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TILLAMOOK COUNTY, OREGON GENWEB PROJECT

HISTORY TIMELINE

DATE EVENT
1400s Tillamook, or Killamook, Indians inhabited a large area between Nehalem and the Salmon River and from the crest of the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean, with their main village near the mouth of the Kilchis River. "Tillamook" translates as "Land of Many Waters." The earliest Tillamook inhabitants in the Netarts area also settled around 1400 (according to archeological work of Newman, 1959). Netarts originally extended from Cape Lookout to Cape Meares. In the language of the local Killamooks "Ne ta at", meant "near the water." Later modernized spelling became Netarts. The best known occupied area for the local Indians was on the spit, with other middens in evidence at most creek outlets around the bay, mainly at Wilson Beach. Indian trails led along the coast to the mouth of the Columbia and eastward to the Willamette Valley. The "Octopus" tree on Cape Meares, once featured in Ripley's "Believe it or Not," was an Indian meeting place, and burial canoes are known to have been placed above present-day Oceanside.
1579 Sir Francis Drake (English) sailed along the Oregon coast. His maps noted "Portus Nove Albionis," contented by historians to be Nehalem Bay in Tillamook County, discovered by Drake.
1592 Juan de Fuca (Spanish) discoverd the straits which bear his name.
1744 - July 18 Lieut. Juan Perez (Spanish) sailed as far north as 54° 40'.
1765 First use of the Indian name Oregon (or "Ouragon") by Maj. Robert Rogers in a petition to King George III to explore territory in search of North West Passage.
1775 - Aug 18 Capt. Bruno Hecata (Spanish) sailed up the Pacific, noting mouth of Columbia.
1778 (March 12): Captain Cook (English) voyage up the Pacific coast in search of "New Albion."

(July 6): Captain Meares (English) discovered Tillamook Bay, naming it "Quicksand Bay." He christened Cape Lookout the same day (later erroneously called Cape Meares by cartographers), and christened the three rocks off present day Oceanside, naming them "The Three Brothers," now known as "Three Arch Rocks." Later, he passed the Columbia, but failed to identify it as a river.

(Aug. 14): Capt. Robert Gray (U.S.) crossed Tillamook bar in sloop "Lady Washington," anchoring near where Bay City is now located. It was the first harbor on the coast of Oregon entered by a "white man's" ship. Gray found it a "tolerably commodious harbor." Because Gray's Negro servant, Marcos Lopez, was murdered, the bay was known as "Murderers' Harbour."

(Aug. 16): Capt. Meares (English) directed the launching of the ship "Northwest" at Clayoquot Sound, near Nootka. It was, except for Russian ships, the first vessel built on the Pacific Coast.
1792 (April 27): Capt. George Vancouver, on the ship "Discovery," remarked of Cape Meares (then called Lookout), "This Cape formes only a small projecting point, yet it is remarkable for the four rocks that lie off it, one of which is perforated, as described by Mr. Meares; and excepting a rock passed the preceeding afternoon, these were the first we have seen north of Cape Gregory."

