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                                from the Marshfield Sun Special Edition, Jan. 1901

   Remarks on the Bay
           and County of Coos 
                           * * * *  By Star Key   * * * *

     In a descriptive narrative of this section of the coast credit should be
given to  the early settlers who hewed the pathway in advance and  who
were first in developing its resources.  The battle with hardships, the
dangers averted and the obstacles encountered were all met with patience
and perseverance: therefore we owe them a word of praise in recognition of
their early efforts in the virgin woods, encompassed by ferocious animals
and treacherous Indians.  There are lofty ideals; yet none transcend that of
the pioneer who risks every thing an uncertain venture; who forsakes the
enjoyment and advantages of civilization to enter into a project that may
result disastrously to him and his.  Many of the early pioneers of Coos have
departed this life, and those who are still with us are in "the sere and yellow
leaf;" therefore, all honor to the pioneers of Coos county.

                                 Coos Bay. 

     A great deal has been written on the resources of Oregon, and truly it is a
country of immense capacity.  The south-west portion, in which Coos
County is a leading feature, has not received that at- [ printout illegible] due
the climate, [printout illegible;  = manifold?] fold resources, and position,
demand.  Coos bay coming first in importance as a commercial center and
distributing point for the surrounding country, will first attract attention. 
The entrance to Coos bay is situated in about 43 degrees north latitude, and
124 west. By referring to a chart or map its position will be observed to the
northward and close to cape Arago, on which stands a prominent
     The channel at the entrance has thirty feet of water at mean tide.  Since
the government improvement at the entrance commenced, the depth of
water on the bar has been steadily increasing.  It speaks volumes for the
harbor to know that thirty sailing vessels and ten steamers are trading
between this port and San Francisco, California, and there is steam
connection with Portland and other ports of the coast.  Passing Rocky Point
after entering the port we have the full sweep of the lower bay before us,
about a mile wide and eight in length.  The long sand spit with high dunes
which support a variety of timber, are on our left hand, a permanent barrier
to the fierce waves of the great Pacific ocean.  Here, on this magnificent
sheet of water, there is sufficient space for thousands of vessels to anchor in
safety.  Passing up the bay we observe the pioneer town of Coos Bay --
Empire City.  At this place the Southern Oregon Company have [verified]
built a fine mill which has a cutting capacity of 150,000 feet of lumber
daily.  Proceeding we turn to the right at North Bend where a magnificent
sight bursts into view. We have now entered the upper bay, and the scene is
one to be remembered and to absorb studious attention.  The distant hills are
clothed from base to summit with an evergreen envelope, and the lofty fir
trees abound on every hand.  Cedar, myrtle, and other varieties of timber
extend in every direction.  Great quantities of timber are destroyed in
clearing land; the same, if stored or otherwise preserved, would be valuable
in the manufacture of furniture and other fine work.  Commencing with the
North Bend mill we can count four sawmills within range of the eye.
     Coos river enters the bay at the left hand upper corner, directly opposite
Marshfield.  There are some fine farms on this river and the orchards for
beauty and flavor of fruit are unsurpassed.  This section stands unequalled
for dairying and stock raising.  The winters are so mild that cattle roam
through the timber and over the hills and require but little feed from their
owners. There are scattering tracts of land from which the timber has been
burned and grass has grown in those burned districts, as they are called, and
in these and on the banks of streams and open spaces cattle find abundant
feed.  It is no uncommon thing for fine beef to be taken off the ranges in
January which have had no feed furnished to them excepting what they
have found in pasture.  Snow seldom falls, and when it does appear it is so
light, and lies so little time on the ground, that it does not prevent the cattle
from finding the grass which the dense woods afford abundant shelter from
the wind.
     The cool, but temperate climate is admirably adapted to making butter
and cheese, and those industries are very remunerative.
     In illustration of manufacture of cheese, a table furnished by one of the
best farmers in the county will show what is done in the line.  The table
gives the result from the milking of 60 cows 30 of [printout illegible]
milkers and 30 poor milkers.
[chart,  not copied ]

