The History of Lincoln County Communities

(In alphabetical order)

Chitwood 97391

This was a station on the line of the Southern Pacific Company between Corvallis and Toledo. George T. Smith, postmaster at Chitwood, wrote in 1925 that the station and post office were named for Joshua Chitwood, who lived near the present site of the community when the railroad was built down the Yaquina River. This railroad was built between 1881 and 1885. Chitwood is home to one of Lincoln County's covered bridges.

Depoe Bay 97341

The exact origin of the name of Depoe Bay has been obscured by time, although there is a general knowledge of the matter. The bay and other geographic features in Lincoln County, including a creek flowing into Yaquina River near Toledo, appear to have been named for an Indian who was associated in some way with an early-day army or Indian supply depot in the Siletz territory. He assumed or was given the name Depot, but it appears to have been entered on the records as Depoe, and that is the form now generally used. The spelling Depoe as been correct for the stream near Toledo. The name is generally pronounced without stress on either syllable. The Oregonian , Sept. 9, 1936 said that the bay was named for Willie DePoe, a Siletz Indian. He was known as "Old Charley", and his wife's name was Matilda. The Oregon Journal Nov. 8, 1935 issue recounts the fact that Dr. F. W. Vincent of Pendelton and his grandfather cruised up the Oregon Coast from north of Newport in 1878 and observed a break in the shoreline. Lowering the sails of their 40-foot boat, they finally rowed it into the little harbor. "We found there the anchor chains of a sea-going craft, two headlights and the letters 'U.S.,' so we named the little spot 'Wreckers Cove'," said Dr. Vincent. The name has not prevailed.

Eddyville 97343

This post office seems to have had more than the usual number of moves. It was first called Little Elk, because it was near the mouth of Little Elk Creek. About 1888 Israel F. Eddy, the postmaster, moved the office about a mile west and had the name changed to Eddyville. Some four years later, the office was brought back to it's original location and the name changed to Little Elk. About 1893, it was moved again to Eddy's place and was continued under the name Eddyville until1900, when it was moved back to the mouth of Little Elk Creek, but it's name was not changed and the office still goes by the name Eddyville. Israel Eddy was a man of generous size and remarkable strength who, on more than one occasion, seized brawlers by the neck and dunked them into the horse trough. In 1908, at the wedding of a local young lady, he appeared with a coonskin cap and ear trumpet and regaled the assembly with the story of how he recovered from the flu by drinking a swig of piano polish mistaken for his medicine. Eddy died in 1911 at age 87.

Elk City 97391

Elk City is at the junction of Elk Creek and Yaquina River, and was named for the creek. It is said to have been there first settlement in what is now Lincoln County. Postal records show that Newton post office was established in July 1868, with E. A. Abbey as first post master. Marshall Simpson became postmaster in Nov. 23, 1869. He was out of office a few years, but held the position again on Nov. 23, 1888, when the name was changed from Newton to Elk City. It is said that he instigated the change. Statements to the effect that Elk City was named by pioneer settlers about 1865 do not agree with the records unless the locality and the post office went by different names.

Glenden Beach 97388

Glenden Beach is a type of descriptive name frequently found in seashore areas where there are high hopes of real estate sales. This place is about is about a mile south of the south end of Siletz Bay. Glenden Beach post office was established Nov. 1, 1927, with William F. Cary first postmaster and was discontinued June 23, 1961. It is now a rural station out of Lincoln City.

Harlan 97326

James R. Harlan was one of the originators of the plan to secure a post office, and the office, when established about 1890, was named for him. He was the first postmaster, according to information by the postmaster in 1926.

Kernville 97367

In April1943, Miss Grace Kern of Portland wrote about the beginings of this community. Kernville was named by the late Daniel Kern of Portland, who with his brother, John H. Kern, operated a salmon cannery on Siletz River not far from it's mouth. The business was known as Kern Brothers Paking Company and was started in 1896. The locality was isolated and could be reached only by water. The cannery was sold in 1898 to Mat P. Keirnan and J. W. Cook of Portland. Later it passed to the hands of Sam Elmore of Astoria. Kernville is now near US-101, the Oregon Coast Highway, a great change from 1896, which was the first idustry in north Lincoln County. The cannery was on the north bank of Siletz River about two miles up stream from the old Oregon Coast Highway bridge and the location of Kernville in 1945. The sawmill, post office, and original community of Kernville were on the southwest bank about a mile up stream from the present site of Kernville which, since the completion of the new Siletz River bridge and the rerouting of US-101 in the 1980s, is no longer on the main highway. Kernville post office was established July 6, 1896, with John H. Kern as the first postmaster. Matthew became postmaster August 7, 1899. The office has been out of service at times.

