Battle Rock at Port Orford
This enormous rock in Port Orford Bay is the site of one of the most famous, though perhaps least significant, clashes between South Coast Indians and incoming settlers. In 1851, Capt. William Tichenor, who ran a steamer between Portland and San Francisco, hoped to establish a trading post in this protected harbor and link it with the new gold mines in the interior valleys. In May he dropped off nine Portland men on the beach with 14 days of supplies, an old cannon and a promise to return with more men. Alarmed by the appearance of natives on the beach, the men climbed the rock fortified a camp. The Quotomahs attacked the next day, but their attempt to storm the narrow approach to the rock was thwarted by canon shot. After 15 days under siege, no sign of Capt. Tichenor’s ship, and nearly out of supplies, the men slipped away into the forest and struggled through the forest and along the beaches for days before reaching friendly natives at Coos Bay.