Lincoln County History

North Lincoln County opened for settlement in 1895. Early on north Lincoln County was largely a land of homesteads along the Salmon River, Drift Creek, Schooner Creek, Cougar Mountain and the Siletz River. The first town in North County was Kernville. Daniel Kern of Portland built a fish cannery on the Siletz River in 1896.

Lincoln City started out as a string of towns along seven miles of the coast. In 1965 a new city, Lincoln City, took the place of Cutler City, Taft, Nelscott, Oceanlake, and Delake.

Mackeys1932Located on the east edge of Siletz Bay, Cutler City got its start when Charley Depoe and other relatives inherited property they sold to Mr. and Mrs. George Cutler of Dallas, who established a townsite.

Taft was established on the north bank of the Siletz Bay. Its first residents were Jacob and Cissie Johnson, government patent land grantees from the Coast Reservation. They owned about 80 acres each.

Nelscott, north of Taft, was established in 1925 from land purchased by Charles P. Nelson and Dr. W.G. Scott. The Nelscott Land Company was established in October of that year, and the company divided up the 170-acre tract and sold lots to people wanting a summer place at the coast.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hostetler bought land near the mouth of Devils Lake in 1910 and moved there in 1924. It was through their efforts that the town of Delake grew as rapidly as it did.

The history of Oceanlake is the most complex in the north county. Mary P. Sax, a devout Catholic, and her husband, John, donated 80 acres of land to a Catholic priest, Father Charles Raymond. Fr. Raymond had intrigued Sax with the idea of creating a Catholic resort-like community where the Indians from Siletz could fraternize with his Catholic friends from Portland. St. Augustine’s church was built, but the priest’s dream died after conflicts with his order and bishop and growing commercial development of the area. The Church and the theater still stand. The Dorchester House, built as a luxury hotel, restaurant, and dance hall, opened in 1935. The Dorchester is now a retirement community listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wecoma, an area just north of Oceanlake, was established as a town in 1935 by W.H. Lohkamp of Portland who built a grocery store and service station and became the town’s first postmaster. In 1955 Wecoma was annexed to Oceanlake.

Neotsu, named for an Indian word meaning “lake near the ocean” was granted a post office in 1900. Otis was established the same year. The post office moved from Neotsu to Otis, then to Devils Lake, then back to Otis, then again to Neotsu in 1928. Rose Lodge was first homesteaded by Jim Crowley. The first store was built by the Dodson family, and a post office was established in 1908 with Julia E. Dodson as postmaster.