As I See It: Construction of the South Pier | Bandon News

This week I am posting three photos on the same story, several of which were taken in 1897, as work progressed on the construction of the South Pier. The third was taken during work on the north pier. I’m not sure of the date of the third photo, but on the back it says the trolley is heading towards the end of the north pier. The cart carried rock while making the piers. In the foreground you can see the United States Life Savings crew possibly on a training mission in the river.

A headline in the Western World of December 16, 1915, spanned the full width of the front page: “$300,000 Spent to Give Coquille River a Good Harbor.

“Thirty or forty years ago the Coquille River, a waterway then navigable for only a few miles, poured its waters into the Pacific Ocean over a shallow and very dangerous bar nearby from the highest point where the Coast Guard lookout now stands.”

The point to which the article refers is what we now know as Coquille Point, well south of the current channel.

“Only small sailing schooners, of the type long since lost from the census of coastal shipping, called at Bandon and these only at rare intervals. Twenty to fifty days were consumed in the passage to San Francisco, from where they would come with supplies and return with produce from the only small sawmill on the river. A hundred thousand feet of timber was a big load for small ships and a round trip every two months was above average.

“What a story we would make today if we had to depend on a rowboat to take us to any of the upper river points from Bullards to Myrtle Point! steamboat on the river and who pulled a skiff from the old Bandon Ferry slipway to Beaver Slough or Coquille City, rather than walking or riding through the unbroken wilderness.

“It’s different now (1915). The mouth of the river has moved a quarter of a mile north and the tides come in and out through a confined channel, giving a depth of water on the bar about 12 to 16 feet at mean low tide Steamboats carrying more than 1,000,000 feet of timber and making round trips to San Francisco every five days can enter and leave without the slightest danger, while ships two to four times larger than old sailing schooners can dock at Coquille City, 22 miles inland.

“Private enterprise provided the funds for the first work carried out on the river, in 1880, when the river followed the cliff and had its outlet between Table Rock and the point on which the lookout now stands. During the four years Following this, approximately $4,000 was raised for harbor works and spent under the direction of Captain Judah Parker, founder of Parkersburg.Nearly $1,500 of this fund was the result of a large barbecue and dance held at Bandon, attended by all along the river and in all the surrounding country. .

“Large crates were built, filled with rock and poured on either side of the river mouth in hopes of confining the ever-changing channel.”

The article goes on to explain that in 1884, Congress appropriated $10,000 for work to contain the canal, where it stands today.

The second photo shows the first rock of the new pier, built in 1898.

Before the rock could be transported to the jetty, the Tupper rock quarry, which had been closed and equipment dismantled following the completion of the north jetty, had to be reopened. “”Between the quarry and the receiving quay, 3,000 feet of trestles were to be constructed and the quay rebuilt, while the part of the project on the north side of the river called for an entirely new quay and 2,500 feet of trestles.

“The reopening of the quarry has presented some difficulties in itself and to understand the problem one must know that the quarry is almost a hole in the side of a cliff or a hill, into which the wagons enter and are loaded by the top by derricks.During the previous work, all rock within safe reach of the derrick boom had been cleared, so either the derrick must be placed deeper in the pit and a less secure foundation used, be a built monster derrick.

They compromised by building two 90-foot boom derricks, one on either side of the quarry, which is the area where the Pacific View assisted living facility is located today.

“Removing thousands of tons of rock from the pit was the first job of these derricks.”

It’s hard to imagine how much work went into quarrying the rock, building the railroad trestles, and moving the rock to build the piers we take for granted today.


Megan Lawrence posted good news on Facebook on Sunday about her husband, Kyle, who was seriously injured in a car crash two weeks earlier south of Bandon during a hailstorm. Their three-year-old daughter, Ella, was seated in the back and luckily was not injured.

He was sent to OHSU in Portland, where he received the care he needs.

“Kyle is due to be released from OHSU tomorrow (Monday April 25). He will continue therapies and wound care locally/at home and will continue to use a walker for the next few weeks while his ankle heals, but he continues to beat the odds and getting stronger every day. We are beyond grateful for the medical care Kyle received in Portland, but there really is no place like home,” Megan said.


What can only be described as a series of serious incidents in Bandon continued last week with the arrest of a 26-year-old Bandon man, Torin Mourey, for second degree murder in the shooting death of his 15-year-old half. -brother, Finnian Lewis, at their home in Harvard Street Apartments shortly before 11 a.m. on April 20.

After being taken to Southern Coos Hospital for a blood alcohol test, he was taken to Coquille where he remains incarcerated.


People reading this on Monday are reminded that the chamber is holding a nominee forum for county commissioner candidates on Tuesday, April 26, starting at 6:30 a.m. at The Barn.


I was sorry to learn of the passing of Patti Boice Strain, a Curry County native, author and former longtime manager of Shell City, who passed away on April 16 at the age of 87. She made her home in Myrtle Point.

She and her late husband Hal Strain, who died in 2017, were instrumental in founding the Coquille Valley Historical Society. Several years ago she wrote a 766-page book called “Floras Creek Precinct and the Boice Family of Curry County”, which she gave me a copy of because she knew of my love of history.

I also heard that former resident Mary Matney Bray (formerly Pettitt) died on April 15 in Corvallis at the age of 79. While in Bandon, she served on the Bandon School Board and was a mother of nine children.

Funeral services were held April 23 at the Lawn Memorial in Corvallis.


It has been announced that the theme for the 76th Bandon Cranberry Festival, scheduled for September 9-11, is Cranberry Country Jubilee. The main sponsor is Rogue Credit Union.

Another event guaranteed to draw a number of people into the community is the all-school reunion scheduled for Saturday, August 6, from noon to 4 p.m. at the high school gymnasium. Other classes, including my class (1957), are also planning to meet this weekend.


Fabulous is the only way to describe the Bandon Showcase concert featuring pianist Tien Hsieh, at the Sprague Theater on Friday night. His long standing ovation expressed how much the audience loved his performance and unless you were into it, like me, it would be hard to describe. Not only was the gig wonderful, but it was so nice to mingle with friends after a two year Covid hiatus.

The next thing we have to look forward to is the spring production of MarLo Dance Studio’s “Anastasia” taking place May 13-15 and May 20-22 at The Sprague, with tickets at ———————————————

I learned this week that a house, overlooking the old town and the river, recently sold for $2,175,000 after being listed for $1.9 million. It’s amazing what’s happening to house prices in Bandon.


This Saturday (April 30) is the Earth Day Tree K event, sponsored by the city’s Parks and Recreation Commissioners, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at City Park, with entertainment, food and speakers.


Remember, the annual brush and yard debris removal begins Monday, June 13. People are allowed a maximum of 5 cubic yards (about two pick-up loads) free of charge. Place your yard debris in the right-of-way along the street before June 13.


A person who lives in the Two Mile area reported this week that someone had tried to break into his property and at some point broke the motion sensor light and removed it. But the message was that someone had been on their property who wasn’t supposed to be there and people in that area need to be vigilant.

Jennifer C. Burleigh