(L-R): Rebecca Soules, Cricket Soules, Sheena Davis, Amber Reis, Ashley Miller
Coos County Community Profile
Coos County, Oregon created on December 22, 1853 was named after a local Native American tribe, the Coos, translated to mean either “lake” or “place of the pines.”
Coos County is located in Oregon and bounded by Douglas County on the north and east, Curry County on the south and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
The population of Coos County is a little over 62,000 and covers close to 2000 square miles.
Timber and fishing are the foundation of the county’s economy. Coos Bay is considered the best natural harbor between San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound. The land is mountainous but has considerable areas suitable for agriculture and dairy farming. Gold mining drew people to explore the mineral resources in the area.
Maps and county historical facts verified through the Oregon Bluebook at http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us
Coos County "Live With It” 4-H club members, Sheena Davis, Ashley `Miller, Amber Reis and Rebecca Soules and club leader, Cricket Soules, documented several of the county's Century Farms, those owned and lived on by the same family for over a century.
Club members and Folklife Coordinator Carol Spellman organized visits to several Century Farms and one Century Ranch where they filmed, interviewed and photographed the owners of the properties. The group learned how important it has been to these people that their land has remained in their families. The memories, the value of knowing where you come from, the tradition of passing on the land, and having an historical record of your family’s heritage were strong sentiments expressed by all of the people to whom the club members spoke.
The “Live With It!” club used these interviews and photographs to design a display that received Best of Show at the 2003 Coos County Fair and a blue ribbon at the State Fair in Salem, Oregon.
The participants' experiences, photographs and wonderful quotes from the people are written in the Century Farms Album. They created a video called Where House and Land are Tradition: The Spires’ Century Ranch and had a great time calling in the cows. As one club member, thirteen year old Amber Reis, said, “We’ve been working on exploring Century Farms for a while and it’s an amazing project because you get to learn about people’s pasts and what they’ve been doing for all their lives and their ancestors and what they’ve been doing, it’s awesome.”