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Bandon History - A Timeline

Old Bandon Arch

Above is a postcard of Bandon from 1928 showing the welcome arch on Second Street.
Notice the building at the far end on the left. It still stands today.

The following is a listing of significant events of the area since that time. Mary Capps, who put this listing together, is a lifelong resident of this area.

Date Events
pre-1850 Area inhabited by the Coquille (Ko-quell) Native American Tribe.
1851 Gold discovered at nearby Whiskey Run Beach by French Trappers.
1852 Henry Baldwin, from Cork County, Ireland, was shipwrecked on the Coos Bay Bar and walked into this area.
1853 First settlers established present town site.
1856 Native resistance to white settlement is defeated and Indians go to Siletz Reservation.
1859 “Twin Sisters” sailed into Coquille River and thus opened for all inland produce and resources.
1873 George Bennett with sons Joseph and George A., and Mr. Sealy, come from Bandon, Ireland.
1874 Town’s first name of Averill is changed to Bandon.
1876 Joseph Williams and 3 sons arrived from Bandon, Ireland the election has 15 voters.
1877 Post Office is established.
1880 Cheese-making began and Congress appropriated money for the jetty.
1883 First sawmill, schoolhouse, and Catholic Church.
1884 Army Corps of Engineers begin jetty construction.
1886 School District #54 established.
1888 First ocean-going schooner to be built in Bandon is completed.
1890 Census shows a population of 219.
1891 City of Bandon is incorporated February 18, 1891.
1893 Woolen Mill established.
1896 Bandon Lighthouse built.
1897-98 Jetty constructed on Coquille River.
1900 Census shows a population of 645.
1910 Population reaches 1,803 as town becomes a primary tourist attraction on the Oregon coast.
1912 Bandon has developed as a principle port between San Francisco and Portland...300 vessels visit during the year.
1914 Fire destroys the waterfront business district.
1921 Bandon Electric Company was established.
Early 1930's First cranberry cooperative formed by local growers.
1936 The Great Fire of 1936.
1936-46 Town begins to rebuild, areas west of the highway and the downtown area were rebuilt.
1947 First Bandon Cranberry Festival.
1950's City’s steady growth continues.
1962 Bandon airport dedicated.
1970's Business District moves to south of town along the highway.
Approx. 1970 Wastewater Treatment Plant was built.
1970 Current Bandon City Hall was dedicated.
1974 Bandon High School burns.
1980’s Old Town area is re-developed, new boat basin and shopping in East Bandon constructed.
Approx. 1980 Current Water Plant was established.
1981 The current Bandon City Charter was adopted.
1989 Population is 2535.
Early 1990’s Forest products industry still continues. Cranberries, fishing, cheese-making and tourism are major industries.
1991 City Centennial Celebration.
1993 Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade dedication.
1996 Centennial celebration of the Lighthouse held.
2000 Population is 2,833.
2010 Population is 3,066

Old Bandon Arch

View of welcome arch on Second Street in August, 2002. Note that the building at the end on the left is the same as in the picture at the top of this page.

Bandon Historical Articles
Bullards, Oregon - Dorothy Chandler

Bullards Store

This is a first person account of growing up in Bullards, Oregon. Learn more about Lester Bundy, Bullards Post Offfice and Store and the Bullards ferry.Read About It!

Coast Guard Memories - Art Dobney


Art Dobney shares some of his memories from his Coast Guard service in Bandon.Read About It!

Bandon's "Sons of the Beaches"

Lord Bennett

Though officially "The Beachmen," the group more popularly known as the "Sons of the Beaches" were recruited from and sponsored by Bandon's Chamber of Commerce.Read About It!

Bandon's Founder - George Bennett

Lord Bennett

George Bennett's first trip down the Coquille River with his two sons was an adventure that became the beginning of Bandon.Read About It!

Bandon's First Golf Course - Westmost

Westmost Golf Course

Proposed in 1927, the golf course farthest west in America was officially opened in June 1928.Read About It!

Millard Military School


Founded in 1953 on Langlois Mountain the school moved to Bandon in 1962. Its last class to graduate was in 1981.Read About It!

Fourth of July Fish Fry - 1949

Fish Fry

4000 people enjoyed the free fish fry sponsored by the Bandon Chamber of Commerce.Read About It!

Celebration of May Day in Bandon

May Day

May Day is not widely celebrated in Bandon any more, but the museum has a trove of information about May Day celebrations in the past. Read About It!

Wecoma Baths and Cottages

Wecoma Baths

Heated, indoor swimming was a highly anticipated event in Bandon in the summer of 1925.Read About It!

Horrific Logging Train Accident - November 1912

Train Wreck

Bandon never had a rail connection with the outside world, however, a horrific logging railroad accident made headlines in 1912. Read About It!