Nifty Tidbits:

Originally printed in the Dec. 11, 2002 edition of the Illinois Valley News

The coast of Southern Oregon is a very scenic location. The rocky coastline with small offshore islands, waves crashing on the rocks and small beaches, and the trees growing almost to the water make a very picturesque area. To make it more accessible, there is a trail in between the highway and the ocean. In addition many view points with parking areas have been provided by the highway department.
Just north of the town of Brookings there is a small state park, 173 acres, with many nice camping spots as well as a good beach on which kids and adults can play or relax. It is Harris Beach State Park and it is named for George Harris, from Scotland, who settled in that area in the 1880’s.
Going north from Harris Beach, the next accessible beach is called Lone Ranch Beach, named for an isolated ranch there. It is part of the southern end of Samuel H. Boardman State Park. Boardman Park continues north for about 11 miles and ends near Arch Rock Viewpoint. This park contains 1,471 acres and includes all the area between the highway and the ocean. The trail begins just north of Lone Ranch and continues north to Miner Creek where there is an access road.
The geology of the region is very complex, but it is the geologic formations which make Boardman State Park so scenic. The underlying rocks began as sediments on the floor of the ocean. Because of movement in the crust the solidified sediments were scraped off the floor of the ocean by the formation of a large trench and then pushed eastward against the forming Coast Range mountains.
When the scraping occurred, some of the mantle material was picked up also and forced up to the surface. All of this movement generated great pressure which was applied on the rocks. The rocks in turn became hardened and distorted and the mantle material was turned into serpentine.
Much later, as erosion occurred along the coast, the softer rocks were worn away first and the harder materials were left behind. This is the reason for the offshore islands which are called sea stacks. Erosion also carved many arches and caves and created waterfalls where the creeks drop down to the sea level.
Samuel H. Boardman considered the area a natural wonder and as the first superintendent of the Oregon State Park system , he worked hard to turn it into a park. Much of the land was purchased by the state from private owners or the Federal Bureau of Land Management. One part was donated as a gift to the state by Borax Consolidated, a British company. The present park was finalized in 1957. At that time the coast highway followed the Carpenterville Road which wound along the ridge and made access to the coast very difficult. The present highway was completed in the 1960’s.
Samuel H. Boardman was born in Massachusetts, one source lists his birthday as
Dec. 13, 187 4 and another source as Mar. 13, 1874. He was educated in Massachusetts and in Wisconsin and trained as a civil engineer. In 1904 he homesteaded on land in eastern Oregon that is now part of the city of Boardman, Oregon which was named for him. Beginning in 1926 he started planting trees along the highway and later he was employed as an engineer by the highway department. The state parks were originally part of the highway department and Boardman was named the first superintendent in 1929. He retired in 1950 after increasing the state park system from an original 4 thousand acres to 66 thousand acres.