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Florence, Oregon

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Florence is a coastal city in Lane County, in the US state of Oregon It lies at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on the Pacific Ocean and about midway between Newport and Coos Bay along US Route 101 As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 8,4666


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
    • 31 2010 census
    • 32 2000 census
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Arts and culture
    • 51 Annual cultural events
    • 52 Museums and other points of interest
    • 53 Historic buildings
  • 6 Parks and recreation
  • 7 Education
  • 8 Media
    • 81 Exploding whale
  • 9 Transportation
    • 91 Highways
    • 92 Air
  • 10 Healthcare
  • 11 Sister city
  • 12 See also
  • 13 References
  • 14 External links


The Florence area was originally inhabited by the Siuslaw tribe of Native Americans Some claim that the city was named after state senator A B Florence, who represented Lane County from 1858 to 1860; another claim is that Florence was named after a French vessel that was wrecked at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on February 17, 18757


Florence is located on the Oregon Coast at the mouth of the Siuslaw River immediately north of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, at about the same latitude as Eugene, Oregon It is approximately midway between the other major central Oregon coastal cities of Newport and Coos Bay Florence annexed Driftwood Shores hotel and conference center north of town in Heceta Beach in 20088

The unincorporated community of Glenada lies just across the Siuslaw on US Route 101 to the south of Florence, and the city of Yachats is 26 miles 42 km to the north

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 587 square miles 1520 km2, of which 530 square miles 1373 km2 is land and 057 square miles 148 km2 is water1


Historical population
1880 68
1900 222
1910 311 401%
1920 317 19%
1930 339 69%
1940 458 351%
1950 1,026 1240%
1960 1,642 600%
1970 2,246 368%
1980 4,411 964%
1990 5,162 170%
2000 7,263 407%
2010 8,466 166%
Est 2016 8,800 39%
US Decennial Census10

2010 censusedit

As of the census2 of 2010, there were 8,466 people, 4,226 households, and 2,374 families residing in the city The population density was 1,5974 inhabitants per square mile 6168/km2 There were 5,103 housing units at an average density of 9628 per square mile 3717/km2 The racial makeup of the city was 925% White, 03% African American, 13% Native American, 10% Asian, 03% Pacific Islander, 14% from other races, and 32% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54% of the population

There were 4,226 households of which 158% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 437% were married couples living together, 92% had a female householder with no husband present, 33% had a male householder with no wife present, and 438% were non-families 370% of all households were made up of individuals and 219% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 198 and the average family size was 251

The median age in the city was 57 years 139% of residents were under the age of 18; 59% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 155% were from 25 to 44; 284% were from 45 to 64; and 364% were 65 years of age or older The gender makeup of the city was 464% male and 536% female

2000 censusedit

A sailboat on the Siuslaw River

Per the census4 of 2000, there were 7,263 people, 3,564 households, and 2,145 families residing in the city The 2007 population estimate is 8,27011 The population density was 1,4763 people per square mile 5700/km² There were 4,174 housing units at an average density of 8484 per square mile 3276/km² The racial makeup of the city was 9588% White, 028% African American, 092% Native American, 055% Asian, 014% Pacific Islander, 056% from other races, and 167% from two or more races 237% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race There were 3,564 households out of which 169% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 486% were married couples living together, 93% had a female householder with no husband present, and 398% were non-families 344% of all households were made up of individuals and 217% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 202 and the average family size was 252

In the city, the population dispersal was 168% under the age of 18, 50% from 18 to 24, 160% from 25 to 44, 239% from 45 to 64, and 382% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 56 years For every 100 females there were 848 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 821 males The median income for a household in the city was $30,505, and the median income for a family was $36,784 Males had a median income of $30,962 versus $23,878 for females The per capita income for the city was $18,008 144% of the population and 100% of families were below the poverty line 259% of those under the age of 18 and 83% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line


The former mainstays of Florence's economy were logging, commercial fishing, and agriculture,12 but today tourism is increasingly significant13 Some local businesses include Sand Master Park, Mo's Restaurants and Three Rivers Casino Resort, which is run by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians The Port of Siuslaw promotes commercial fishing, shipping and tourism14 About one-third of Florence's population consists of retirees15 with the growing popularity of sandboarding adding to the tourism mix16

Arts and cultureedit

Annual cultural eventsedit

Florence has hosted the Rhododendron Festival annually since 190812

Museums and other points of interestedit

The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum is located in a historic 1905 schoolhouse1718

Old Town Florence is located on the Siuslaw riverfront The Port of Siuslaw marina is to the east, and the Art Deco 1936 Siuslaw River Bridge is to the west The boardwalk promenade was built along the marina to improve the area19 Many businesses are on US101 itself, which runs through the town, north to south

