LCGS Meetings
Our monthly meetings are regularly held the first Saturday of each month from 10 am - 12 pm in the downstairs meeting room of the Toledo Public Library in Toledo, Oregon. In general, the first 90 minutes or thereabouts, are set aside for a speaker/workshop activity with a short business meeting following. Visitors are welcome to stay for the business meeting if they choose. We often host outside speakers as well as experts in our community.  Examples of topics: using internet resources, local resources, research strategies, courthouse records, breaking down brick walls, tips on writing your family history, Oregon Trail, preserving family photos and history, military research, land records, family traditions, genetic genealogy (DNA topics) researching your immigrant ancestor in the United States and across the pond and many, many other topics related to genealogy and local history. Free Wifi available at the library. Check our Facebook page for this month's topic. All are welcome! 




Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives
Sylvia Beach Hotel
 By Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0,​​​​
 Story: Boiler Bay named for spectacular fiery 1910 shipwreck
Burrows House 
Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives
 Story:  Yaquina Bay Lighthouse ghost won't be laid to rest
By Sandy Horvath-Dori from Grand Junction, CO, USA - Drift Creek (Bear Creek) Covered Bridge, near Lincoln City, OR
Offbeat Oregon
Lincoln County Photographs on Pinterest
Offbeat Oregon
Brief History of Lincoln County
Named in honor of President Lincoln 
Lincoln County was formed in 1893 from the western portions of Benton and Polk counties.  It covers 995 square miles. It borders  Tillamook county on the north,  Polk and Benton counties on the east, Lane county on the south and the Pacific Ocean on the west.  The city of Toledo was the original choice for the county seat when the new county was formed, but the county seat was eventually moved to Newport in 1954. 

This land, now identified as Lincoln County, was originally inhabited by several coastal native tribes: Siletz, Alsi, Tillamook,  and Chinook.  The present-day Siletz Indian Reservation of 15,204 acres is located in the northern part of the county.  White settlers flocked to the area shortly after 1887 when Congress opened the area to homestead claims.   



Reverend Jason Lee was one of the first recorded tourists to Lincoln City, OR

The first approach of Europeans to the Pacific Northwest was by sea. During the eighteenth century Spain, Portugal, England and France explored the Pacific Coast looking for natural resources and a Northwest Passage through the continent. As early as 1572 Sir Francis Drake explored the area, naming it New Albion. Contact with Native Americans remained undocumented until 1788, when Robert Haswell, Captain Robert Gray’s first mate, wrote in the ship’s log of an encounter with two native men in a canoe near the mouth of the Salmon River.

The first recorded tourists came in August 1837. Reverend Jason Lee, his new bride Anna Marie Pittman, Mr. Cyrus Shepard with his wife, Susan Downing, and their guide, Joseph Gervais came by horseback from the Willamette Valley to the coast along the Salmon River Trail. Native Americans helped shape the history of Lincoln City, OR. They camped in a grove of trees near the sea in what was later the Oceanlake area. Here the two couples enjoyed a belated honeymoon, bathing in the surf and relishing many clam and fish bakes. Their journals indicate that they very much enjoyed the unspoiled coast and that their health improved after several weeks of sun and sea air.

Then in 1849, Lieutenant Theodore Talbot gives a detailed account of an exploratory trip he made to Siletz Bay. His journals mention encountering an old Indian man who told Talbot that he and his family were the “last lingering remnants of a large population that dwelt upon these waters.”

In 1855, the area became part of the Coast Reservation and still later, the Siletz Reservation. Homesteaders began arriving soon after Congress passed the Dawes Act in 1887. This act opened up Coast Reservation lands to white settlement and gave eighty-acre “allotments” to reservation Indians. Native Americans, as well as white settlers, first inhabited land along the Siletz River, Siletz Bay, and the Salmon River. Early settlers homesteaded the land and combined subsistence farming with fishing and hunting in order to survive on the isolated coast.

Kernville has the distinction of being the first town in this area. In 1896 Daniel Kern established the Kern Brothers Cannery. Located about five hundred feet above Coyote Rock on the Siletz River, it became the first major industry in North Lincoln County. Daniel’s brother John became the first postmaster when a post office was established at the cannery that same year.

The Siletz River was a fisherman’s paradise in those early years. Salmon abounded; so many you could see a constant disturbance in the water when the fish were going upriver to spawn. Homesteaders fished for extra income. The cannery provided a net, a cabin, net rack and a boat to use on credit. Logging on old Hwy 101 along the Central Oregon Coast By the early 1920s, however, the numbers of fish were diminishing and new regulations in 1935 prohibited driftnet fishing altogether.

The area then turned to logging for its industry. Many men saved their money and bought timber to log in the pioneering days of an industry that was to become the backbone of the Northwest economy. These individuals were known as “gyppos”. After the earliest era of logging with oxen and mule, steam-powered “donkey” engines were used to pull logs out of the woods. When World War I brought the need for Sitka spruce, a wood that was both light enough and strong enough for airplanes, the industry flourished. 

In the recent past and today, Lincoln City relies on tourism for its industry, welcoming guests from around the world to share in its natural beauty and treasures awaiting discovery." Explore Lincoln City

We invite you to join us! Lincoln County Genealogical Society's membership is just $10 a year.  We offer genealogical information, resources, and research support for family researchers and genealogist near and far. We meet monthly in Toledo, Oregon and offer workshops and classes in Lincoln County and provide web resources.

Download the LCGS membership application below, print and send along with check or money order to:

LCGS c/o Toledo Public Library 
173 NW 7th St.
Toledo, OR 97391

Ever wonder about your ancestors? 

Courtesy of Dead Fred
LCGS membership
application (DOC)
Tsar Nicholas II                                                                Courtesy of Dead
LCGS membership
application (PDF)
LCGS membershipapplication 

In each family, there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, “Tell our story!” So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.

How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh.

How many times have I told the ancestors, “You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us.” I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, 
their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the 
of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.

That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory –or greet those whom we had never known before.”    Author Unknown

We are the storytellers

50 Questions to Ask Your Elder

The best way to start your journey of discovering your family tree is to talk to your oldest relatives.  Their stories are valuable resources that may well help you to connect "genealogical dots" and sort fact from fiction.  

We invite you to join our mailing list and receive a free copy of "50 Questions to Ask Your Elder"