(May 11): Capt. Gray successfully crossed, for the first time, the bar of the Columbia River. He was also the first U.S. citizen to circumnavigate the globe.
1806 Journals of Lewis & Clark referred to the "Kilamox" and "Killamuck" Indians. William Clark was the first white man of record to visit Tillamook Head, giving it the name "Killamuch," and observed the processing of flesh of a 105 ft. whale, which had washed up on the beach. One of the expedition members was saved from an intended robbery and murder by a Tillamook Indian through the intervention of a Clatsop-tribe woman. "Lewis and Clark estimated the Tillamooks at 2,200. By 1841 their numbers had fallen to 400. Thirty years later there were but 28 Nehalems, 55 Nestuccas, and 83 Kilchis's Tillamooks proper. By 1950 between 200 and 300 were able to prove Tillamook descent."
1811 Astoria founded by the Pacific Fur Company (PFC), with trading up the Columbia and down the coast, with the boundary of Spanish Territory at 40 degrees parallel.
1812 Pacific Fur Company sold to British Northwest Company (NWC). Duncan McDougall, trader with NWD, headquartered at Fort George (Astoria), called the Tillamooks the "most roguish people of the region."
1821 Dr. John Floyd of Virginia introduced (unsuccessfully) an Oregon bill in the U.S. Congress for the occupation of the Pacific Northwest by the United States.
1825 (March 19): Fort Vancouver dedicated by Hudson's Bay Company.
1828 (Oct. 11): Massacre of Capt. Smith party by Kelawatsets Indians as they crossed the north bank of the Umpqua River. Arthur Black, the only survivor of the special expedition sent out by Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC). Chief Factor Dr. John McLoughlin, escaped to the coast and was returned to the fort on Aug. 10, 1828 with help of friendly Tillamook Indians.
1830s – 1840s Regular appearance of Michel La Framboise (HBC) along the coast. In the early 1830's epidemics decimated the coastal Indians. By 1849 less than one-fifth remained.
1830 Hall J. Kelly wrote "A Geographical sketch of that Part of America called Oregon," in which he wrote, "Killamook river is one hundred yards wide, has no falls, and no difficult rapids. It opens into Killamook bay, ten miles south of creek of same name, and forms a communication, for a considerable indian trade, with Multnomah Valley: there being a short portage from the head of this river to the Multnomah."
1832 - May 8 Dr. J. McLoughlin directs Michel La Framboise to avenge the murder by Tillamook Indians of Pierre Kakarquiron and Thomas Canasawarette and to retrieve their stolen furs.
1836 Steamer Beaver (English) was the first steam vessel to ply the Pacific Ocean, coming under sail. It was the first vessel to run under steam in the Columbia river (April 17).
1838 Reference to "Killimoux" on engraved map of the Territory of Oregon.
1841 - Aug 14 Reverend John H. Frost, Solomon H. Smith and Lewis Taylor (Indian boy), from the Mission at Clatsop Plains, traversed the east side of Netarts Bay, proceeding over Cape Lookout, and around Sandlake en route to the Willamette Valley. The same year "Joseph Frost (Methodist) contacted Tillamook Indians, but no mission established."
1848 - Aug 14 Creation of the Oregon Territory by an act of the U.S. Congress.
1850-1853 Coastal charts drawn by U.S. Geodesic Survey, renaming Captain Meares' "Cape Lookout" as Cape Meares. Donation Land Law passed by U.S. Congress in 1850, guaranteeing settlers free land up to one square mile per married couple. "Freelands" were Indian lands.
1853 - Dec 15 Tillamook County created by the Oregon Territorial Legislature, with a land area of 1115 sq. miles. "The first twenty years were difficult ones for the settlers, especially since they had to pack all their supplies in from the north over the trecherous Neahkahnie Mountain. Several shipping attempts failed. Thirty-two shipwrecks (Orcutt, 1951) between Neahkahnie and the Nestucca bar attested to the dangerous Pacific Coast."
1853-1859 Indian Wars in the Oregon Territory. Indian coastal lands were ceded from Tillamook Bay to the California border. Agreements were never ratified, and the lands taken illegally.
1854 Several Tillamook farmers banded together to build a two-masted schooner, dubbed the “Morning Star of Tillamook,” to transport their butter to Portland. “The Morning Star,” which set sail for the first time in 1855, can still be seen on the Tillamook Creamery label today. A replica of that ship can also be seen in front of the creamery's Visitor Center.
1855 Mr. Snowden, Government's Surveyor, parcelled land in the Netarts area. The remaining Tillamooks were settled by Government order on the Siletz (1855) and Grand Ronde (1859) Reservations. "By 1900 the Tillamook were assimilated into coastal white world of timber, fishing, and wage labor."
1856 Warren Vaughn parcelled first land-grant claim in Netarts area.
1857 Earliest mention of present "Tillamook" spelling ("Oregon," by A.N. Armstrong). Used simultaneously with "Killamook."
1859 Oregon admitted as a state. Bureau of Land Management Maps and early surveys show "Netarts Wagon Road," (12 mi. long through South Prarie). Creeks were forded and roads had no gravel bed. Surveys show claims S.E. of the Bay. The "Oyster Bay" shanty-town sprang up south of Whiskey Creek. There, the Austin family took up claims.
1862 (May 20): Federal Homestead Act passed. 1862 witnessed the earliest Donation Land Claim on the Netarts Spit (grazing claim of 28 acres).
