Founded in 1893, Florence, Oregon, was situated three miles inland from the ocean to make use of a sheltered location on the Siuslaw River. As the city developed, the canneries and sawmills attracted businesses to the bustling shipping District on what is now called Bay Street.
In memory of The fishermen Who Risk Their Lives Against Mother Nature and the Pacific Ocean."
"The vacuum left by departing businesses in the late 1950s was filled by a succession of rough-edged watering holes, plus vacant and boarded up buildings.
"The pendulum began to swing in the late 1960s when some Southern Californians arrived with some fresh ideas for turning around a business district that was down on its luck. The remodeling of the historic Kyle building (below) in 1971 and the opening of a health food store sent a message to the few businesses that remained: Either shape up or ship out.
The blue sign reading "Shoes" on the blue-gray building on the right is the former marquee of the Harbor Theatre, a classic 1938 Art Deco movie house.
The two-lane bridge referred to above, is the Siuslaw River Bridge, was designed by Conde McCullough. The bridge, "...a combination steel double-leaf bascule (drawbridge) and concrete structure, remains stately with its sculpted art deco obelisks and Gothic arch railings. Impressive but unpretentious, the bridge still provides the classic backdrops for views of and from Old Town" (blog.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/2007/07/florences_bay_street).
Four Art Deco-style obelisks house mechanical equipment as well as living quarters for the bridge operator.