The History of Siltcoos Station
Siltcoos Station derives its name from its location on the shores of Siltcoos Lake. The largest lake on the Oregon coast, it is believed to have been named after a Native-American chief. The lake was home to Siuslaw, Siletz, and Lower Umpqua native-americans prior to the settlement of pioneers. Fish, wild game, herbs, berries and other native plants were abundant.
Siltcoos Station was one of five communities that sprang up along the line of the Willamette Pacific Railroad in 1915. Jimmy and Martin Christensen built the grocery store, boathouse, and cabins which eventually became known as Siltcoos Station.
Following is an historical timeline of the development of Siltcoos Station:
1892 - Neil Christensen homesteads several acres.
1915 - Willamette Pacific Railroad passenger line joins Eugene to Coos Bay. Four trains run per day and a round trip ticket costs $2.50.
1916 - Post office opens. The original building eventually collapses into the lake and is rebuilt, only to be lost again at a later date.
1919 - Jimmie Christensen builds the first grocery store. In 1931 the original store accidentally burns to the ground and is rebuilt.
1923 - Dance hall built and eventually converted to a boathouse.
1926 - Schoolhouse built on a nearby hill and operates for 6 years.
1930's - Four cabins and meeting room built.
1972 - Mrs. Gertrud Christensen donates the store, boathouse, cabins, and caretaker's house to Lane Community College Florence Center.
1977 - College renovates the buildings. Unable to restore the grocery store, it is torn down; the original pilings still remain.
2007 - Cabins, boathouse and grounds are renovated and re-opened to the public as Siltcoos Station Retreat and Learning Center.
Acknowledgments: Special thanks to our contributors Gary Menser, Siuslaw Pioneer Museum, and Florence Public Library. If you have additional historic or photographic documentation of the development of Siltcoos Station we would love to hear from you!