Coos County was established on December 22, 1853 from after the first settlement of the area was established by the Coos Bay Company. The county was created using sections of Umpqua (Douglas) County & Jackson county. In 1855 the southern portion of Coos County was divided to create Curry County. Originally, the county seat was Empire City, that has since merged with Coos Bay. In 1896 it was decided by the people to change the county seat to Coquille. In 1854 a wagon road was built to connect Coos Bay to Jacksonville and another followed in 1857 to connect Coos Bay with Roseburg. Today that road is known as the Coos Bay wagon road and is closely followed by Hwy 42 from Winston to Coos Bay.
Although it is still the world's largest forest products shipping port, the current the Coos County economy relies heavily on tourism, fishing and agriculture. Dairy farming, boating, shipbuilding, myrtle wood manufacturing and cranberry bogs all play key roles. Since the decline of the timber industry in the late 80's and early 90's, the county has leaned more towards the service industry to replace the loss of timber revenues.
Coos County hosts a variety of historical sites and local attractions for residents and visitors alike. Not only is Coos Bay the home of the famous runner Steve Prefontaine, it also includes the historic MuCullogh Bridge, Coos Bay Boardwalk and the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum.
Bandon, a small town in Coos County has a variety of local shops, art galleries, local seafood and saltwater taffy shops. The beach at Bandon includes the Coquille River Light house and amazing sea stacks (large rock formations emerging from the ocean). Bandon also holds title to a world renowned golf course and beautiful boardwalk.
A few scenic areas to visit while in Coos County include Cape Arago, Bastendorf Beach, Sunset Bay, Whiskey Run and the Doerner Fir.
The Doerner Fir is the tallest non-redwood tree in the world. Discovered in 1989 and measured two years later, the giant Douglas Fir measured 327 feet, 3 inches tall and had a diameter of 11.5 feet. The tree has been guessed at approximately 450-500 years old.
As in all coastal towns in Oregon, there is always the opportunity for fishing, crabbing and whale watching.