Reedsport and Florence

OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Winchester Bay, Commercial fishing boats moored near mouth of Winchester Bay [Ask for #276.713.]
Commercial fishing boats moored near the mouth of Winchester Bay, outside Reedsport. [Ask for #276.713.]

Towns of the Oregon Dunes

The Oregon Dunes, at 55 miles the largest dune field in the state, goes on for 48 miles after it passes Coos Bay. Along this stretch only two rivers manage to push their way through the sand: the Umpqua River twenty miles to the north of Coos Bay, then the Siuslaw River another 18 miles to the north of the Umpqua. And each has a port at its mouth: Reedsport on the Umpqua and Florence on the Siuslaw.
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Town of Reedsport, Boardwalk, View over the Umpqua River towards the Coos Bay Rail Link steel truss drawbridge in open position; boat ramp [Ask for #274.525.]


Reedsport's Boardwalk on the Umpqua River, with a picnic table by a boat ramp, and the Coos Bay Rail Link's steel truss railroad draw bridge. [Ask for #274.525.]

Reedsport

Reedsport is the smaller of the two, with a 2010 population (including suburbs and adjacent Winchester Bay) of about 4,800. It sits at the intersection of US 101 and SR 38, both very scenic drives. Its old downtown stretches eastward along SR 38 rather than along  US 101 as you might expect. This is because US 101 did not exist here until the late 1920s, and for many years Reedsport was at the end of a very long dead end on SR 38. Reedsport wasn't founded until 1913, when it was laid out as a railroad work camp rather than a port. Its old port, also paralleling SR 38, has been revived with a good boardwalk, museum, and restaurants; it gives excellent views over the Umpqua River towards the impressive truss swing drawbridge that carries the railroad.
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Town of Reedsport, Boardwalk, View over the Umpqua River towards the Coos Bay Rail Link steel truss drawbridge in open position; boat docks [Ask for #274.532.]


View from Reedsport's Boardwalk, showing carved wood bench and interpretive plaque. [Ask for #274.532.]
OR: Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Boardwalk, View over the Umpqua River towards the Coos Bay Rail Link steel truss drawbridge in open position; restaurant on the boardwalk [Ask for #274.534.]


A restaurant on Reedsport's Boardwalk gives good views over the Umpqua River Inlet towards the railroad bridge. [Ask for #274.534.]
OR: Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Boardwalk, Derelict Building in an abandoned area of the wharf [Ask for #274.527.]


The furthest end of Reedsport's waterfront has derelict docks. [Ask for #274.527.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Town of Reedsport, Boardwalk, Umpqua Discovery Center, a museum on the boardwalk [Ask for #274.536.]


The Umpqua Discovery Center, a museum on Reedsport's Boardwalk. [Ask for #274.536.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Town of Reedsport, Boardwalk, Umpqua Discovery Center, a museum on the boardwalk [Ask for #274.535.]


The Umpqua Discovery Center, a museum on Reedsport's Boardwalk. [Ask for #274.535.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Town of Reedsport, Boardwalk, View over the Umpqua River towards the Coos Bay Rail Link steel truss drawbridge in open position; boat docks [Ask for #274.531.]


The floating docks along Reedsport's Boardwalk. [Ask for #274.531.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Town of Reedsport, Boardwalk, View over the Umpqua River towards the Coos Bay Rail Link steel truss drawbridge in open position; boat docks [Ask for #274.529.]


The floating docks along Reedsport's Boardwalk. [Ask for #274.529.]

Winchester Bay

OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Winchester Bay, Wood bridges lead to floating docks, reflections on bay's surface. [Ask for #276.702.]
Wood bridges lead to floating docks, reflections on bay's surface. [Ask for #276.702.]
Winchester Bay is just a mile and a half south of the end of Reedsport, separated from it by a low ridge. It was first developed in 1945 when the US Army Corp of Engineers transformed it into a boat-turning basin. Then, sometime around 1970 or so the county turned it into a very large set of docks, 200 acres in size with two substantial basins. The three peninsulas separating the basins contain a set of shops and restaurants on the east side and an RV park on the west. This is a major gateway to the ORV area of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, as well as a 3.3 mile long road that gives access to the beach itself, on which no ORVs are allowed.
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Winchester Bay, Fishing boat moored at floating dock [Ask for #276.705.]


