Ophir, Euchre Creek

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Ophir, Euchre Creek

by | Oct 29, 2019

Ophir is a small community on Euchre Creek in Curry County, about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) upstream from the Pacific Ocean, and 4 miles (6.5 km) northeast of the community of Nesika Beach, Oregon. Nesika Beach is also a strand about 6 miles (10 km) long between the communities of Ophir and Nesika Beach. Nesika means “we”, “us”, or “our” in the Chinook Jargon, a nearly extinct American indigenous language originating as a pidgin trade language in the Pacific Northwest.

This area was the historical territory of the indigenous Tututni tribe, one of Lower Rogue River Athabaskan tribes from southwestern Oregon that signed the 1855 Coast Treaty, and was removed to the Siletz Indian Reservation. They traditionally lived along the Rogue River and its tributaries near the Pacific Ocean between the Coquille River to the north and the Chetco River to the south. Euro-American settlers began arriving in the mid 19th century and the area quickly changed. The Moore family crossed the mid-western plains and first settled on a ranch in the Willamette valley in 1880. A few years later they moved to the coast and engaged in logging on the Rogue River before starting a ranch at Ophir. In 1918, D.M. Moore started the People’s Company that operated a butcher shop and cheese factory that supplied Civilian Conservation Corps camps during the Great Depression. By 1943, the business controlled over 9,000 acres on which sheep and cattle were raised, and the livestock was shipped to markets in Portland and San Francisco on the company-owned vessel, Della.

The Euchre Creek watershed is one of the smallest coastal rivers in southern Oregon. The creek is approximately 14 miles (23 km) long, flowing in a southwesterly direction to the Pacific Ocean. The watershed drains about 23,831 acres (9,644 ha) from elevations of approximately 3,000 feet (915 m) to sea level. Major tributaries include Cedar Creek and Boulder Creek. The upper portion of the basin is characterized by steeply sloped forests that were heavily logged and at one time there were 15 sawmills. The lower few miles of the river lies on a relatively low gradient coastal floodplain that was diked and the river channel diverted from its historical pattern of a broad wetland into a narrow confined channel. Today, rural residential development, grazing, and other agricultural uses are the dominant land uses in the lower portion of the watershed. Read more here and here. Explore more of Ophir here:

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