Yachats, Yachats River

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Yachats is a small community on the central Oregon coast with a name derived from the language of the Alsea Tribes. Native Americans in this area were hunter-gatherers who migrated between summer camps and winter residences.

The Alsea Tribe had many villages on the rivers of the central Oregon coast. There is archaeological and linguistic evidence of a Yahuch band of the Alsea Tribe located on the coast at the Yachats River about 1500 years ago. Much of the area coastline is dominated by black basalt rock, the result of lava flows over 50 million years ago. The result is a rough and rugged shoreline that was only accessible by a primitive trail. For many centuries the Yachats Trail was used for traveling between Alsea Bay and the Yachats River. Later it became County Road 804 and used through the 19th century by horse drawn carriages.

By 1860 when the area was opened to homesteading, the Yahuch band was extinct, many having succumbed to European diseases such as smallpox and tuberculosis. The area remained isolated until an all-weather road was built from Florence in 1931. Today the principal industries are tourism and recreation, and some limited timber extraction and fishing. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Yachats and the central Oregon coast.

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