Rockaway Beach, OR is a small coastal town located in Tillamook County. The area has a rich history and has been the site of several significant historical events. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Rockaway Beach, OR.
1. The Exploration of the Pacific Northwest
Before the town of Rockaway Beach existed, the Pacific Northwest was explored by various individuals, including Lewis and Clark in 1805. Along with their team, they ventured to the Pacific Ocean by following the Columbia River down to the coast not far from present-day Rockaway Beach, OR. The Pacific Northwest would gradually become populated with settlements and towns.
2. Tillamook Burn
The Tillamook Burn was a series of forest fires that devastated the area for over fifty years between 1933 and 1951. It was one of the most constant and largest money-losers for the Forest Service. Over 350,000 hectares of land burned, including the entire town of Rockaway Beach, OR. Following the fires, extensive reforestation efforts took place.
3. The Railway Era
The town was created following the completion of a railway that ran from Portland to the coastal town of Garibaldi in 1911. The railway made the transportation of goods and people more efficient and helped spur development in towns along its route. In later years, the railroad was mainly used for tourism purposes.
4. World War II Military Fortifications
The coast of Oregon was seen as a possible target of an attack during World War II. As a result, the U.S. military built several fortifications along the coast, including at Charleston not far from Rockaway Beach, OR. The forts are now a part of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
5. The Long Beach Peninsula
In the early 19th century, the nearby Long Beach Peninsula was a hub for goods transported by ships. It was a frequent stop for steamships, and it was common for sailors to only make it this far south before turning back out to sea. The nearby town of Seaview, WA, and Ocean Park, WA provided popular getaways from the rest of the world.
6. The 1962 Columbus Day Storm
The Columbus Day Storm occurred in October 1962 and was one of the most powerful extra-tropical cyclones on record, causing significant damage to the Oregon coast. The storm had wind speeds up to 145 mph and led to widespread destruction, including in Rockaway Beach, OR.
7. The Creation of the Tillamook Cheese Factory
In 1909, the Tillamook County Creamery Association was founded as a cooperative for local farmers. The creamery specialized in creating cheese from local dairy farmers' milk, leading to the creation of the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, OR, only a short distance from Rockaway Beach. This factory became a major landmark and tourist attraction in the area.
Rockaway Beach, OR, and the surrounding area has a rich and diverse history that has played an essential role in the region's development over the years. From explorers like Lewis and Clark to the creation of the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the area has been home to significant historical events that continue to enrich its cultural heritage today.
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