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Think Out Loud

Our Town: Port Orford

Pete Springer/OPB

Port Orford is the oldest town on Oregon’s coast (though Astoria is the oldest settlement). Situated along Highway 101, Port Orford is just 62 miles from the California border.

Fishing is big business in the town, just as it is in many coastal communities. Citizens launched a campaign earlier this year to “keep the port in Port Orford.” The harbor is filled with sand, creating challenges for fishermen who use it on a daily basis. The Army Corps of Engineers said late last month that they can’t afford to dredge the fishing port. 

Artists also play a significant role in the life of the town. There are eight galleries. (In a town of 1,150 people, that’s roughly one gallery for every 144 residents.) Each one showcases the work of local artists working in a variety of media, from oil paints to metal sculptures and even scrimshaw.

Do you live in Port Orford? Have you visited there? What do you want people to know about this coastal community? What questions do you have about the place?

We’ve put together a companion website for the Our Town series. Head over there to check out our interactive map which includes interviews and photographs of the people and places of Port Orford.

artist arts fishing our town port

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