1863 "The first settlement of the Netarts Bay was made this fall (1863). There were three-four claims taken up there and one family and two or three bachelors lived on them. Tom Goodale took the place owned by Mr. Desmond and built the first house (1867-8)." (Vaughn, Book 111). Sebastian Hardman and "Mr. Grimes" were other early settlers (a later Hardman land-grant claim was made in 1898 on the Netarts spit).
1866 "Post Office named Tillamook established." Lincoln had been the previous name for Tillamook.
1867 Tim Goodale built the first house in the Netarts area. At this time an early visit was recorded (Headlight, 1896) which mentioned the prospering oyster business. Schooners came in regularly from San Francisco, paying $.50 per bushel delivered on board. Many claims made in the shallow waters of the southern part of the bay. Known local residents were T.H. McCormick and his father, Captain Portugee Thompson, "Portugee Joe," who lived with his squaw at the head of the bay and had a dairy of about 40 cows.
1868 Claus Christensen, from Denmark, settled in the area and, with Indian help from the Nestucca Reservation, harvested oysters to be sent to San Francisco. Also sent to S.F. by 30-mule pack.
1871 First post office opened (October 9, 1871). Edward C. Bunnell was first postmaster.
1873 Cornelius Desmond brought his family to Netarts "when his son Charles was 12 yrs. old."
1875 As of this date, "seventy-five Oriental junks are known to have been found adrift or ashore on the American side of the Pacific."
Glassock family moved to the Netarts area. Roy Glasscock stated, "when the boat failed to come the little settlement would run short of food except that furnished by the gardens, the forest and the sea." "The forest furnished elk, deer and bear in abundance. Wild hogs were plentiful, but, as they ate the dead fish that were thrown up by the waves, they were unfit for food. There were even wild cattle, small runty, red mullies, that were said to be the descendants of stock that had come ashore from a Spanish ship that had been wrecked on Cape Lookout on some unnamed date in the long ago." ('Oregon Boy in East-Bound "1878" Covered Wagon,' Roy Glasscock, Feb. 10, 1927)
1883 Samuel Tomlinson & family built and operated the Tillamook River ferry for the Cape and the Benscheidt (new) Roads ($.25/wagon with team, $.15 horseback, and $.05/person for a row boat to cross). The road ended at the southern end of Happy Camp and was 6 mi. long, as opposed to the original road from South Prarie, which was 12 mi. long. The third road, the Benscheidt Road, was a short-cut between the original South Prarie Road and the Tillamook River Road, beginning at the Tillamook River Ferry and ending at the summit.
1880 William C. O'Hara built a school house on the bluff overlooking the Netarts Boat Landing. It was used until 1896 when the wooden floor collasped into the earth. In the 1880's Tim McCormick established the first cemetery. Three markers are extant, with the oldest name and date: "Abraham McCormick, born July 10, 1802, died January 9, 1889."
1885 "John W. Maxwell acquired the area we call Oceanside as a soldiers homestead." (160 acres)
1887 J.H. Jackson was an early sheriff. In the same year Henry Lepaute, Paris France, hand-ground the giant (one-ton) lens for the Cape Meares Lighthouse.
1890s First saw mill erected by Theo Steinhiber & Mr. Bailey. Joe Guptal of Tillamook was a sawyer. George Phelps was the first fireman for the saw-mill boiler. Trees were yarded out by oxen to Whiskey Creek. Remnants of boiler remembered by Jim Mundell in front of Lee Hanson's oyster hatchery, at the low-tide line.
1890 George W. Phelps and family came to Netarts from Long (South) Prairie. He and his nephew purchased three acres from Pat Moore, who at one time, along with the O'Hara family, owned most of the waterfront. He built several boats and ferried people across the bay for $.05. Phelps built the largest boat, a small deep-sea boat with an indoor motor named the "Sea Lion."
1894 In 1894, T.S. Townsend, a successful dairy industry entrepreneur, established the first commercial cheese plant in Tillamook, Ore. He took 30 orders for cows from local farmers. Then he traveled to Portland, Oregon. to purchase the cows and equipment necessary to establish a milk pool and run a cheese plant. Townsend also hired Peter McIntosh, a Canadian cheesemaker experienced with the cheddaring process, who brought a recipe for cheddar cheese with him.
1896 Tidal wave hit Happy Camp.
1897 Tillamook Indians awarded a settlement of their claims for lands taken by the United States.
"3 yr. old son of George & Mary Johnson fell into Desmond Slough and drowned in 6 in. of water."
1897-1900 "Ship Free Trade" set sail from Netarts Bay for San Francisco but failed to arrive. No trace of her or crew ever found. Failure of shipment forced closure of mill.
1901 & 1903 Naturalists William L. Findley and Herman Bohlman photographed & recorded wildlife on Three Arch Rocks. Their efforts led President Theodore Taft to designate the rocks a National Wildlife Refuge in 1907.
1902 Edner's home and store located near where Pearl Mckean (of Pearl Street) lives. "Virtually all the shoreline by 1903 of the bay was occupied, showing dependence of tide-land resources."
1904 A cheese from Tillamook County won its first award in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair. These early accolades helped Tillamook county cheesemakers establish a reputation beyond the county and consistently earned them top honors in the dairy product contests at local agriculture shows and state fairs.
