthouse may be the shortest on the Oregon coast, but it features an impressive, kerosene-powered lens. First lit on Jan. 1, 1890, the first order Fresnel lens was one of the most powerful and largest of its day. Mariners could spot the distinctive red-and-white flashes from more than 21 miles away. It’s quite a downhill walk to the lighthouse, not too long but steep. Viewpoints of the ocean and cliffs are provided on the way down. The hike back up to the parking lot is a real gasser. If you walk down to the light take your time on your return.

This afternoon we drove up to Garibaldi, maybe 10 miles from our campground. The first thing one notices when entering town is the huge smokestack.  Built in 1927, the smokestack – one of the tallest manmade structures on the Oregon coast – was the landmark of the Hammond Lumber Company, for a time the largest lumber mill on the coast.

Garibaldi (797 souls) is known as Oregon’s authentic fishing village located at the northern end of Tillamook Bay. Not only a fishing port the town has a working lumber mill, Nortwest Hardwoods. It’s also home to the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad depot and two history museums. We counted no less than three RV parks located near the marina, making this a popular place to visit.

The first post office was established in 1870. The town was named after Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi who helped unify Italy after a military career devoted to establishing democracy around the world. In the 1930’s the community was composed of mostly elderly women and children and given the name “Squawtown”. Also located here is a Coast Guard Station. We walked around the marina admiring its function and beauty. We also drove around town and found some very nice houses.

Tomorrow we relocate to the Astoria area. See you there!

7 thoughts on “Tillamook, Oregon”

  1. Inreresting article, thanks! Just the facts. I appreciate you also credit the Native American tribes.

    In your last paragraph you use the word “unity”. Should you have used another word? Thanks.


  2. My Grandmother, Elizabeth
    Crawford White, along with my uncle Booth Danial Crawford lived in Garabaldi until my Grandmother died in the 1950’s. It was a small town that was mostly logging, fishing and just hard working people. No tourism.
    Beverly Vogel


  3. ABSOLUTELY INAPPROPRIATE in the midst of your travel babbling to use the phrase, “throw in a fatality”!!!!!! INCREDIBLE and DISGUSTING. Really sad that your excursion was inconvenienced.


    1. R u serious, she is free to add any details in her article. “Freedom of speech”
      She was very appropriate, I mean she could of said (figure of speech) their was a fatality and the body was laying on the ground with blood every where missing an arm with a stick drove through the middle of the body! Pick ur battles and if the person that died was close to u, pull urself together and don’t take it out on someone else!


      1. I should add that the person who died in the one vehicle accident was observed passing vehicles on the wrong side of the road at a hight rate of speed. As a retired first responder I’ve gone to many such accidents. While I’m concerned for the deceased person’s loss of life I’m glad this wreckless driver didn’t harm anyone else.


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