Siuslaw River, Florence

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Siuslaw River, Florence

by | Jun 23, 2020

The Siuslaw River enters the Pacific Ocean about 53 miles (85 km) west of Eugene and 43 miles (69 km) south of Newport, Oregon. Florence is a coastal community at the mouth of the river that was originally inhabited by the Siuslaw Tribe. The origin of the town name is in doubt but may be after state senator A.B. Florence who represented the area from 1858 to 1860. Another claim is that Florence was named after a French vessel that was wrecked at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on February 17, 1875.

Another well known shipwreck was the schooner Bella that grounded on the south jetty of the Siuslaw River on January 1906. The Bella was built upriver of Florence at Acme (now known as Cushman) in 1897. She served the lumber trade hauling lumber from Florence to San Francisco and bringing supplies back, since the town did not have road access at the time.

It is reported that the Bella arrived at Florence when the bar was rough and was laying offshore waiting for better weather when she was blown ashore. The crew walked through the surf, and all the supplies were salvaged, but the ship was lost. Today, most of the time there is no trace of wreckage but occasionally winter storms erode the intertidal area a bit lower than normal and remains of the ship are exposed. Read more here and here. Explore more of the Siuslaw River and Florence here:

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