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Curry County, Oregon

Curry County is a county located in the U.S. State of Oregon. The county was named for George Law Curry[?], territorial governor of Oregon for much of the time between 1853 and 1859. As of 2000, the population is 21,137.

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Economy In 1852 explorers discovered gold and other precious metals in the rivers and along the beaches of this area. As a result, settlement in the county was concentrated along the coast, depending primarily on water transportation. The slow development of inland transportation routes kept the county relatively isolated well into the twentieth century. While there is still some mining of cobalt, nickel, and chromium in the Gasaquet Mountain[?] area, the economy has reoriented to agriculture and timber. Port Orford cedar (also known as Lawson Cypress) and myrtlewood[?] are important export products.

The county has excellent grazing areas for raising cattle and sheep. The county also produces blueberries, horticultural nursery stock, and 90% of all Easter lilies[?] raised in the United States. Tourism is also important. The Forest Service owns 59% of the land within the county boundaries. The Port of Brookings is considered one of the safest harbors on the coast.

Geography The county originally contained about 1,500 square miles. However, boundary adjustments with Coos County in 1872 and 1951 and Josephine County in 1880 and 1927 increased the area to 5,150 km² (1,989 mi²). 4,215 km² (1,627 mi²) of it is land and 935 km² (361 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 18.16% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 21,137 people, 9,543 households, and 6,183 families residing in the county. The population density is 5/km² (13/mi²). There are 11,406 housing units at an average density of 3/km² (7/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 92.89% White, 0.15% African American, 2.14% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 2.90% from two or more races. 3.60% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 9,543 households out of which 20.90% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.50% are married couples living together, 7.20% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.20% are non-families. 29.70% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.70% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.19 and the average family size is 2.66.

In the county, the population is spread out with 19.20% under the age of 18, 4.80% from 18 to 24, 20.00% from 25 to 44, 29.40% from 45 to 64, and 26.60% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 49 years. For every 100 females there are 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $30,117, and the median income for a family is $35,627. Males have a median income of $31,772 versus $22,416 for females. The per capita income for the county is $18,138. 12.20% of the population and 9.70% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 13.60% are under the age of 18 and 10.60% are 65 or older.

History Curry County was created on December 18, 1855, from the southern part of Coos County. Initially it was proposed that the new county be name after Captain William Tichenor, council member from Port Orford. However, he declined because his constituents wanted to honor the territorial governor, George L. Curry. Upon creation of Curry County, the Territorial Legislature fixed the county seat temporarily at Port Orford until the citizens of the county could determine a permanent site. In 1859, following an informal vote of county citizens during the general election, Ellensburg (later known as Gold Beach) was designated the county seat.

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