Harlan, Oregon

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Harlan is an unincorporated community in Lincoln County, Oregon, United States, about 30 miles west of Corvallis.[1] It is located in a valley of the Central Oregon Coast Range in the Siuslaw National Forest.[2] The community's economy was once based on logging and sawmills.[3] Cattle ranching is another mainstay of the local economy.[4][5]

James R. Harlan helped establish a post office at this locale and the office was named for him.[6] Harlan post office ran from 1890 until 1968; Harlan was the first postmaster.[6] Harlan Cemetery was also founded in 1890.[7]

In 1915, Harlan had a public school and a population of 200.[8] A new school and a store were built in 1926.[7] Harlan School closed in 1967 and students then attended school in Eddyville.[7] The store, which housed the post office and was also a gas station, closed in 1971 and is now a private residence.[3][8] In 1993, author Ralph Friedman reported that there was "nothing much" in Harlan.[9] Chapel of the Valley church, built in 1961, still serves a congregation.[5][7] The last commercial sawmill in Harlan shut down in the early 1980s.[7] As of 2008, a small one-man hobby sawmill still operated.[4]


  1. ^ "Harlan". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  2. ^ Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer (7th ed.). Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. 2008. p. 32. ISBN 0-89933-347-8.
  3. ^ a b Odegard, Kyle (December 7, 2008). "Home Sweet Childhood Home". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  4. ^ a b Odegard, Kyle (December 7, 2008). "A Changing Landscape". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  5. ^ a b Odegard, Kyle (December 7, 2008). "Harlan Pretty But Isolated, Locals Say". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  6. ^ a b McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 446. ISBN 978-0875952772.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Harlan Timeline". Corvallis Gazette-Times. December 7, 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  8. ^ a b Friedman, Ralph (1990). In Search of Western Oregon (2nd ed.). Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers, Ltd. ISBN 0-87004-332-3.
  9. ^ Friedman, Ralph (1993) [1972]. Oregon for the Curious (3rd ed.). Portland, Oregon: Pars Publishing Company. p. 42. ISBN 0-87004-222-X.

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Coordinates: 44°32′23″N 123°41′35″W / 44.539842°N 123.693165°W / 44.539842; -123.693165