Port Orford, Oregon
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|Port Orford, Oregon|
1990 Aerial view of Port Orford
|Motto: "Natural. Wonders."|
Location in Oregon
|• Mayor||James Auborn|
|• Total||1.61 sq mi (4.17 km2)|
|• Land||1.56 sq mi (4.04 km2)|
|• Water||0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)|
|Elevation||59 ft (18.0 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||1,128|
|• Density||726.3/sq mi (280.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1147902|
The first European settlers, led by Captain William Tichenor, arrived in 1851. Tichenor, needing to return to the north for supplies, left a group of nine men behind. However, members of the local Qua-to-mah tribe reacted with hostility to the newcomers, who were encroaching on their territory. Taking up a position on a nearby seastack, now known as Battle Rock, the settlers were attacked by a band of more than 100 Qua-to-mahs. Twenty-three natives were killed, and two of Tichenor's men were wounded in the ensuing conflict. Soon afterward, a truce was called between the two groups, when the settlers told the natives that they would be leaving in 14 days. For the next two weeks, the settlers did not see any members of the local tribe. However, after the 14th day, an even larger band of natives than the first attacked. During the battle, the chief of the tribe was killed. Retreating with their dead chief, the tribe set up camp nearby. The settlers soon fled north under cover of darkness.
Port Orford was formally founded in 1856. It would serve as a receiving port for mercantile commerce and fishing. The port district was formally set up in 1911, and the town became a shipping port for local Port Orford Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana). The port was sold in 1935, but brought back in 1957. Eventually, Port Orford saw a decline in fishing and the shipping of timber ceased.
In October 1941, then-mayor Gilbert Gable, frustrated with the poor condition of the state roads around Port Orford, which hampered economic development, suggested that a number of counties along the Oregon and California state border should secede and create the State of Jefferson. This movement came to an end with U.S. involvement in World War II.
The port is an open-water dock (no natural protection) and boasts the only drydock port on the West Coast. The fishing boats are lifted in and out of the water by operated cranes, set on custom-made dollies and parked in rows on the dock. As a result, it is known as a "dolly dock."
Port Orford is located on U.S. Route 101 between the Pacific Ocean and the Siskiyou National Forest, 28 miles (45 km) north of Gold Beach and 27 miles (43 km) south of Bandon. At 124 degrees, 29 minutes, 53 seconds west longitude, it is the westernmost city in the contiguous United States, though in Clallam County, Washington, there are three unincorporated communities that are farther west than Port Orford: Neah Bay, La Push, and Ozette. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.61 square miles (4.17 km2), of which 1.56 square miles (4.04 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.
Elevated Quaternary marine terraces deposited during the last major interglacial period have given rise to topographic features surrounding the area. The Port Orford Heads State Park is located in Port Orford on a scenic headland where the historic Coast Guard lifeboat station operated from 1930 to 1970. The city is adjacent to Cape Blanco, a headland consisting of the Cape Blanco terrace dated at 80,000 years old, and is considered by many to be the westernmost point in the contiguous U.S. (However, this is disputed; see Cape Alava in Washington.) The city is located north of Humbug Mountain, which is considered to be the tallest mountain in the contiguous U.S. to descend directly into an ocean. Garrison Lake, a 130-acre (0.53 km2) freshwater lake that is annually stocked with trout, is a natural lagoon that exists within city boundaries, along with a large amount of wetlands.
Port Orford has a Mediterranean climate (Csb according to the Köppen climate classification system) with cool, very wet winters and mild, dry summers. The average annual precipitation is 72.61 in (1,844 mm). It is at the northern end of Oregon's "banana belt", a region with relatively warm weather caused by the Brookings effect. Its hardiness zone is 9b.
|Port Orford (1981-2010 Normals)|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,133 people, 603 households, and 285 families residing in the city. The population density was 726.3 inhabitants per square mile (280.4/km2). There were 767 housing units at an average density of 491.7 per square mile (189.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.3% White, 0.6% African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.3% of the population.
There were 603 households of which 11.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 52.7% were non-families. 43.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.86 and the average family size was 2.47.
The median age in the city was 54.7 years. 11.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 16.3% were from 25 to 44; 36.7% were from 45 to 64; and 28.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,153 people, 571 households, and 311 families residing in the city. The population density was 719.1 people per square mile (278.2/km²). There were 662 housing units at an average density of 412.9 per square mile (159.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.40% White, 0.09% African American, 1.39% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.60% of the population.
There were 571 households out of which 19.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45% were non-families. 39% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2 people and the average family size was 2.66.
In the city the population was spread out with 18.8% under the age of 18, 3.4% from 18 to 24, 19.7% from 25 to 44, 30.8% from 45 to 64, and 27.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,289, and the median income for a family was $29,653. Males had a median income of $35,221 versus $15,179 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,442. About 16.1% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.
- Eli Clare (1963– ), disability justice and queer activist
- Richard T. Drinnon (1925–2012), historian
- Nick Reynolds (1933–2008), founding member of The Kingston Trio, resident from 1967–1987
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- Climate Summary for Port Orford, Oregon
- Western Regional Climate Center: NCDC 1981-2010 Monthly Normals for Port Orford
- ZipDataMaps: Port Orford, Oregon
- Moffatt, Riley Moore (1996). Population History of Western U.S. Cities and Towns, 1850–1990. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-8108-3033-2.
- "Port Orford/Langlois Schools". Port Orford-Langlois School District. Retrieved 2011-11-03.