As landowners, we support the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians effort to establish a Traditional Cultural Property Historic District, which includes areas of our ranch. We were fortunate to be able to purchase our small ranch in 1997 and learned it had quite a history of ownership: dairymen, loggers, ranchers, and mill workers all worked hard here. Interestingly, our title shows that on May 8, 1869, the land was originally granted to James T. Jordan.
James was a hunter from Kentucky who moved to Coos County and married Jane, a Hanis (Coos) Indian. Back then, if a female tribal member married a white man, she could stay in her ancestral area rather than be moved to the reservation in Yachats, where most Indians were forced to relocate in those years. James and Jane Jordan raised a family and owned a large area of land along the northern margin of Coos Bay, where they ran livestock. Their land included a small cove on the northern bend of the bay that was eventually named Jordan Cove.
A number of relatives of the Jordans, now tribal members, still live in our community today. Ancestors of Jane Jordan likely lived in this area for 10,000 years or more before European settlers arrived. They lived their lives, hunting, fishing, and collecting clams, native oysters and all the rest of the bounty the bay provided. For many generations they raised their families, worshiped their gods, and told their stories and legends. There are a large number of Indian fishing weirs near our ranch—a testament to the importance of this area as a food source. These traps consist of many sticks stuck closely together in the mud flats in a “vee” shape which catch fish during the receding tides. Dr. Mark Tveskov, an archeologist from Southern Oregon University, claims the Haynes Inlet weirs are likely the greatest array of fishing weirs in the entire Pacific Northwest. As current stewards of our land, we honor the dairy farmers, the loggers, the mill workers and others who lived on what was to become our ranch. But we also honor the Coos Indians, who lived out their lives here for millennia before any Europeans arrived. We feel that designating areas around the bay as a Traditional Cultural Property Historic District is a fitting way to commemorate and respect their legacy.
Larry and Sylvia Mangan