Coquille River

To the north of Coquille Point is the Coquille River. For decades, the river was an economic lifeline for the residents of the area, providing them with both transportation and supplies as far inland as Myrtle Point, Prosper and Powers. Like many areas where fresh water meets the salt water of the Pacific, the mouth of the river was extremely dangerous. At some points, the river channel narrowed to only one hundred feet (30.5 meters) across and the strong currents would easily strand vessels on the beaches or smash them apart on the rocks. According to historical records from the early twentieth century, this area was responsible for more shipwrecks in Oregon than any other river mouth except the Columbia River Bar. To help deal with the danger, two major lifesaving facilities were established in the last decade of the nineteenth century. In 1895, the Coquille River Lighthouse was built on the north jetty of the river. Then, two years later, a life-saving station was established on Coquille Point just to the south of the river’s mouth. (The latter was said to be one of the busiest stations in Oregon.) Both of these facilities eventually became outdated and were decommissioned, but visitors can still see the lighthouse today when visiting Bullards Beach State Park.

  • Burned To The Ground: Bandon and the 1936 Inferno

    Category: Exploring Nature Item

    Gorse Weed is an invasive plant with brilliant yellow flowers. Many visitors to the Oregon Coast love to photograph it, but in 1936 this plant helped burn an entire town to the ground. Read about this true natural disaster.

  • Blasted to Bits: The End of Grandmother Rock

    Category: Exploring Nature Item

    The tragically true story of how a legendary rock sacred to coastal Native Americans became rubble to build a jetty.

  • Bullards Beach State Park

    Category: General Article

    The ocean on one side, a major river on the other, and a historic lighthouse in between. This small state park has so much to explore!

  • Coquille River Lighthouse

    Category: General Article

    One of only a few river lighthouses in Oregon, this small structure was part of a larger lifesaving operation to make crossing the Coquille River bar safer for everyone.

A Life Saving Lives

A retired US Coast Guardsman describes how he and his colleagues saved lives on the Oregon Coast in an era before advanced technology – or even good protective clothing!

Lights Along the Coast

A Newport historian shares the amazing and important history of Oregon's numerous lighthouses.