In September 1936 a wildfire started in a nearby forest and raged through the waterfront town of Bandon, destroying countless businesses and houses. The fire, caused by summer drought and fueled by the abundant Gorse Weed found in many of the empty spaces between buildings in Bandon, caused so much destruction that only a handful of structures were left standing when the fire finally died down.
Dozens of families were displaced and people sought shelter in the “city” of Red Cross tents that were set up on the waterfront. Among them were Carl and Emma, who were lucky enough to find some joy amidst the devastation. The two shared a Red Cross meal and shortly thereafter decided to share their lives.
It took the people of Bandon years to rebuild, and many still refer to that time in Bandon history with the acronyms B.F. and A.F.
Before the fire, and after the fire.
Learn more about Oregon coast history and see hundreds of beautiful, historic photos in The World’s new book, Coos County Memories: The Early Years.