North of Florence on US Route 101 are the Sea Lion Caves, a tourist attraction that features a sea cave that is the year-round home of a population of Steller sea lions

Historic buildingsedit

Historic buildings on the National Register of Historic Places in the Florence area include the Edwin E Benedict House, a deteriorating house on the Siuslaw River that is said to have been Ken Kesey's inspiration for the Stamper House in his novel Sometimes a Great Notion,20 Heceta Head Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters, Jessie M Honeyman Memorial State Park Historic District, the Siuslaw River Bridge, and the William Kyle and Sons Building in Old Towncitation needed

Parks and recreationedit

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area near Florence

There are several parks and other sites managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department near Florence, including Darlingtonia State Natural Site and Heceta Head Lighthouse at Devil's Elbow to the north, and Jessie M Honeyman Memorial State Park to the south The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, managed as part of the Siuslaw National Forest, begins south of Florence


Florence is served by the three-school Siuslaw School District, which includes Siuslaw Elementary School, Siuslaw Middle School, and Siuslaw High School21 Lane Community College has a center in Florence22


  • The Siuslaw News is a twice-weekly newspaper published in Florence The Eugene newspaper, The Register-Guard, is also distributed in Florence
  • KXCR, 907 FM, is a 501c3, non-profit, non-commercial, community radio station
  • Locally owned and operated radio stations KCST-FM and KCFM AM provide music, news, local and regional sports, and emergency public service programming 24 hours a day
  • Radio translator K211BP rebroadcasts KRVM-FM from Eugene
  • Non-profit organization West Lane Translator, Inc maintains licenses and transmission facilities for five High Definition television translators, as well as 6 FM radio translators providing free over-the-air programming to the Florence area It is also the license holder for Florence's community radio station KXCR, 907 FM

Exploding whaleedit

On November 12, 1970, Florence was the site of a famous scene, when town authorities used 20 cases of explosives to try and blow up a dead beached whale, with unintended consequences23242526


The Siuslaw River bridge in Florence


  • US Route 101
  • Oregon Route 126


  • Florence Municipal Airport


Peace Harbor Hospital serves western Lane County27 It is also one of the area's largest employers

Sister cityedit

Florence has one sister city:

  • Yamagata, Japan - Yamagata-shi was established in 2003 by the merger of Ijira Florence's former sister-city, Takatomi, and Miyama28

See alsoedit

  • Kyllo v United States, a Supreme Court case involving a Florence resident


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2012-01-24 Retrieved 2012-12-21 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2012-12-21 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2013-06-17 Retrieved 2013-06-02 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2013-09-11 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names" United States Geological Survey 2007-10-25 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  6. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data Public Law 94-171 Summary File QT-PL, Florence city, Oregon" US Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2 Archived from the original on September 11, 2013 Retrieved October 31, 2011 
  7. ^ Northwest Magazines
  8. ^ Penrod, Shawn, Shawn January 13, 2009 "Beach contamination gains attention from city, county" Siuslaw News Archived from the original on February 16, 2012 Retrieved March 20, 2009 
  9. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" Retrieved June 9, 2017 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Archived from the original on May 12, 2015 Retrieved June 4, 2015 
  11. ^ PSU:Population Research Center Archived February 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b Florence Chamber of Commerce: Rhododendron Festival
  13. ^ Oregon Coastal Management Program
  14. ^ Port of Siuslaw: About
  15. ^ Florence Chamber of Commerce: Overview
  16. ^ 1
  17. ^ Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
  18. ^ Florence Chamber of Commerce: Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
  19. ^ Florence Oregon Business Development Resources
  20. ^ "Cox Island might be named for the ship captain and businessman who bought it in 1895, but the historic two-story home that inspired a local icon, that occupies a spot in American literature and Northwest lore, was named for a businessman named Benedict"
  21. ^ Siuslaw School District
  22. ^ LCC Florence
  23. ^ Report by Paul Linnman KATU TV, transcribed by Hackstadt, J; Hackstadt, S Annotated transcript of the video theexplodingwhalecom Retrieved January 8, 2007unreliable source
  24. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P March 19, 2000 "Thar She Blows!" Critter Country snopescom Retrieved January 8, 2007 
  25. ^ "Son Of Blubber" Oregon Department of Transportation employee newspaper, TranScript July 1994 Archived from the original on July 17, 2011 Retrieved January 8, 2007 
  26. ^ "Video: The exploding whale" YouTube Retrieved March 22, 2006 
  27. ^ Peace Harbor Hospital Foundation
  28. ^ US-Japan Sister Cities

External linksedit

  • Entry for Florence in the Oregon Blue Book
  • Harbor Vista Park Webcam
  • Florence Oregon travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • KXCR 907 FM
  • West Lane Translator, Inc WLT

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