Commercial fishing boats moored at Winchester Bay. [Ask for #276.705.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Winchester Bay, Pilings mark channel to wood bridge [Ask for #276.703.]


Pilings mark channel to wood bridge at Winchester Bay. [Ask for #276.703.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Winchester Bay, Sports fishing boats moored at floating dock with harbor master's office and American flag [Ask for #276.709.]


Sports fishing boats moored at floating dock by the harbor master's office. [Ask for #276.709.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Winchester Bay, Commercial fishing boats moored near mouth of Winchester Bay [Ask for #276.711.]


Commercial fishing boats moored near mouth of Winchester Bay. [Ask for #276.711.]
OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Winchester Bay, Commercial fishing boats moored near mouth of Winchester Bay [Ask for #276.714.]


Commercial fishing boats moored near mouth of Winchester Bay [Ask for #276.714.]

Florence

Unlike Reedsport, Florence dates back to the earliest settlement era — which is to say about 1880. The source for its name is obscure. It's either the name of a ship that wrecked in this area in the 1870s or a state legislator who helped in its formation; both are well attested and there is no tie-breaker. Like Reedsport it was located at the end of a dead-end state road, SR 126 (then SR 34), and would remain so until US 101 was built in the 1930s.

Florence and its environs have a population of 12,600, fairly substantial for Oregon's coast. You'll find it on the north side of the Siuslaw River just after the 1930s era Art Deco bridge. Florence's downtown is easy to miss; turn onto Old Town Way just after the bridge. It's very historic and crowded with restaurants and shops.
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, US 101 bridge over the Suislaw River [Ask for #276.459.]


US 101 bridge over the Siuslaw River. [Ask for #276.459.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, US 101 crosses the Suislaw River inlet on a historic concrete truss bridge designed by Conde McCollough [Ask for #276.462.]


US 101 crosses the Siuslaw River inlet on a historic concrete arch bridge designed by Conde McCollough. [Ask for #276.462.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, View of the waterfront and harbor across the Suislaw River inlet [Ask for #276.461.]


Florence waterfront viewed over the Siuslaw River. [Ask for #276.461.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, US 101 bridge over the Suislaw River inlet, a concrete arch structure with Art Deco details, by Conde McCollough, from the waterfront. [Ask for #276.469.]
US 101 bridge over the Siuslaw River, a concrete arch structure with Art Deco details designed by Conde McCollough. [Ask for #276.469.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, Docks along the waterfront [Ask for #276.471.]
Town of Florence, Docks along the waterfront [Ask for #276.471.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, Docks along the waterfront, facing Conde McCollough's concrete arch bridge over the Suislaw River inlet. [Ask for #276.472.]


View towards Florence's bridge from its downtown docks. [Ask for #276.472.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, Fishing boats docked in Florence's port [Ask for #276.577.]


Fishing boats docked in Florence's port. [Ask for #276.577.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, Fishing boats docked in Florence's port [Ask for #276.574.]


Fishing boats docked in Florence's port [Ask for #276.574.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, Fishing boats docked in Florence's port [Ask for #276.578.]


Fishing boats docked in Florence's port. [Ask for #276.578.]
OR: South Coast Region, Lane County, Pacific Coast, Florence Area, Town of Florence, Fishing boats docked in Florence's port [Ask for #276.579.]


Fishing boats docked in Florence's port. [Ask for #276.579.]
Dunes roll slowly into Florence's harbor.
As the Siuslaw River cuts through the Oregon Dunes at Florence, dunes roll into the river. [Ask for #276.478]

Highways in 1923

OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, 1923 Rand McNally map showing highways to Florence and Reedsport [Ask for #990.148.]


This 1923 Rand McNally map shows the dead end highways that terminated at Reedsport and Florence. [Ask for #990.148.]

Highways Today

OR: South Coast Region, Douglas County, Pacific Coast, Reedsport Area, Highways to Florence and Reedsport [Ask for #990.149.]


This map shows contemporary highways around Reedsport and Florence. [Ask for #990.149.]
BlogPacifica.Com
Exploring the Pacific Coast
Coos Bay, OR
e-mail:   jim@blogPacifica.com
Copyright ©2016, James A Hargan. All rights reserved.
All maps created using data from DeLorme Topo North America® v9.0, ©2010 DeLorme® (www.deLorme.com)
Contact the webmaster at maven@harganonline.com