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Port Orford's US Coast Guard Day Aug. 6 Spotlights Oregon Coast History with Music

Published 07/31/23 at 8:31 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Port Orford's US Coast Guard Day Aug. 6 Spotlights Oregon Coast History with Music

(Port Orford, Oregon) – Time to party it up on one of the more famous and scenic landmarks on the south Oregon coast, as Port Orford Heads State Park kicks out the jams with the US Coast Guard Day Celebration on August 6. Bring chairs, blankets, picnic lunch and your clan for this shindig at the Port Orford Heads Lifeboat Station Museum. (Courtesy Cape Blanco Heritage Society)

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This is the 19th annual celebration of Coast Guard Day for Port Orford Heads State Park, with its curious mix of concrete constructions, giant rocky blobs and historical buildings. The headland known for whale watching turns its focus to its past, with the Coast Guard day starting at 1 p.m., put on by Cape Blanco Heritage Society and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

The festival is free.

Proceedings are opened up by Society President Priscilla Lang, serving as Master of Ceremonies. Live music will be by south Oregon coast band Aurora (not to be confused with the Norwegian singer).

“Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and take advantage of the beautiful surroundings,” said organizers.

At the center of this traditional celebration is the Revenue Cutter Service, which was established on August 4, 1790 as a maritime law enforcement agency. It later fused with the US Coast Guard. The Cape Blanco Heritage Society marks this on the first Sunday in August.

The Cutter Service served during the Civil War and was a good part of Alaska becoming developed. All the way back to 1822, it helped enforce the Timber Act, guarding against poachers who would make off with timber. In 1915, the Cutter Service and the Lifesaving Service along the Oregon coast and elsewhere were merged, becoming the U.S. Coast Guard.

“Visit our Museum at the Port Orford Heads before or during the concert and learn more about the history of this interesting area and enjoy the beautiful hiking trails with the wonderful ocean views,” organizers said.

The Coast Guard building here was used by those who served from the '30s into the 1960s. The barracks is now the museum. There are four other historic buildings on the grounds of Port Orford Head State Park, and it is the only forge river-type station on the entire West Coast of the U.S.

Also here, you'll find the 36-foot motor Lifeboat No. 36498, which is visible to the public even if the museum is closed.

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The Port Orford Heads State Park is on the ocean side of Highway 101. Turn West on 9th Street in Port Orford, near Milepost 301, and then follow the road up the hill to where the road ends. For more information, call 541-332-0521 or visit



Photos below courtesy Oregon State Parks - Port Orford area

Below courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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