Station Cape Arago, Oregon
Renamed Station Coos Bay in 1902
USLSS Station #4, Twelfth District
Coast Guard Station #320
Coos Bay, north side; 43-22' 50"N x 124-18' 00"W
Date of Conveyance:
See remarks section below
The first life saving station on the Oregon Coast was built in late 1878, two miles southwest of Cape Arago. The station, a rather quiet place without much rescue activity, had 14 keepers in 37 years, the highest turnover rate on the West Coast. The station was moved from Lighthouse Island to the North Spit of Coos Bay in July of 1891. The Keeper at that time was Joseph Hodgson who commanded a crew of eight surfmen. Since the station had moved quite far away from Cape Arago, the name was actually a misnomer and this issue was addressed in 1902 when the station was renamed. It has since then been known as the Coos Bay Life-Saving Station.
The original station was turned over to the GSA in 1955. A new Cape Arago station is still in operation and is now designated Station Coos Bay. Prior to 1884 no conveyance of any land had been obtained.
Charles Nelson was appointed keeper on 25 OCT 1878 and resigned on 11 APR 1881.
Thomas Brown was appointed keeper on 11 APR 1881 and resigned on 14 NOV 1881.
James Desmond was appointed keeper on 14 NOV 1881 and was "discharged due to unfitness" on an unknown date.
William Abbott was appointed keeper on 20 MAR 1883 and resigned on 12 MAY 1886.
Robert E. Hennig was appointed keeper on 15 JUN 1886 and transferred to Humboldt Bay on 7 APR 1887.
John J. Galvin was appointed keeper on 9 MAR 1888 and resigned on 19 DEC 1889.
Joseph Hodgson was appointed keeper on 30 NOV 1889 and he transferred to Fort Point in FEB 1892.
Samuel Anderson was appointed keeper on 20 FEB 1892 and resigned on 15 APR 1892.
William L. Loch was appointed keeper on 18 APR 1892 and resigned on 2 NOV 1892.
Robert E. Wilcox was appointed keeper on 16 NOV 1892 and he resigned on 2 NOV 1896.
Martin Jacobsen was appointed keeper on 6 OCT 1896 and transferred to Shoalwater Bay as surfman on 6 JUL 1900.
Norman Nelson was appointed keeper 2 AUG 1900 and transferred to Golden Gate on 5 JAN 1908.
Clarence W. Boice was appointed keeper 26 DEC 1907 and resigned on 29 JUL 1910.
Orick P. Britt was appointed keeper on 23 JUL 1910 and was still serving in 1915.
Martinus P. Jansen was OIC in 1929.
Station History File, CG Historian’s Office
Dennis L. Noble & Michael S. Raynes. “Register of the Stations and Keepers of the U.S. Life-Saving Service.” Unpublished manuscript, compiled circa 1977, CG Historian’s Office collection.
Ralph Shanks, Wick York & Lisa Woo Shanks. The U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard. Petaluma, CA: Costaño Books, 1996.
U.S. Treasury Department: Coast Guard. Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers and Cadets and Ships and Stations of the United States Coast Guard, July 1, 1941. Washington, DC: USGPO, 1941.