     Weight of cheese, after shrinkage, 23,496 pounds.
     This product was sold in Marshfield at prices ranging from 10 to 15
cents per pound.
      There are many products which can be raised here at a profit.  The
bottom lands produce beets of the finest quality and will average at least
twenty tons to thee acre.  There has been a movement looking toward the
establishment of a beet sugar manufactory, but nothing definite has yet been
     Fruit growing is a flourishing industry throughout the county, there
being a large export trade to California.  The varieties produced are apples,
pears, quinces, plums, cherries, and smaller fruits. The trees begin to bear
when remarkably young and are exceedingly healthy and vigorous and
being free from disease, will live to a great age.  The trees are very
productive and the fruit possesses a delicious flavor. This county is a very
Eden for cherries, plums and prunes.  Strawberries, currants, raspberries,
gooseberries and cranberries of a fine quality are raised in abundance. 
Several varieties of the hardier grapes are also cultivated.  Blackberries are
cultivated and they also grow wild in the woods in vast quantities, and are a
natural product of the soil.
    Fruit trees will grow from six to eight feet the first year and bear fruit the
second, third and fourth years according to variety. They thrive in the
valleys as well as on the foothills, and up to a considerable height in the
mountains, but  especially in dry, sheltered soil.  Yearling prune and
yearling cherry trees seven feet high have been exhibited. Apple trees
commence bearing very young, sometimes producing fine fruit the second
year after grafting and, if properly cultivated, are always in bearing when
four or five years old.   


     The climate is remarkable in its equability; and, while it is a physical
impossibility to discover a climate that will suit each case, we are not
afflicted with extremes of heat or cold.
     A report of the signal service is subjoined, showing the mean
temperature for each month of the year.

[chart:  not copied]


         With accessible facilities and an unlimited supply of material, a
lamentable picture is displayed in the cessation of labor resulting from the
suspension in operating two of the largest saw mills on Coos Bay. 
Litigation is the cause in one case, but in the other the motive is not
apparent.  Both companies own exclusive timber tracts, and possess
excellent positions for the manufacture of lumber and the construction of
sea-going vessels.  It is to be hoped that in the [can't read = near?] future
"the clouds will roll by," and that then these superb mills will be set in
motion adding to the bright outlook for business on the bay [printout
illegible] buzz of their wheels.
     During the past forty years the North Bend mill and the Newport coal
mine have been operated continually, and the proprietors of these industries
deserve commendation and the reward merited by their perseverance.  That
which has been accomplished by the untiring efforts of A. M. Simpson,  the
late firm of Flanagan and Mann,  and Goodall, Perkins, and Company, can
be accomplished by others, consequently the activity now apparent on Coos
bay and the Coquille river is an omen of more extensive operations in coal,
lumber, creameries, and canneries.  The progression and development of the
resources of Coos County have been tardy, owing principally to a paucity of
capital: but now that attention has been called to the possibilities of a
harvest from the stores of nature hitherto lying dormant, capital has
approached, and there is no doubt of its obtaining tangible results and
remuneration commensurate with the undertaking.


     The coal which is found in the local coal measures, is lignite or brown
coal, and is the best for domestic use of any found on the Pacific coast.  It
carries but little dust or soot and burns well.  It is not claimed to be the best
for steam, although it is much used for that purpose.  The country has not
been thoroughly prospected; and shafts have not been sunk to any great
depth; but it is estimated that in the Coos county coal fields there are four
hundred square miles of underlying coal beds.  The amount of coal in such a
vast field can hardly be estimated.  All the coal which has heretofore been
mined, exported, and consumed locally, has not worked out two square
miles of territory.  Much of this coal land can be bought for from ten to
twenty dollars an acre. The Newport mine continues to run steadily and is
no doubt profitable.  It has a rail road about three miles long from the mine
to deep water.  Other mines can be worked profitably but are waiting capital
to take hold and develop them.
     The coal measures on the Coquille river have not yet been fairly
prospected but the good work is going on both on the river and on the bay
and the ventures being in the hands of expert miners, there is a fair prospect
of success.  The export trade in timber and coal is increasing gradually; and
before the end of the approaching year - 1901 - the prospects are that the
business will receive such vigorous propulsion as portends prosperity and
permanent progress.

[ Ed note:  this article also appears in the Sea, Land, and Resources section]

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