Chetco River, Brookings

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Chetco River, Brookings

by | Jul 7, 2020

Brookings is a community on the south coast of Oregon, 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Grants Pass and 21 miles (34 km) north-northwest of Crescent City, California. It was named after John E. Brookings, president of the Brookings Lumber and Box Company, which founded the city in 1908.

In 1906, the Brookings Timber Company hired William James Ward, a graduate in civil engineering and forestry, to come to the southern Oregon Coast and survey its lumbering potential. After timber cruising the Chetco and Pistol River areas for several years, he recommended that the Brookings people begin extensive lumbering operations here and secure a townsite for a mill and shipping center.

On September 9, 1942, Mount Emily, near Brookings, became the first site in the continental United States to suffer aerial bombardment in wartime. Incendiary bombs were dropped by a Japanese seaplane launched from a submarine. The same submarine had previously shelled Fort Stevens near Astoria. The pilot of the seaplane was Nobuo Fujita who dropped two bombs, one on Wheeler Ridge on Mount Emily, and the location of the other bomb is unknown. The Wheeler Ridge bomb started a small fire that U.S. Forest Service rangers were able to extinguish. Fujita flew a second bombing sortie three weeks later using the Cape Blanco Light as a beacon. After 90 minutes of flying east from Cape Blanco, he dropped his bombs and reported seeing flames, but the bombing and fire were unnoticed. Read more here and here. Explore more of the Chetco River and Brookings here:

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