History & Historic Sites
by Theresa (T-) McCracken, local cartoonist, writer, historian, and naturalist.
Those Who Came Before
Oregon Coast Magazine article (Nov-Dec 2017)
by Michael K. Shay
The Yachats Indians
Origins of the Yachats Name, and the Prison Camp Years
by Joanne Kittel and Suzanne Curtis (1996, Revised 2010)
Photo Credit: Curt Peters
Heceta Head Lighthouse signals to mariners from a spectacular forested promontory 205 feet above the ocean. It provides the strongest light on the coast, its beacon shining 21 miles.
Located just 14 miles south of Yachats, this is one of the most picturesque and photographed lighthouses in the nation. The assistant light keeper’s house is now a bed and breakfast. Both the lighthouse and the keeper’s house are circa 1894 … Read more
Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is housed in an impressive former home on Newport’s historic bayfront.
The exhibits and programming are dedicated to telling the stories of those who have shared a desire to live and work where the sea meets land, and along its rivers and estuaries.
Hours: 11am-4pm, Thursday through Sunday
Admission: $5; Free for kids 12 and under
- The museum is temporarily closed due to Covid-19.
The Little Log Church Museum houses old photographs of the area, settler exhibits, and works by former resident artists and authors. It is staffed by community volunteers.
Hours: 12 Noon to 3pm, closed Thursdays
Admission: By donation
The church was built in the late 1920s by community volunteers using local timber hauled down the Yachats River. It was completed and dedicated in 1930. When the congregation outgrew … Read more
From town, you can take a 9-mile scenic drive up the Yachats River Road to visit the historic North Fork Yachats Covered Bridge. Seven miles up this road, you will cross a small cement bridge over the North Fork of the Yachats River – turn left here onto a well-maintained gravel road and continue for the final two miles. This gravel road will accommodate cars but not large trucks or recreational vehicles (RVs).
The bridge … Read more
From the Visitor Center at Cape Perpetua you may hike The Giant Spruce Trail (2 miles round trip). The majestic old Sitka Spruce at the end of this trail is nearly 600 years old, more than 180 feet tall, and has a 40-foot circumference. It has been designated an Oregon Heritage Tree and has an amazing story of survival. Visit the websites below for details.
Historic displays feature the pioneers, whose occupations were primarily as loggers and fishermen, and whose primary means of transportation was the Siuslaw River.
Hours: 12noon to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday
Admission: $5; Free for kids 13 and under accompanied by an adult.
If you are a group of 10 or more, please call to make reservations.
A self-guided History Walking Tour of Old Town Florence is also available.
The oceanside land north of the Yachats River once served as a footpath for people of the coastal tribes. It later became part of County Road 804, which, at low tide, included the 7-mile stretch of beach between Yachats and Waldport. County Road 804 was the settler’s route of travel from the farmland of the upper Yachats River valley to Waldport’s Alsea Bay until the 1930s when the highway was completed. The highway replaced the … Read more
Temporarily closed due to Covid-19.
The Forest Service at Cape Perpetua operates a Visitors Center with natural and cultural history exhibits. Learn here about the ancient Indian shell middens found on Cape Perpetua and the life of these early people in the surrounding area, the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps at Cape Perpetua, and more.
Cape Perpetua Visitors Center is on the east side of US 101, just 3 miles south of downtown Yachats, … Read more
Turn east off Hwy 101 two miles south of town at the Cape Perpetua Campground exit. The road soon forks; follow the left fork up Overlook Road to the top of the mountain. This is the highest point that you can drive to on the Oregon coast. The Whispering Spruce Trail, a quarter-mile long, leaves the parking lot to the West Shelter viewpoint.
- Park Hours:
The Yaquina Bay Recreation Site, including trails and picnic areas, is open with reduced services. Public restrooms are open 9am to 6pm.
- The lighthouse is temporarily closed and tours suspended due to Covid-19.
This site is located on a forested bluff on the north side of Yaquina Bay with views of the bay, the Yaquina Bridge, and the North Jetty. Trails lead to the beach from the west side of the park, which … Read more
- Park Hours:
Trails, beaches, and restrooms are open
8am to 5pm, Monday-Friday
8am to sunset, Saturday-Sunday
- The lighthouse and interpretive center are temporarily closed and tours suspended due to Covid-19.
This beautiful 100-acre site includes the lighthouse; an interpretive center; wildlife viewing of whales, seals, tide pools, and seabirds; short trails; and panoramic views.
The Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Oregon’s tallest at 93 feet, is located on a narrow point in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural … Read more