Cannon Beach, Oregon: Wikis


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Cannon Beach, Oregon
—  City  —
Facing South, with Haystack Rock on the right.
Location in Oregon
Coordinates: 45°53′21″N 123°57′39″W / 45.88917°N 123.96083°W / 45.88917; -123.96083
Country United States
State Oregon
County Clatsop
Incorporated 1956
 - Mayor Mike Morgan
 - Total 1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)
 - Land 1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 30 ft (9.14 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 1,680
 - Density 1,066.8/sq mi (411.5/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) Pacific (UTC-7)
ZIP code 97110
Area code(s) 503
FIPS code 41-10850[1]
GNIS feature ID 1136119[2]

Cannon Beach is a city in Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,588 at the 2000 census. The 2007 estimate is 1,680 residents.[3]



One of the cannons at a site along Highway 101 south of the city

The first recorded European American journey to the area was made by William Clark, one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The expedition was headquartered at the time near the mouth of the Columbia River. In December 1805, two members of the expedition returned to camp with blubber from a whale that had beached several miles south, near the mouth of what is now known as Ecola Creek. Knowing that the expedition needed some variety in their monotonous winter diet, he decided to journey south from Fort Clatsop over Tillamook Head, which he described in his journal as "the Steepest worst and highest mountain I ever assended [sic]…".[4] From a place near the western cliffs of the headland he saw "…the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean…" That viewpoint is now called Clark's Point of View and can be accessed by a hiking trail from Indian Beach in Ecola State Park.

Upon arriving at what is now Cannon Beach in January 1806, Clark and about 14 of his companions, including Sacagawea, found the flensed skeleton of a 105-foot whale on the beach and the Tillamook (Nehalem) Indians busily boiling blubber for storage. Clark's measurement of the whale skeleton is considered accurate, since he was a professional surveyor, thus it is likely the carcass was that of a blue whale, judging by its size.[5] Clark and his party bartered for 300 pounds of blubber and some whale oil and returned to Fort Clatsop.

Clark applied the name "Ekoli" to what is now Ecola Creek.[6] Ehkoli is a Chinook jargon word for "whale".[6] Early settlers later renamed the creek "Elk Creek", and a community with the same name formed there.[7]

In 1846, a cannon from the US Navy schooner Shark washed ashore just north of Arch Cape, a few miles to the south of the community of Elk Creek. The schooner was wrecked while attempting to cross the Columbia Bar, also known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific" because of the danger of the bar. The cannon, rediscovered in 1898, is in the city's museum and a replica of it can be seen alongside U.S. Route 101.[8] Two more cannons, also believed to have been from the Shark, were discovered on Arch Cape over the weekend of February 16, 2008.[9]

Looking northwest up the beach

The community of Cannon Beach was originally named Ecola, after the creek that empties into the Pacific Ocean to the north of the city.[10] In 1922, it was renamed Cannon Beach (after the name of the beach that extends south of Ecola creek for eight miles, ending at Arch Cape) at the insistence of the Post Office Department because the name was frequently confused with Eola.[10] Elk Creek was renamed Ecola Creek to honor William Clark's original name.[7]

U.S. Route 101 formerly ran through Cannon Beach. In 1964, a tsunami generated by the Good Friday Earthquake came ashore along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The subsequent flooding inundated parts of Cannon Beach and washed away the highway bridge at the north side of city. The city, now isolated from the highway, decided to attract visitors by holding a sand castle contest-an event that has continued annually.[11]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²), all of it land.

Cannon Beach is located near several significant fault lines, and during the Scotts Mills earthquake in Oregon in 1993, Cannon Beach's tsunami warning system was activated immediately following the shocks that were strongly felt there in the early hours of the morning, evacuating residents and vacationers alike up steeply sloped Highway 101 towards Cannon Beach Junction.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,588 people, 710 households, and 418 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,066.8 people per square mile (411.5/km²). There were 1,641 housing units at an average density of 1,102.4/sq mi (425.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.57% White, 0.19% African American, 0.88% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 3.27% from other races, and 2.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.52% of the population. 17.2% were of German, 12.6% English, 11.4% Irish and 5.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 710 households out of which 20.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.70.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.4% under the age of 18, 12.3% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,271, and the median income for a family was $45,329. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $21,641 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,465. About 8.2% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.


Cannon Beach is an affluent tourist resort destination.[12] Because of its proximity to Portland, Oregon, it is particularly known as a weekend getaway spot for Portlanders.[13]

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

The city hosts an annual sand castle-building contest in June.[14]

The city also hosts an annual Fourth of July parade. Parades in recent years have featured a military flyover, a "Lawn Chair Brigade" and marchers who toss candy to spectators standing along Hemlock Street.[15]

Museums and other points of interest

Cannon Beach is recognized by its well-known landmark, Haystack Rock, located to the southwest of downtown Cannon Beach, near Tolovana Park. This igneous rock has an elevation of 235 feet, and is often accessible at low tide, especially in the summertime. There is a small cave system that penetrates the rock and can be seen from the coastline. The rock is also protected as a marine sanctuary, Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and events are not allowed within 100 feet of either side of the rock.

Near Haystack Rock are the Needles, two tall rocks rising straight out of the water.

Downtown Cannon Beach is filled with small businesses. Chain stores such as Safeway and McDonald's have been discouraged from building in Cannon Beach in order to preserve the local economy and small town feel.[13]

A wooden whale commemorating the encounter between Clark, his companions and the Native Americans sits in a small park at the northern end of Hemlock Street.



The main road through Cannon Beach is Hemlock Street, which runs from the north end of the city to the south, through Tolovana Park. Both ends of the street connect to U.S. Route 101.

A shuttle runs from the north of Cannon Beach to the south.[16]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ PSU:Population Research Center
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Fort Clatsop". National Park Service. 2004. Retrieved December 11, 2008.  
  6. ^ a b "Historic Oregon Coast Photo Album last= Guardino". Sovereigns of Themselves: A Liberating History of Oregon and Its Coast Volume III. Retrieved December 11, 2008.  
  7. ^ a b Wesselius, Allen "Doc" (Winter 2001). "A Lasting Legacy: The Lewis and Clark Place Names of the Pacific Northwest—Part IV". Columbia Magazine. Washington State History Museum. Retrieved December 11, 2008.  
  8. ^ "Cannon Beach Cannon". Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved December 11, 2008.  
  9. ^ "Girl, father find two ancient cannons on the Oregon coast". Retrieved 2008-02-18.  
  10. ^ a b McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (Seventh Edition ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87595-277-1.  
  11. ^ Higgins, Vickie. "Cannon Beach - The little town Oregon's North Coast has a front-row seat". Retrieved 2007-11-03.  
  12. ^ "About Cannon Beach, Oregon" (html). Retrieved 2007-11-03.  
  13. ^ a b "Cannon Beach: Portland Travel Guide". Retrieved 2007-11-03.  
  14. ^ "Sand Castle Day". Cannon Beach Chamber & Information Center. Retrieved December 11, 2008.  
  15. ^ "Cannon Beach photos and info from previous Fourth of July parades". Retrieved 2007-12-08.  
  16. ^ "Cannon Beach Shuttle Schedule". Retrieved 2007-11-03.  

External links

Coordinates: 45°53′21″N 123°57′39″W / 45.889155°N 123.960738°W / 45.889155; -123.960738

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