Pioneers first settled in Coos Bay in 1853. Less than 40 years later in 1891, the Coos County Historical Society was founded. The society operates the museum, where you can learn about Coos County and its industries of logging, shipping and mining. At the entrance of the museum is a “steam donkey,” which was used to haul logs cut down for industrial use. Inside the museum, you will find many artifacts from native tribes and a variety of displays showing how early white settlers lived. The Coos County Historical Society Museum is located at 1210 Front Street. For more information, call (541) 756-6320.
Regardless of size, waterfalls are wonderful attractions. Golden Falls and Silver Falls are no exception. Located northeast of Coos Bay, these two hidden wonders cascade 100 feet into crystal clear pools. The water crashes down onto moss covered rocks and numerous kinds of wildlife roam around in the heart of nature. There is a path that allows hikers to reach the top of Golden Falls for a view of the forest. Fishing is allowed. Have a picnic in the shade of maple, alder and Oregon myrtle trees. Then take a hike through scenic canyons filled with old-growth myrtle and Douglas fir until reaching the falls. The Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area may be difficult to find, but it is well worth the 24-mile journey northeast of Coos Bay. To get to the park, follow Hwy 241 east from Coos Bay, through Allegheny to the park. For more information, call (800) 551-6949.
The Oregon Coast Historical Railway in Coos Bay, Oregon is working to preserve an important part of the region’s history by providing a place to restore and display vintage railroad and logging equipment. Their signature piece is the 1922 Baldwin steam locomotive No. 104, which served in the region’s logging industry until the 1950s.
A 1949 Alco S-2 diesel switcher engine, a former Southern Pacific caboose No. 1134, a 1946-era wooden caboose, a former Burlington Northern caboose No. 11269, and “Old Yellow,” engine No. 099, a 16-ton “car mover” or yard engine built in 1928 by Plymouth Locomotive are also onsite for viewing.
Other equipment and large artifacts have been donated to the group, along with hundreds of photographs, newspaper articles and other material known in “train fan” lingo as railroadiana. Even two conductors’ uniforms!
These interesting and historical pieces can be viewed at the display area and museum at 766 S. First St., (US 101 northbound) in Coos Bay.
According to local residents, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is the place to go ATVing or dune buggy riding. The Recreation Area stretches for 40 miles along the coast from Florence to Coos Bay and North Bend. The dunes vary in size, some even as high as 500 feet above sea level, and because of the wind, the dunes change from day to day to create some of the most amazing terrain. However, the Recreation Area is not just dunes. There are also forested trails and over 10 miles of exquisite beach that all can be accessed with an ATV. Your adventure can begin at Spinreel Dune Buggy & ATV Rentals, located at 67045 Spinreel Road in North Bend, (541) 759-3313.