Florence, Oregon

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Florence is a city in Lane County, Oregon, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 7,263.



The Florence area was originally inhabited by the Siuslaw tribe of Native Americans. Some state that the city was named for state senator A. B. Florence, who represented Lane County from 1858 – 1860; another notion is that Florence was named for a French vessel that was wrecked at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on February 17, 1875.[3]

On November 12, 1970, a dead sperm whale that had washed up on the beach was destroyed with dynamite, the theory being that scavengers such as seagulls and crabs would consume the smaller pieces.[4] Decades later, the resulting debacle became widely known via the Internet as the exploding whale story.


Florence is located on the Oregon Coast at the mouth of the Siuslaw River about the same latitude as Eugene, Oregon, and is approximately midway between the other major central Oregon coastal cities of Newport and Coos Bay. The community of Glenada lies just across the Siuslaw on U.S. Route 101 to the south of Florence, and the city of Yachats is 26 miles to the north. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14.3 km²), of which, 4.9 square miles (12.7 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it is water. The total area is 10.71 % water.[citation needed]

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