How to Research the History of Your House

House Histories

House histories : a Guide to Tracing the Genealogy of Your Home by Sally Light.  728.072 LIG

Houses and Homes : Exploring Their History by Barbara J.Howe … [et al.],   728.072 HOU



Local Publications

Coos Bay Times, Coos Bay Greater Harbor edition.   Oregon Archives 979.523 COO, 1931

Coos Bay Times Golden Jubilee Number, 1878-1928.   Oregon Oversize 979.523 COO, 1928

Coos County : the Early Years979.523 COO, Early (Pictorial history of the local area).

Coos County : The Glory Years.   979.523 COO, Glory (Pictorial history of the local area).

Heritage Days by The WorldOregon Archives 728.0979523 HER

North Bend Between the World Wars: 1919-1941 by Dick & Judy Wagner.   979.523 WAG (additional copy in the Oregon Archives).

Potential Southwestern Oregon edition of the Coos Bay Times by The Coos Bay Times.   Oregon Oversize 979.523 COO

Reflections 1900-2000 : a Century of Change by The WorldOregon Archives 979.523 1999-2000



Other Titles of Interest

American House Styles : a Concise Guide by John Milnes Baker. 728.37 BAK

A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia and Lee McAlester; with drawings by Lauren Jarrett, and model house drawings by Juan Rodriguez-Arnaiz.  917.3 McA c.2

Houses By Mail: a Guide to Houses From Sears, Roebuck and Company by Katherine Cole Stevenson, H. Ward Jandl.  728.3 STE

The Visual Dictionary of American Domestic Architecture by Rachel Carley; illustrated by Ray Skibinski.  Reference 728.0973 CAR



Specific Local Buildings

The Coos Bay Hotel Company and the Building of the Chandler Hotel by Nancy Waterman Price.   Oregon Archives 979.523 COOS, His Autumn 1985

Coos Bay National Bank Building by Nancy Waterman Price.  Oregon Archives 979.523 COOS, His 1987

Coos County Courthouse ; 100 Years, 1896-1996 by [Coquille Valley Sentinel].  Oregon Archives Oversize 347.02 COO



General History

A Century of Coos and Curry : History of Southwest Oregon by Emil R. Peterson and Alfred Powers.  979.5 PET

Other Avenues of Research

For local history ca. 1920:

In the 1910s and 1920s, the Coos Bay Times (daily newspaper) published a special ‘year in review’ -style issue the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of December each year. Civic development of all kinds, including commercial and private building, is heavily reported in this era (microfilm).

NOTE: There is no index to the area newspapers.


Coos County Land Deeds

1854-1888 Microfilm


Oral History Recordings

A collection of oral history interviews was created in the 1970s through a grant project conducted by Southwestern Oregon Community College. Copies of these interviews are available at Coos Bay Public Library and the community college library. The series is listed by the title, Living History Series. There is an index to these recordings: Index to living history series by Bessie L. Guthrie. Ref 920 GUT

Pamphlet File Collection

The library has collected a number of pamphlets, booklets and newspaper articles on local history. Some of these are about or include information on local historical buildings.


Oregon & Pacific Northwest Architecture

Architects of Oregon : a Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased, 19th and 20th Centuries by Richard E. Ritz.   Oregon Archives 720.92 Rit

Bob Vila’s Guide to Historic Homes of the West by Bob Vila.  917.304 VIL

Classic houses of Portland, Oregon : 1850-1950 by William J. Hawkins and William F. Willingham.  728.09795 HAW

A Field Guide To America’s Historic Neighborhoods And Museum Houses : The Western States by Virginia and Lee McAlester.  Reference 728.0978 MCA

Historic Houses of the Pacific Northwest by Daphne Reece.  917.95 REE

Identifying And Assessing Historical Cultural Resources : Region 6, U.S.F.S. by Stephen Dow Beckham.   979 BEC

Oregon Historic Landmarks : Oregon Coast by Oregon Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.  Oregon Archive 979.5 ORE Coa

Oregon Style : Architecture From 1840 to the 1950s by Rosalind L Clark.  720.9795 CLA

Pacific Houses by Cynthia Reschke.  747.8872 RES, 2004

Space, Style, and Structure : Building in Northwest America by Thomas Vaughan, editor.   704.944 VAU Vols. 1 & 2

When Buildings Speak : Stories Told by Oregon’s Historical Architecture by Alice Cotton.  720.9795 COT


Digital Maps

Sanborn Maps – (you will need a Coos County library card). 695 large-scale maps of 176 Oregon towns, 1867-1970. Note: Many of these maps are from before the merger so look at Empire and Marshfield for the Coos Bay area. Bandon, Coquille, Myrtle Point, North Bend, and Powers are also listed.


Outside Sources

Building permit and codes departments of the city and county of residence

  • Subdivision plats
  • Construction permit records

NOTE: Please phone the department to inquire whether they have, and whether they can provide access to, this information; and make an appointment to visit. This is not a normal function of a plans and codes department.

The Coos County Assessment Roll provides access to the tax assessments for all properties in Coos County. It may be searched by last name of owner, street address, or by plat map address (range/section).


Coos County Clerk’s Office, Coquille OR

This office has computer and paper indexes to all the deeds in Coos County. By using the indexes one can find early copies of deeds and thereby trace ownership of properties.


Coos County Historical Society Museum, Simpson Park, North Bend

  • Osborne Fire Insurance Maps
  • Photograph

NOTE: Please make an appointment with the museum for access to this type of material; they are volunteer operated and cannot assist drop-in traffic with queries of this type.