1906 George W. Phelps (father of Mildred Edner) built first store in Netarts, just west of Happy Camp.
1909 Many small, independent cheese plants were established throughout the county. In 1909, 10 of those plants formed the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) to control quality and to market the cheese from the county as a whole instead of from individual plants.
1910 The old lamp (in the Cape Meares Lighthouse) was replaced with an incandescent oil vapor lamp." (Headlight Herald, April 27, 1973) First trip by automobile from Newberg to Tillamook. By 1911 the first railroad line was operating to Tillamook. In 1915 a plank road through the timber had replaced the dirt wagon road.
1917 Second mill established (water powered) at Whiskey Creek, owned by Peder Erickson and Otto Kyle. Supplied ready-cut houses or cottages for tourist camps (Happy Camp?). This mill later cut sitka spruce for World War I bi-planes.
Clarence Edner and 3 sons (George, Jack, and Robert) bought the store west of Happy Camp. Renamed it from "Inside Inn" to "Camp Edner." Store divided into rental apartments upstairs, with family living-quarters in back of store.
1920s Automobiles arrived in area. Improvement of Old Netarts Road into Netarts from Tillamook via summit. Car roads extended to Oceanside. Most roads could only be used in the summer time, when the road was dry. The oldest still-standing structures in the Netarts/Oceanside area were erected then. There was a livery stable at Happy Camp, now demolished.
Extensive logging on east slope of Netarts Bay.
1930s Electric power came to Netarts.
1934 Tillamook Pioneer Society organized. The second Cape Meares light, an incandescent-oil-vapor lamp, was replaced by an electrified lamp. The original five-wick kerosene lamp was placed in the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum.
1935 935 acres donated by U.S. Lighthouse Service toward park on Cape Lookout. Louis W. Hill Family Foundation donated the Netarts Sand Spit to expand the park. The Hill property had once been purchased as possible land for a coastal railway. ECW prepared plans for Cape Lookout State Park.
1938 Cape Meares obtained a park by lease and purchase (94.32 acres). Managed by State Parks and Recreation Division, and surrounded by 138.51 acre Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge, managed jointly by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
1939 Storm breached the Cape Meares and Netarts Spits, and caused considerable damage at Happy Camp.
Civilian Conservation Corp. worked from "spike" camps at Jackson Creek in Cape Lookout State Park. 5 mi. trail constructed through rain forest to tip of Cape.
Outboard motors on Netarts Bay in common use.
1940s Military installations at Oceanside and Cape Meares. "Radar" Road constructed to still extant concrete bunker above the road. The first public water district was completed.
In the late 1940s, four of the larger independent cheese plants merged. In partnership with TCCA, they built a large, centrally located cheese plant north of the town of Tillamook.
1943 (Oct 12) World War II Army Air Force B-17 bomber struck Cape Lookout, with only one survivor.
1946-47 Edners built a new house on part of the old O'Hara Meadow, between old and new highway location.
1950s Road constructed over Cape Meares.
A small cheese shop for visitors was added to the Tillamook cheese plant.
1952 Access road constructed to Jackson Creek & Cape Lookout State Park, where parking and picnic facilities and beach access were provided. A large camping area was constructed south and east of the sand dunes at the foot of Netarts Bay on the land given by the W. Hill Family.
1955 (July 10) "The latest milestone of historic interest in Netarts will be dedicated on Saturday, July 12 at 11:00 p.m. of the new Tillamook County boat landing on Netarts Bay at the mouth of O'Hara Creek, now known as Silver Sands or Bishop's." (Headlight Herald, July 10, 1955)
1956 "Shady Brook" store erected by the Edners next to the Post Office, replacing the use of an old house as a store.
1957 New road to Cape Lookout State Park also provided access for logging. Land was logged in checkerboard fashion in the 1950's.
1960s Road extended over Cape Lookout to Sandlake.
1961 Netarts Bay Road West constructed along bay. (1961-65) Logging at S.E. corner of bay, and later in the 1970's.
1963 Automated beacon installed at Cape Lookout lighthouse.
1968 Lighthouse keeper's residences (most historic in area) demolished for a parking lot.
By 1968 all of the smaller local cheese plants had consolidated into the large, central Tillamook Creamery plant. This marked the beginning of operations as a single cooperative.
1977 (July): Completion of Netarts/Oceanside Sanitary System (5.5 million gal. capacity).
1979 An expanded Visitor's Center at Tillamook Creamery was opened to the public, offering an observation area, an educational slide show, a museum, a deli and fudge counter, and an ice cream dipping counter. Over the years, the facility has been expanded and redesigned to accommodate the nearly 1 million annual visitors to the site.
1988: Additional lands added to Cape Lookout State Park (40-acres tract on south side of Cape Lookout).
1990 A new cheesemaking room and fully automated cheddaring system, known as the “Cheddarmaster.”  is added to the Tillamook Creamery.
1991-94: "The Capes" developed on coastal land immediately north of Netarts.
1994 Expecting extensive development pressures, both Netarts and Oceanside began organizing local-planning groups.

 

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