Pacific City, Oregon

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Pacific City is a census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated community in Tillamook County, Oregon, United States.[3] The population was 1,027 at the 2000 census. Pacific City's main attraction is the Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

Contents

Geography

Pacific City is located at 45°12′19″N 123°57′38″W / 45.205243°N 123.960475°W / 45.205243; -123.960475.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.8 square miles (10.0 km2), of which, 3.7 square miles (9.7 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2) of it (2.86%) is water. The area is located 13 feet (4.0 m) above sea-level.[3]

History

In 1845, Mr. Johnson, a cook on an English ship sailing along the Columbia River, deserted and traveled down the Willamette Valley. Establishing a land claim in Champoeg, he began removing brush and that summer set off a burn to clear debris. The Champoeg Fire got out of control and spread eastward. Unfortunately, the wind then reversed direction and strengthened, blowing the blaze around the previous burn and fanning it into the dry Coast Range, where it burned in the Yamhill basin for weeks, consuming 1,500,000 acres (6,100 km2) of old growth forest - the largest such area destroyed in a single forest fire in the United States[5]. Settlers did not live west of the Coast Range, but the small tribes of Native Americans in the area, already depleted by 80% due to malaria and other epidemics from 1830-1841[6], were driven from their lands.

The Nestuggas were one such tribe, that had previously been encamped just north of Pacific City near the town of Woods. While they had noticed the smoke for several weeks, but were surprised one morning as the bright flames flickered atop the crests of the surrounding hills and rushed down on them. The Nestuggas fled by canoe down the Big Nestucca River to the ocean, and took refuge on the half-mile wide bare sandspit between Nestucca Bay and the ocean. After several weeks the fires were ended by a heavy rain, but the devastation had been complete: The forests were gone, and the game found to be charred crisp or cooked in the water they had sought refuge in. [7]

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