Coos Bay, Oregon
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Coos Bay Business Signs
Oregon Bay Area’s Chamber of Commerce claims members of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw, and Coquille people lived on the Oregon coast for thousands of years prior to European settlement. The city of Coos Bay itself is named after the Coos tribe of Native Americans. However, the Coos people refer to the city as ‘Atsixiis.’ The Coos tribe were given their name following an encounter with William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, who referred to their members as belonging to the “Cook-koo-oose nation.”
One of the first Europeans to visit the Coos Bay area was the British pirate turned privateer Sir Francis Drake in 1579. It wasn’t until January of 1852, however, that a settlement of European descended Americans was created. These were survivors of the wreck of the Captain Lincoln. They called their settlement Camp Castaway. J.C. Tolman created the first permanent settlement in the area in 1853. Tolman named it ‘Marshfield’ after his hometown back in Massachusetts. The city of Coos Bay rose up around it. Coos Bay was incorporated as Marshfield in 1874.
Today, according to a 2012 United States Census Bureau estimate, the city of Coos Bay has a total population of 15,857 people. This makes it the largest city located along the coast of Oregon.
The city of Coos Bay features a variety of attractions. Among them is Mingus Park. Mingus Park, which is located downtown, features a 1-mile (1.6 km) walking path, an outdoor swimming pool, an amphitheater, an 18-hole disc golf course, a skate park, tennis courts, playgrounds, and a softball field.
One of the larger natural attractions in the Coos Bay area is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. According to Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon Dunes attracts approximately 1.5 million tourists annually. Oregon Dunes covers an area of 31,566 acres (12,774 ha) and was established as part of Siuslaw National Forest in 1972. Siuslaw National Forest, which was founded on July 1st, 1908, contains coastal forests and sand dunes.
The city of Coos Bay isn’t all about the natural world, of course. The city boasts a number of other attractions as well. Coos Art Museum, houses in an Art Deco building built in 1936, Coos Art Museum houses six exhibition galleries and offers art classes, lectures, and other community events.
Coos Bay’s Egyptian Theatre, which was converted from a garage to a theatre in 1925, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Architecturally, the theatre was converted into the Egyptian Revival style of the 1920s. To this day, the theatre contains its original “décor, light fixtures, and furnishings, including its bronze pharaoh statues, friezes depicting lotus, papyrus, discs, uraei, and ravens.” It was built and converted by Charles Noble. It still operates as a theatre.
Coos Bay has no professional sports teams. The city does, however, host two annual festivals. The Blackberry Arts Festival, which began in 1982 and is held every August, “showcases local arts, crafts, food, and entertainment in the historic Marshfield District.” Oregon Cost Music Festival, founded in 1978 and held every July, features “local, national, and international artists performing diverse genres such as Native American, Celtic, Jazz, and Chamber, as well as an 80-piece orchestra.”
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