While there’s still a lodging lockdown in place until May 31, we look forward to the 1st of June when we are scheduled to reopen our beach vacation rentals. Lincoln City will be a perfect place to escape with meticulously cleaned and sanitized vacation rentals within a stone’s throw of vast, coastal spaces that go on for miles. Lincoln City, Oregon is known for its 7½ miles of beaches, as well as fun annual traditions such as Glass Floats on the Beach and the twice-yearly kite festivals. The city also has a rich history that you can look forward to exploring on your next visit, from its Native American history to its early European settlement days to its current position in the coastal arts and culture scene. Keep reading to learn more about Lincoln City’s fascinating history and find inspiration for your next visit.
Lincoln City’s Native American History
The Oregon Coast was originally home to many tribes that are now part of the 27-member Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians along with other Native American tribes and bands that once lived between Northern California and southwest Washington. When the Coast (Siletz) Reservation was established in 1855, it included part of modern-day Lincoln City. These 27 tribes spoke numerous languages, including the Clatsop dialect of Chinook, Coos, Shasta, Siuslaw, Takelma, Tillamook, and many others. Some of these names might be familiar if you live in the Pacific Northwest or have ever visited our Oregon beach house rentals. Lincoln City locals and visitors should also recognize the name of Siletz Bay.
The Communities Before Lincoln City’s Incorporation
Lincoln City did not exist until 1965 when the unincorporated communities of Delake, Oceanlake, and Taft joined with the nearby towns of Cutler City and Nelscott, all of which were nestled around Lincoln City’s current main street (Highway 101). Homesteaders began arriving in the area as early as the 1880s, though, and Taft (named after our 27th President, William H. Taft) established its post office in 1906. Delake was founded some years after and established its post office in 1924, only to be reestablished as Oceanlake Post Office in 1927. The odd-sounding name of Delake is meant to mimic local Finnish community members’ pronunciation of nearby Devil’s Lake. The former town of Nelscott also had a unique name, which was a combination of the founders’ surnames, Nelson and Scott. The Nelscott Reef is still famed as one of the best spots to surf along the Pacific Coast. Cutler City, which was located on the east shore of Siletz Bay, was the biggest established town in the area that later became Lincoln City. Mr. and Mrs. George Cutler of Dallas founded the community in the early 20th century, supposedly after Chief Charles “Charley” DePoe of the Siletz Tribe sold the property to George Cutler. The town established a post office in 1930 that served the community until Lincoln City was formed.
The Modern History of Lincoln City, Oregon
Each of these historic communities had its own annual events and local culture, and there was even some competition among them for tourists and trade. They all needed local services such as police and firefighters, though, and while it seemed to make sense to combine and pool these resources, many people did not want to give up their local post office and unique heritage. That’s why they needed to come up with a new, unifying name when the towns and communities did finally incorporate, rather than using any of the five existing names. They held a contest to choose one and school children submitted the name of Lincoln City. It seemed like the best choice when the city was incorporated on March 3, 1965.
History of Glass Floats on the Beach
You probably know about Glass Floats on the Beach if you’ve ever stayed in one of our vacation homes or beach condo rentals. Lincoln City has not only been a hotspot for beaches, but also for arts and crafts such as glassblowing, since the 20th century. When that century was drawing to a close, a local artist decided to use this medium to celebrate the coming millennium with a nod to the Oregon Coast’s past. Japanese fishing boats of bygone eras once used beautiful blue and green glass fishing floats that often washed up on the shores of the Oregon Coast, and visitors in those eras used to love hunting for the glass treasures that would wash ashore. Eventually, they were all found … until 1999, that is, when Lincoln City sponsored the Finders Keepers project where local artists produced stunning blown-glass floats that were “hidden” around the beach. It was so popular and attracted so many tourists that it became part of the city’s local traditions. The beaches will be a great reason to visit Lincoln City once they reopen, and we look forward to welcoming you to our beach house rentals! Until then, this area’s fascinating history is worth learning more about. It’s easy to see why so many people wanted to live in this beautiful part of the Central Oregon Coast.