Hard Times in Paradise

Coos Bay, Oregon

William G. Robbins

  • $20.00s paperback (9780295985480) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2006
  • Subject Listing: History / Western History; Environmental Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 236 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

Blessed with vast expanses of virgin timber, a good harbor, and a San Francisco market for its lumber, the Coos Bay area once dubbed itself "a poor man's paradise." A new Prologue and Epilogue by the author bring this story of gyppo loggers, longshoremen, millwrights, and whistle punks into the twenty-first century, describing Coos Bay's transition from timber town to a retirement and tourist community, where the site of a former Weyerhaeuser complex is now home to the Coquille Indian Tribe's The Mill Casino.
William G. Robbins is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at Oregon State University. He is the author of Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940 and Landscapes of Conflict: The Oregon Story, 1940-2000, among other books.

"Relying heavily on interviews with residents of the Oregon coast, Robbins . . . examines the rise and decline of labor unions and writes of mills- as well as of woods and of small firms (the "gyppos) and the giants such as Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific."
-Richard S. Kirkendall, Western HistoricalQuarterly

"Historians will find this study useful in its survey of the southern Oregon timber industry, in its indictment of the unwise exploitation of resources in the West, and . . . as a model for a study that can be read and appreciated by those who matter most- the people who are the history."
-Allan Kent Powell, American Historical Review

"With the original edition of Hard Times in Paradise, Robbins tackled immense problems in a small packet. The new additions not only update the story of Coos Bay's struggle to survive, but also bring new scholarly perspectives that extend the discussion beyond the first brilliant portrayal of this vital facet of Northwest history."
-Chris Friday, Western Washington University

Map 1 Coos County, Oregon
Map 2 Coos Bay area

Prologue to the Revised Edition
Preface to the Original Edition
1) Poor Man's Paradise
2) An Empire Itself
3) The "Big Mill" and Its World
4) Logging the Coos Timber
5) Getting By
6) Surviving the Great Depression
7) The Second World War
8) Lumber Capital of the World
9) Timber Fever
10) Bosses and Workers
11) Hard Times and Survivors
Post Mortem: Reflections on the Present Condition
Epilogue to the Revised Edition