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Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Lane County, Oregon


"City of Rhododendrons"

Page Contents for Florence, Oregon

Statistics & Facts


Weather & Climate

History & History-related items

City Attractions



Historical Events

Chamber of Commerce.

Community news

Organizations, Churches, and Sports.



Statistics & Facts

The Oregon state capital is Salem.
The population of Florence is approximately 8,328 (2007), 8466 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 4,174 (2000), 4226 (2010).
The amount of land area in Florence is 12.7 sq. kilometers.
The amount of land area in Florence is 4.9 sq. miles.
The amount of surface water is 1.5 sq kilometers.
The distance from Florence to Washington DC is 2608 miles.
The distance to the Oregon state capital is 86 miles. (as the crow flies)
Florence is positioned 43.98 degrees north of the equator and 124.10 degrees west of the prime meridian.
Florence elevation is 23 feet above sea level.
Florence median income is $ 35,599 (2007).
The Florence median home price is $ 178,468 (2007).
Florence average annual rainfall is 65 inches per year


on U.S. Highway 101, on the Central Oregon Coast about 68 miles from Eugene. Other nearby communities include South Siuslaw, North Siuslaw, Dunes City, Reedsport, Winchester Bay, Yachats, Middle Suislaw-Triangle Lake and Lakeside.
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seasonal with all four seasons represented, though none of the seasons have extreme temperatures. Fall foliage is beautiful here. Winters are often clear but large ocean storms come in periodically. Snow is not common, but does fall a couple of times each winter. Spring brings much beauty to the area with flowers everywhere. Summers are long and very comfortable and often last into October. Rainfall is abundant, mainly in the winter and spring. Sunshine is prevalent most of the year.
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moderate. Here is a current weather page for Florence.
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History & History Related Items

Early in the Florence history, Spanish galleons sailed the ocean waters. Even Captain Cook explored the area during his northwest voyage.

The Florence area was first inhabited by the Siuslaw Indians. Their life revolved around the Siuslaw River. The river and nearby forest provided them with the things they needed. They found crabs, fish & clams from the river and made canoes and houses from the driftwood that washed up on shore. They were able to hunt deer, elk and bear or collect berries in the forest.

In the early 1800's, there was a smallpox outbreak and many of the Indians died. Around this time, about 1850, the white man came to the Florence area. Their life was that of a rugged pioneering community. Their main source of money came from logging and fishing. By 1900, Florence had a population of 300. The town now had two canneries, a lumber mill, a couple of general stores and a newspaper.

Today Florence provides many outdoor recreational activities among the beautiful scenery of green forest and the ocean's edge. The heritage of Florence lives on in the restored historic buildings of Old Town Florence. (Submitted by Lyra Love, High Desert Middle School)

It is said that Florence was named for A.B. Florence a state senator from Lane County from 1858 to 1860. Others say the city was named for a French ship that wrecked at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on 17 February 1875.
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The incorporation of Florence



Florence is located on the northern edge of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA). This area has some of the largest oceanfront dunes in the world, ranging up to 500 feet high and forming banks up to three miles deep. The dunes run between Florence and Coos Bay.

Learn more about Florence. See this webcam located at Harbor Vista Park.

Due to the location of Florence right on the Pacific Ocean, the Siuslaw River, 17 freshwater lakes and 75 creeks, some of the best fishing in the state may be found here. Clamming and Crabbing are also favorite pastimes of the area.

Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
278 Maple
P.O. Box 2637
Florence, Oregon 97439
Phone: (541) 997-7884
We are located at the corner of Maple and Second. Please call ahead for hours of operation as we are not open year-round. We have Indian and Early Pioneer Artifacts and are housed in the old school building that was built in 1905.

Travel Lane County
Real Adventures - Real Close

Port of Siuslaw
P.O. Box 1220
Florence, Oregon 97439
Phone: 541-997-3426 (business only)
Campground & Marina: 541-997-3040

The annual Rhododendron Festival or, as it is often called, the Rhody Festival, is held each year the third week of May. It began back in 1908 and now attracts thousands of visitors each year. The wild Rhododendrons bloom in the hills and field in the area and mark the end of winter for Florence.

Sea Lion Caves are only 11 miles from Florence and a must see for all! Fall and winter are the times to best see the sea lions.

Winter Folk Festival
held in January each year.

Old Town Florence

Siuslaw River Bridge
The Siuslaw River Bridge
A beautiful bascule bridge over the Siuslaw River on US Highway 101. It was designed by Conde McCullough and opened in 1936. It is 1,568 feet long with a 140 foot center section which opens for boat traffic. The two side sections are 154 foot long arches.
See another picture of the bridge.

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park
about three miles south of Florence on Highway 101.

Heceta Head Lighthouse
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Economy & Industry

at one time, the economy revolved around logging, commercial fishing and agriculture, but those sectors have nearly disappeared. Now tourism plays one of the most important parts of the local economy. The Port of Siuslaw adds as well as the Three Rivers Casino run by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.
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Florence City Government

City of Florence
250 Hwy 101
Florence, OR 97439
Phone: 541-997-3436

Clofence Municipal Airport
2001 Airport Way
Florence, Oregon
Phone: 541-997-8069

Florence Historical Events

2009 March 8
A rare Fin Whale washed ashore near the Heceta Head Lighthouse just north of Florence. The 55 foot whale had already died when it landed on the sand. It had been seen on Friday the 6th but appeared to be in some sort of distress. It first washed ashore near the Sea Lion Caves on Saturday. Later, it was carried back out to sea by the tide. Then, on Sunday, it appeared on Devil's Elbow Beach. Officials closed the beach for the safety of both the spectators and the fallen whale. Because it is unlawful to do anything with a whale carcass, a local contractor was hired to make a trench in the sand where the whale was buried. Oregon State University biologists performed a necropsy for the burial. It is not known why the whale became distressed though it did appear to be bleeding before it died.
1970 November 12
The famous Exploding Whale
State Highway Division crews used a 1/2 ton of dynamite to blow up the remains of a 45-foot sperm whale that washed ashore about a mile south of the Siuslaw River.

The explosion, which was caught on video, tossed pieces of blubber into the air and onto spectators and vehicles below. After the explosion, the local seagulls and other scavengers whom the officials had hoped would eat the remains had disappeared!

See a video of the event posted on YouTube. Also more information may be found here.

Florence Chamber

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 26000
270 Hwy. 101
Florence, Oregon 97439
Phone: 541-997-3128
Toll-free: 800-524-4864

Florence Community News

Siuslaw News Online
148 Maple St.
Florence, OR 97439
Phone: 541-997-3441

Florence Organizations

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 26000
270 Hwy. 101
Florence, Oregon 97439
Phone: 541-997-3128
Toll-free: 800-524-4864

Florence Schools

Siuslaw School District
2111 Oak St.
Florence, OR 97439
Phone: (541) 997-2651
Lane Community College at Florence
3149 Oak St.
Florence, OR 97439
Phone: 541-997-8444 Florence


The population of Florence was:
1900 - 300
1990 - 6,000
2000 - 7,263
2007 - 8,328

The number of housing units was:
1990 - 2,741
2000 - 4,174

Median age:
2000 - 55.8 years

Median household income:
2000 - $ 30,505
2007 - $ 35,599

Per Capita income:
2000 - $ 18,008

Median house value:
2000 - $ 105,300
2007 - $ 178,468

Florence is the largest community in Western Lane County. It has a market base of approximately 20,000. (1997)

Florence is located in the Pacific Time Zone and does participate in daylight savings time during a portion of the year.

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