Port Orford Amphibians


Port Orford is a small port hamlet located 28 miles (45 km) north of Gold Beach, Oregon, and 27 miles (43 km) south of Bandon-by-the-Sea, Oregon (home of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort), on U.S. Route 101. The city is tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the Siskiyou National Forest.

The port is an open-water dock (no natural protection) and boasts the only drydock port on the West Coast. The fishing boats are lifted in and out of the water by operated cranes (the yellow arm in the background), set on custom-made dollies and parked in rows on the dock (where they look like some kind of extraterrestrial amphibian creatures). As a result, it is known as a “dolly dock.”

In October 1941, then-mayor Gilbert Gable, frustrated with the poor condition of the state roads around Port Orford, which hampered economic development, suggested that a number of counties along the Oregon and California state border should secede and create the State of Jefferson. This movement came to an end with U.S. involvement in World War II. But signs declaring the State of Jefferson can still be seen in fields and on barns.

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