Discover Historic Front Street

Activities: Culture & Museums, Geocaching, Historical

Hidden in plain sight, Coos Bay’s Front Street was originally a wharf which became the bustling heart of a water-dependent community (then called Marshfield).  From the mid-1850s until the 1920s, the south end of the waterfront street (now 101 paralleling the boardwalk) was lined with hotels, drugstores, City Hall, barbershops, cigar and clothing stores that catered to towndwellers and to upriver customers who arrived by boat.

The north end of Front Street featured a fish packing plant, creamery, ice plant, and ironworks doing brisk waterside business.

The advent of car and train travel, followed by a devastating waterfront fire, eliminated almost all traces of Front Street’s glory: the shopping and business district moved inland, to new and more fire-resistant buildings, and Front Street was abandoned to maritime industry.

Today, Front Street is a quiet ghost of its former self. A short stroll north from the downtown boardwalk rewards visitors with views of real working tugs… and a treasure hunt for brass plaques (download map) that hint at Front Street’s former identity.

The Coos Historical & Maritime Museum would like to invite you to take another look at the waterfront, and join us in our excitement about its new potential. Our new Museum site is part of the revival of Front Street, and will be located at its north end.

Enjoy finding the plaques as you stroll. For those interested in geocaching, we’ve also provided a listing of cache sites for your enjoyment.

Happy Hunting!

Geocaching Clues

Poisson’s Inspiration – GC1CQ8J N 43° 22.607 W 124° 12.992

It is a micro with log only, you will need to bring a PENCIL to sign the log Additional hint: glub,glub,glub

Historic Fish Wrapper – GCC6FF N 43° 22.483 W 124° 12.736

This is a virtual – to log the find: Please send us (Whosit and Whosits Girl) the name of the person mentioned at this Historic Site and log your visit. Please do not include spoilers in your log entry, even if encrypted. Go to www.geocaching.com to locate cache for email address.

Skeezix – GC1F09T N 43° 22.311 W 124° 12.736

You are looking for cammo bison tube (log only) near a local “gasoline alley.” BYOP Additional Hint: Just hanging out in a small bush

Irene’s slice of history – GCTGNM N 43° 22.223 W 124° 12.714

Find Irene and look for something over 340 years old. April 16th It went missing. Irene was Irate. Hide it better, make it harder she said. I had to listen to the old Tug so…. Consider this EVIL CACHE #III. Good luck! You’ll need it. Additional Hint: cambian layer

What a tub of a tug – GCRPMN N 43° 22.095 W 124° 12.703

On The Coos Bay Board Walk. Additional Hint: North East corner

One Watershed, Many Needs – GC10Y9J N 43° 21.992 W 124° 12.734

Located on the Coos Bay Board Walk. Great view of all kinds of ships, handicapped accessible You are looking for a micro, just a little smaller than the film canisters. That means room for a log only, so BYOP. Additional Hint: “Like a magnet, the Coos Watershed has attracted people for more than 600 years.”

Old # 104 – GC104CD N 43° 21.705 W 124° 12.722

A Micro Cache…BYOP This Cache is Located at a Lumber + Train Museum…Since the Museum is still a “Work in Progress”, Volunteers doing all the work…They are open Wednesdays & Saturdays. You can view plenty from outside the fence. No need to go inside for this find. Additional Hint: You Need To Be On The Right Track!

Courtesy of the Coos Historical & Maritime Museum

Front Street Brochure