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Incorporated Cities, Unincorporated Communities, Road Names and Other Places

Note:  The below name origins have been accumulated from a variety of sources.  One of the most authoritative and rich resources is Oregon Geographic Names by Lewis A. McArthur.

Incorporated Cities

Bay City
Bay City was platted in 1888 by Winfield S. Cone.  It was named for Bay City, Michigan; his home before Oregon.

The city of Garibaldi was named by Daniel Dodge Bayley, who came to Tillamook in the 1860's.  Bayley was an admirer of the varied life of Giuseppe Garibaldi (born in Italy in 1807 and died in 1882) and named the city after him.  Depending on sources referenced, the town was incorporated in 1881 and/or 1946.

Manzanita is the Spanish word for little apple.  It is also the name used on the Pacific Coast to designate shrubs of the Archtostaphylos group which bears small fruit like miniature apples.  These plants grow at various places along the coast.  The city of Manzanita was surveyed and platted in 1912.

The word Nehalem is of Indian origin.  One attributed meaning is "place where people live."  The prefix "Ne", used frequently in Indian names of northwestern Oregon, meant a place or locality.  The name "Nehalem" applies to a town, river, and bay at the north end of Tillamook County.  The first settlers at the town were Sam Corwin and Sam Richardson.  At one time there were actually two towns along the Nehalem River called "Nehalem" and they were distinguished locally as Uppertown and Lowertown.  The area post office was first established in about 1870.  Ultimately, the final post office was established in Nehalem proper in 1884 and has been in continuous operation since.

Rockaway Beach
The Rockaway Beach Company foresaw this town and they named the site for Rockaway, Long Island, New York, a famous eastern seashore resort.  The town was platted in 1934.  In more recent years the town has formally taken on the title of "Rockaway Beach."

The name of Tillamook has taken on various evolutions and meanings through history.  In various documents and resources, it is spelled Kilamox, Killamuck, Callemeux, Cala-a-mex and Callemex.  The initial "K" was changed to a "T" about the time the County was created.  The Tillamook area had other names locally included Lincoln, Hoquarton, The Landing, and Tillamook Landing.  Despite the other local names, a post office named Tillamook was established in 1866.

This town is named after Coleman H. Wheeler from Portland.  He was a prominent lumberman in the area and he operated a sawmill in the Wheeler area shortly before the railroad was built.  Coleman H. Wheeler died about 1920.

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Unincorporated Communities

Named for the fur-bearing animal that was much sought after by early trappers.  One of the original mainstays of the community was a general merchandise store started in 1889 (originally not in Beaver proper).  Later when it moved to Beaver, the Beaver post office was co-located with the store.

Cape Meares
The community of Cape Meares is named for the nearby cape.  The Cape Meares Lighthouse was built on the Cape in 1890.  John Meares was an enterprising retired British Navy lieutenant.  Among his travel adventures he sailed down the Pacific Coast in the Tillamook area in 1788.

This town was named by Charles Ray who settled in Tillamook County about 1884.  His farm eventually became the site of the community.  The name was suggested by Cloverdale, California, where Ray occasionally visited.

This community was named for nearby Mount Hebo.  The exact origin of the name is not clear, but most often it is attributed to a variation of "Heave Ho" describing the view by earlier travelers from the mountain.

Neskowin is of Indian origin likely meaning "plenty fish".  The area was alternatively known in the past as Slab Creek.  The Neskowin post office was established in 1886.  This community is one of the oldest beach towns on the coast.  The land in Neskowin was once part of the John Hellenbrand homestead, one of south County's first pioneer settlers.

The exact origin of the Netarts town is not clear.  The name appears to have been the name of a small tribe or family of Indians living in the area.  The town was sometimes called Oyster Bay.  The Indian translation for Oyster Bay is "Na-ta-at."  A stretch, but a possibility...

The name origin is pretty self-explanatory when considering the prominent view and location of the community.  The Rosenberg Brothers purchased the property from J.W. Maxwell in 1921 to make a town site.

Pacific City
The town derives its name from its location beside the Pacific Ocean.  Its first post office was established in 1909.

