Lookingglass, Oregon

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Lookingglass, Oregon
Census-designated place
refer to caption
The Palmer Camp at Lookinglass in 1908
Lookingglass is located in Oregon
Location within the state of Oregon
Coordinates: 43°11′05″N 123°30′00″W / 43.1848024°N 123.4999030°W / 43.1848024; -123.4999030Coordinates: 43°11′05″N 123°30′00″W / 43.1848024°N 123.4999030°W / 43.1848024; -123.4999030
Country United States
State Oregon
County Douglas
Founded by Hoy Flournoy
 • Total 11.6 sq mi (30.0 km2)
 • Land 11.6 sq mi (30.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation[1] 597 ft (182 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 855
 • Density 74/sq mi (28.5/km2)
ZIP code 97471
Area codes 458 and 541

Lookingglass is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in the Lookingglass Valley of Douglas County, Oregon, United States, about 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Roseburg.[1] As of the 2010 census it had a population of 855.[3] Lookingglass is considered a suburb of Roseburg.[4]


The valley was named in 1846 by surveyor Hoy Flournoy, who said the beautiful green grass of the valley reflected light almost as well as a mirror.[4][5] Flournoy later returned to settle in the area.[6]

The Lookingglass Store, built in 1852, was once the terminus for the Oakland to Lookingglass stage and freight road.[6] It was also the beginning of the Coos Bay Wagon Road. Today the store continues to serve as the hub of the community[6] and is the oldest business in Douglas County. Lookingglass also has a school, a grange hall, a church and a fire station.[6] Lookingglass post office closed in 1942.[6]

In the 1970s, Lookingglass, population 40 at the time, received national media attention for installing a two-horse parking meter, a telephone booth, and a fire hydrant.[2][7] Lookingglass became a minor tourist attraction.[2][8] When the fire hydrant was dedicated in 1971, it was accompanied by two manhole covers, which covered nothing, donated by a Eugene, Oregon iron company and the mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[9]

David Brinkley anchored his segment of the NBC Nightly News from the steps of the Lookingglass Store in 1974, while passing through Oregon to do a series of short news stories.[6] Chet Huntley, David Brinkley's co-anchor of the Huntley-Brinkley Report, was the great-grandson of the Lookingglass area's first settler, Daniel Huntley, who arrived in 1851.[6][10]

The James Wimer Octagonal Barn near Lookingglass was built in 1892 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11][12]


Lookingglass is located in west-central Douglas County in the valley of Lookingglass Creek, a tributary of the South Umpqua River. The community is 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Roseburg, the county seat, via Lookingglass Road.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Lookingglass CDP has an area of 11.6 square miles (30.0 km2), all of it land.[3]


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Carpinteria has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[13]


Lookingglass Elementary School is part of the Winston-Dillard School District.[14] It was founded in 1898 and currently serves grades kindergarten through six.[14] The 1898 school building burned to the ground on December 28, 2016.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Lookingglass". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 1980-11-28. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  2. ^ a b c "Town Celebrates Phone Booth". The Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. Associated Press. July 13, 1971. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Lookingglass CDP, Oregon". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Friedman, Ralph (1992). In Search of Western Oregon (2nd ed.). Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers, Ltd. pp. 226–227. 
  5. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 590. ISBN 0-87595-277-1. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Levings, Debbie (September 12, 2008). "Lookingglass Store still functions as center of community". The News-Review. Roseburg, Oregon. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  7. ^ "Lookingglass decorates for Christmas". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. December 22, 1971. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  8. ^ "Lone Parking Meter Is Top Tourist Lure In an Oregon Town". The New York Times. November 22, 1970. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  9. ^ "Two-Horse Parking Meter Gets Company". St. Petersburg, Florida: The Evening Independent. Associated Press. September 27, 1971. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  10. ^ Work Projects Administration (1940). Oregon: The End of the Trail. American Guide Series. Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort. 
  11. ^ "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. 2011-06-06. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  12. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination" (PDF). National Park Service. 1985-10-31. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  13. ^ Climate Summary for Lookingglass, Oregon
  14. ^ a b "Lookingglass School". Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. 

External links[edit]