Lincoln Beach 97341

Lincoln Beach is a summer resort area about three miles north of Depoe Bay on the Oregon Coast Highway. It was so named because it was in Lincoln County. The post office was established May 22, 1933, with George W. Betts as postmaster.

Lincoln City 97367

On Dec. 8, 1964 the cities of Oceanlake, Delake, Taft, and the unincorporated communities of Cutler City and Nelscott voted to combine into a single community. The name Lincoln City was derived from the county and was a non-controversial solution to the often tricky surviving name problem.

Neotsu 97364

Neotsu is a post office on US-101 near the north end of Devils Lake. The name is said to be Indian for "lake." There is no satisfactory translation. There are many Indian legends about Devils Lake. It was, apparently a place where evil skookums flourished. In Coast Pilot, 1889, Davidson uses the spelling Na-ah-so, without explination. It has been said Devils Lake referred to as me-sah'-chie chuck, Chinook jargon for evil water.

Newport 97365

Home to the Oregon Coast History Center. This post office was established July 2, 1868, with Samuel Case as postmaster. It was intended to describe Newport, Rhode Island, although it is unknown who titled it. However, it is known Samuel Case lived in Rhode Island, near Newport. Case established the "Ocean House" resort hotel said to be named after a famous hotel in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport was incorporated in 1882 and became the county seat in 1952.

Otis 97368

This post office was established April 24, 1900, with Archibald S. Thompson as postmaster. It was named after Otis Thompson, Archibald's nephew.

Rose Lodge 97372

Rose Lodge post office was established Febuary 8, 1908, at the home of Julia E. Dodson, the first postmaster. Mrs. Dodson had a rose bower or "gazebo" over her front gate, and named the office on that account. The office closed in Dec. 1964.

Seal Rock 97376

These rocks form a ledge of partly submerged rocks extending parallel to the coast for about two and a half miles and a distance of a half mile from the beach. The highest rock rises about 20 feet out of the water. There is one large rock at the shoreline and several smaller ones. The place was called Seal Illahe, Chinook for seal home or seal place. It is named for the rocks, but is called Seal Rock. The post office was established April 25, 1890, with J. W. Brasfield as the postmaster.

South Beach 97366

This is a descriptive name for the community near the south side of Yaquina Bay. It has been so known since the turn of the century, although the post office was not established there until May 18, 1916. Harborton is the name of the official plat, but that name is not in general use. Margeret F. Conrad was the first postmaster. An 1893 map uses the form South Besch.

Tidewater 97390

Tidewater lies east of Waldport, and received it's name because it is near the head of tide on Alsea River.

Toledo 97391

Toledo is on the homestead of John Graham, a pioneer resident, who imigrated from Ohio. It is said that when the post office was establish in 1868, Joseph D. Graham, a son, was told that he could name the place. He said: "I am homesick for Ohio. We will call this place Toledo." Toledo post office was established on July 14, 1868, with William Mackey as postmaster. Toledo was designated the county seat when Lincoln County was created in 1893. In 1952, the courthouse was moved to Newport.

Waldport 97394

This community is said to have received its name in the early 1880s at the suggestion of P. V. Wustrow, then postmaster at Alsea. It came from wald, German for forest, and the English word port, describing that the bay was surrounded by forest, which it once was. Waldport was established by David Ruble, and the post office was established June 17, 1881. This office was on the north side of Alsea Bay. The name was changed back to Collins on Feb. 23, 1882, having been named that until the establishment of the post office. On August 15, 1882, another Waldport post office was established with Thomas Russell postmaster. He was succeeded by David Ruble on Sept. 27, 1883, who had been a postmaster in the earlier Waldport.

Yachats 97498

This post office was established 1887 about a mile north of it's present location with the name Ocean Veiw, with George M. Starr as postmaster. In 1916, the name was changed to Yachats, after a tribe of Indians, which are now nearly extict. The name is pronounced Ya-hats. There is much confusion of the origin of the name Yachats, which can be attributed to the European and Euro-Americans who were keepers of the written language. When Yachats was a part of the Siletz Indian Reservation, agents and superintendants changed the spelling and pronunciation. Variations include Yawhuch Prarie, Yawhick Prarie, and the Yachants.
All information from Oregon Geographic Names, edited by Lewis A. McArthur, 6th edition © 1992 Oregon Historical Society Press and from the Lincoln County Historical Society files. Our Homepage