Bandon-By-The-Sea; there is no place on earth quite like it. Bandon, Oregon is a magical place no matter what the season. It can be sunny and peaceful as it was for this visit, or wildly stormy depending on the mood of Mother Nature. We love it here no matter what the season, but it was especially beautiful during this visit with our daughter and son-in-law. The first day started a bit foggy, but then cleared and we had no winds and sunny mild temperatures for the rest of our stay.
We got to Bandon late in the day after a wonderful trip down the coast from Lincoln City. We were tired of sitting in the car so unpacked the car and immediately set off for a walk around the town and then down to the bay. The sunset was striking and the walk refreshing.
For this visit with our kids from NY we left our RV at home and stayed at Sea Star Lodging which is a cute little guesthouse right on the harbor. The rooms were clean and it was very convenient for all of the walking that we wanted to do in town and on the beach.We can highly recommend this guesthouse if you are looking for a place to stay in Bandon, Oregon.
This is the view from the front porch of our room.
The next morning we were up early and set off for a long walk down the beach.
I could not choose which photos to show so added them to a gallery for viewing. Enjoy.
There is a special rock off of the coast of Bandon that is named Face Rock. The legend goes like this.
Many, many years ago, the legend begins from the Nah-So-Mah tribe. Chief Siskiyou, from the far mountains, traveled with his family and clansmen to the coast to trade with the four tribes who lived by the great sea they called Wecoma.
In his honor, the four chiefs planned the greatest potlatch in all memory. They roasted bear, salmon, elk and deer. Huge quantities of clams and mussels were steamed. Cedar bark trays were filled with honey and red and blue huckleberries.
The local tribes were all in great fear of Seatka, the evil spirit who lived in the sea. It was feared that Seatka might cause trouble for the people and their guest. Armed warriors stood guard on the bluff. However Princess Ewauna, the beautiful daughter of Chief Siskiyou, and those in her tribe who lived in the mountains were not afraid.
Ewauna was enchanted by the sea. After the feast when people were sleeping, she slipped away from camp, carrying a basket with her cat and kittens nestled inside, followed by her faithful dog, Komax. She wandered down to the ocean where she danced and played with delight.
The moon was full and Wecoma ran silver. Ewauna, who did not fear Seatka, swam in the sea, farther and farther from shore. Komax barked a warning but it was too late. The evil Seatka had captured the beautiful princess. The dog, carrying the basket of kittens, swam to his mistress and buried his teeth in the hand of Seatka. Howling, he shook off the dog and threw the cats into the sea. Seatka tried to make Ewauna look into his eyes, but she refused to look away from the great round moon.
When her father awoke, he raised the alarm. Everyone rushed to the shore of Wecoma. There they saw the lovely face of Ewauna gazing skyward. Her dog was on the beach howling for the princess, and the cat and kittens were in the sea to the west. In time, they all turned to stone, frozen forever as they were that long ago dawn.
History of Bandon-by-the-Sea
The area which is now Bandon was originally inhabited by the Coquille Indian Tribe. In 1851, gold was discovered nearby, but that did not have much impact on the region. The first permanent white settlers arrived in 1853 and established the present town site. In 1859, the boat Twin Sisters sailed into the Coquille River and opened the outlet for all inland produce and resources.
Immigrants from Bandon, Ireland, George Bennett and his sons, and the town’s name was changed from the original Averille to Bandon. The first post office was established in 1877. Cheese making started in 1884, and the jetty was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2010, Bandon was named one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America” by BudgetTravel.
George Bennett also introduced gorse into the local area. Gorse is a lovely yellow flower in the Spring, but has grown wild and become an invasive species in both the town and in the neighboring countryside. Gorse is a spiny plant and grows so thickly a person cannot walk through it. It is a very oily plant, which easily catches fire and is one of the reasons Bnadon burned in 1936. The fire burned so fiercely that the commercial district was destroyed and 11 people perished.
Firefighters found that burning gorse reacted to having water squirted on it like a kitchen grease fire—it simply spread burning gobs of gorse everywhere.
Bandon has long been known as the “Cranberry Capital of Oregon”. Cranberries were introduced in 1885, when Charles McFarlin planted vines he brought from Massachusetts. He brought vines from Cape Cod and planted them in the state’s first cranberry bog near Hauser. Cranberry production is a mainstay of Bandon and produces about 95% of Oregon’s cranberries and about 5% of the nation’s cranberries. The Annual Cranberry Festival occurs the second weekend of September to celebrate the Cranberry harvest. The event draws tourists and participants from Oregon, Washington and California. 2016 will mark the 70th year of the event.
Enjoy our video of Bandon below and be sure to visit while you are in Oregon.