Depoe Bay and the World’s Smallest Harbor
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 48.590 W 124° 03.586
10T E 416198 N 4962371
Quick Description: History sign near the Coast Guard Station in Depoe Bay Harbor.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 5/21/2016 8:21:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMR7AJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 3

Long Description:

This sign is located on the harbor wall south of the Depoe Bay Coast Guard Station.

Marker Name: Depoe Bay and the World’s Smallest Harbor

Marker Text: YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS: The body of water known as Depoe Bay lies to the west of Hwy 101 between North Point and South Point. The six and a half acre Depoe Bay Harbor lies to the east and southeast of the bridge.
THE BEGINNING
Standing here today, imagine what Depoe Bay harbor looked like to the Native Americans who used the natural estuary for fishing, shell fishing and seal hunting, and to the European explorers of the Northwest coast.
FIRST DEVELOPMENT OF THE HARBOR BASIN
In 1937, Congress authorized development of the inner bay area (the harbor). Following development in 1939, the harbor was shallow ad anchored boats rested on their sides on the mud flats during low tide. The east side (the area where you are standing) had no sea wall and the forest reached to near the high tide line. Unwary fishermen who ventured into the harbor during high water often found themselves stranded at low tide.

There are 10 photos on the sign with captions (see photo gallery):
#1 — 1910 - Looking west at the harbor channel entrance at high tide. The large rock in the channel was later removed.
#2 — 1912 - Looking toward the harbor’s north bank. The channel entrance is obscured by trees in the upper left corner of the photo.
#3 — The Spouting Horn Restaurant which was built in 1934. The second story, added in 1936 served as temporary headquarters and barracks for the 30 or 40 Coastguardsmen stationed at the Depoe Bay Coast Guard Station during WWII.
#4 — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Depoe Bay Harbor Project was well underway when the photo at left was taken in 1950. The water from North Depoe Bay Creek was diverted directly outside the harbor by way of the flume seen in the photo at left keeping the harbor dry and safe for the dredging, and the installation of boat docks and the sea wall on the harbor’s east side (where you are now standing). A second, unseen flume diverted the water from South Depoe Bay Creek to the sea. In 1936, a wildfire swept through the forest surrounding Depoe Bay, threatening to destroy the town. The burnt trees on the hillside above the harbor show what a close call it was for the townspeople.
#5 — August 1935 photo shows the concrete single span, 150-foot Depoe Bay bridge, designed by C.B. Mcculloch, and completed in 1927. In the early days, boats anchored in harbor, tie up at the dock just inside the harbor from the bridge, or simply pulled up onto the beach on the harbor’s west side.
#6 — Fishermen used small boats to row out to their anchored fishing boats. The Depoe Bay Community Hall, seen in the center of the upper right photo, was built in 1939.
#7 — In 1940, the bridge was widened with an additional deck arch in the style of the original bridge.
#8 & #9 — With the first development of the harbor came the first commercial fishing fleet, and the first commercial seafood processor, Columbia Seafood Packers. Columbia Seafood Packers closed its doors in 1950 when the Depoe Bay Harbor Project made it impossible for the commercial boats to reach them to offload their catch. Unable to recover from the one-year hiatus, the plant never reopened, but harbor expansion and growth continued.
#10 — Over time, the commercial fleet died out, leaving charter and sport fishing to take its place. In 1953, Jimco Sport Fishing bought the Columbia Seafood Packers property, tore down the old plant, and replaced it with a thriving charter fishing service.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: State of Oregon

Marker Type: City

Region: Coast

County: Lincoln

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Volcanoguy visited Depoe Bay and the World’s Smallest Harbor 5/13/2016 Volcanoguy visited it