The town of Ashland, Oregon is home to the oldest continuously operating Shakespeare festival in the United States. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival was founded in 1935 and has become a major cultural attraction, drawing visitors from around the world.
Coos County, located in southwestern Oregon, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Coos and Miluk tribes, who thrived on fishing, hunting, and gathering in the forests and along the coast. In the 16th century, European explorers and fur traders began arriving in the region, establishing a presence and introducing new technologies and goods.

During the mid-19th century, the discovery of gold in nearby areas attracted large numbers of settlers to Coos County. However, it was the timber industry that ultimately brought significant economic development and growth to the region. The abundance of coastal forests provided a valuable resource that fueled the establishment of sawmills and logging camps. Timber became the backbone of Coos County's economy for many decades, attracting workers from all over the country and leading to the formation of numerous towns and communities.

In the early 20th century, Coos County faced significant challenges, including fires, economic downturns, and labor disputes. However, the region rebounded during World War II, when a surge in demand for lumber and other resources revitalized the local economy. Following the war, Coos County continued to thrive as industries diversified, including fishing, manufacturing, and tourism.

Today, Coos County is known for its stunning natural beauty, including its rugged coastline, expansive forests, and diverse wildlife. The region has also embraced eco-tourism and outdoor recreational activities, attracting visitors from around the world. With a population that values its history and natural resources, Coos County maintains a unique blend of traditional industries and a commitment to sustainable development for the future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Coos County, Oregon.

  • 1848 - The first settlers, primarily fur trappers and traders, arrive in the Coos County area.
  • 1850 - Coos County is officially established as a county in the Oregon Territory.
  • 1860 - Coos County experiences a boom with the discovery of gold in the area, attracting many miners.
  • 1870 - The Coos Bay Wagon Road is completed, linking Coos County to the rest of the state and spurring economic growth.
  • 1880 - Logging becomes a major industry in Coos County, leading to the establishment of several sawmills.
  • 1890 - Coos County's population reaches over 11,000 as more people come to work in the logging and fishing industries.
  • 1900 - The Southern Pacific Railroad extends its line to Coos County, further boosting economic development.
  • 1910 - Coos County experiences a decline in its timber industry due to overlogging and stricter regulations.
  • 1920 - The Great Depression hits Coos County hard, causing widespread unemployment and economic hardship.
  • 1930 - Coos County begins to recover from the Great Depression with the construction of the Coos Bay Bridge.
  • 1940 - World War II brings a brief economic boost to Coos County as the shipbuilding industry flourishes.
  • 1950 - The decline of the shipbuilding industry leads to an economic downturn in Coos County.
  • 1960 - Tourism becomes an important sector in Coos County, as visitors are attracted to its natural beauty.
  • 1970 - Coos County experiences socio-economic changes, with a shift from resource-based industries to service and healthcare.
  • 1980 - Coos County faces challenges with unemployment and an aging population.
  • 1990 - Efforts are made to diversify the economy with the development of tourism and technology-based industries.
  • 2000 - Coos County continues to face economic challenges, but efforts are made to promote sustainable development.