Tierra del Mar
The name is Spanish for land by the sea.  The community was named by Marie F. Pollock who started the real estate development.  One of the streets in the community is named for Pollock.

Joseph Woods settled in this area in 1875.  The post office there was established in 1886 (closed 1935).  The first postmaster was William Booth and it was he who suggested the name in honor of Woods.

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Road Names and Other Places

Named for the view of the bar at the entrance of Tillamook Bay. It was named in 1884 by L.C. Smith.

Bay Ocean
This former community on the spit between Tillamook Bay and the Pacific Ocean was named by the Potter-Chapin Realty Company of Portland. The story of the dream and destruction of this town is part of the well known history of Tillamook.

The town was named by its first postmaster, William Smith. It was named for one-time republican candidate for the United States President, James G. Blaine. Smith was appointed postmaster in 1882.

Brighton Beach
Though this community is not directly on the ocean, it is named for Brighton, the fashionable seashore resort on the south coast of England. The town was platted at about 1910.

Dolph (Junction)
Joseph N. Dolph was a Portland city attorney, United States attorney, state legislature and US Senator. This one time community at the junction of Hwy 22 and the Little Nestucca Highway was named for Dolph while he was in the Senate 1883-95. As the prominence of the old traveled route from Grande Ronde faded with the advent of the other roads into the County so did Dolph.

Foss (Road)
Herbert Foss was a timber property owner in North County. He lived in Mohler in the 1940's.

John Hobson and his family were among the pioneers of Clatsop County. In 1885, along with another individual, Hobson opened a salmon cannery at the place now known at Hobsonville. This site is near the intersection of Hobsonville Point Drive and Hwy 101 North of Bay City. Hobsonville later became the site of one of the largest sawmills in the County.

Just south of Bay City, this community was named for the eldest daughter of Warren N. Vaughn, Ida. The community was platted in 1870 by Warren Vaughn out of his donation land claim.

Kilchis (Point and River)
Named for the Chief of the Tillamook Indians during the period pioneers started arriving into Tillamook. The main settlement of Indians was located near Kilchis Point just South of Bay City. The Kilchis River empties into Tillamook Bay near Kilchis Point.

The post office in Mohler was establish in 1897. Originally this community was known as Balm. After the coming of the railroad in 1911, E.E. Lytle requested the name be changed to Mohler in honor of A.L. Mohler, one time president of the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Lytle was one the prime movers in getting the railroad built in the County.

Miami River
Mi-me Chuch was a Chinook Indian phrase meaning a tributary creek or river coming downstream. The Indians used the expression for the area of the river down by the bay East of current day Garibaldi. Over time the name has been corrupted into the the current spelling not unlike the same name used in Florida.

Originally this South County town was to be named Ore City, however not wanting confusion with the Oregon City, the name was made Oretown.

Trask (River)
Trask River, one of the five flowing into Tillamook Bay, is named for Elbridge Trask, one of the early pioneers in the county. The Trask House, originally located about 13 miles up the river from the bay, was a fairly well known resting point for travelers coming from Yamhill into Tillamook County in 1870's.

Wilson (River)
Henry W. Wilson is credited with founding the dairy industry in the county. Wilson drove the first cows into the county from Seaside. In the early pioneer days, this river was called Georgie or Georgia River.

Whiskey Creek
I like this tale put forth in Tillamook, Land of Many Waters by Ada M. Orcutt (published 1951): Mrs. Mildred Edner says that the oldest of many versions of this name that she has heard is as follows: "Two men and their wives had started on a camping trip, arriving at this beautiful creek on a hot afternoon, they decided to camp in the nearby grove. While the men cared for the horses, the women built a fire and began the evening meal. Among the supplies was a keg of whiskey and this as well as the milk, eggs, and butter was put in the creek to cool. Soon the men were making trips to the creek instead of doing their share of the camp work. One of the women asked her husband to cut some wood, but he replied, 'There is the ax, cut it yourself.' She didn't argue much, but took the ax and walked to the creek. The men heard her chopping and thought it quite a joke. Soon she came back, however, without any wood and said, 'Now go to the creek and see if you can drink it dry, for your whiskey is really in it.'

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Last Updated: Thursday, August 26, 2010 11:54 AM

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