Dark Falls is a city in Lincoln County, Oregon, United States, located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Between the University, the fishing and logging industries, the town has reached a population of over 30,000 by 2003.
A Native American tribe called the Diroc originally inhabited the area. They were a small and secretive group, so when they disappeared mysteriously, it was never fully known if they died out or just left to places unknown. The town grew up in the area to fuel the needs of a growing logging industry, and then later the fishing industry.
Dark Falls was incorporated as a city on March 2, 1861 by Hubert Donald Boyd, Reverend Jeremiah Brolin, Michael Anthony Porter and Pierre Stephan LeBlanc, also known as the Four Fathers.
The city is named for Dark Falls Forest which surrounds it.
GeographyDark Falls is located approximately sixty miles west of Salem in western Oregon, situated on the coast. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.4 square miles (13.9 km²), of which, 5.3 square miles (13.8 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.56%) is water.
Dark Falls is home to one of the world's shortest rivers, the Miskatonic River, named for the nearby university, connecting Oceanlake to the Pacific Ocean. Oceanlake (Lake) is commonly referred as Devils Lake by the locals.
The average temperature in January is a low of 36F, and in August the average high is 71F. The hottest month on average is August, while the coldest is January. The driest month on average is July, with December being the wettest. The average annual precipitation is 97.270". The average July afternoon humidity is 75%, and the average January afternoon humidity is 84%. Dark Falls is also known for unexplained atmospheric disturbances such as snow during the summer or rain in a very specific area. Popular meteorological deals with microbursts and temperature inversions.
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,322 people, 14,772 households, and 7,522 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,719.2 people per square mile (1,400.2/km²). There were 15,681 housing units at an average density of 1,537.0/sq mi (593.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.40% White, 0.46% African American, 3.12% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.35% Pacific Islander, 3.01% from other races, and 3.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.22% of the population.
There were 14,772 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.8% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.2% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the city the population was spread out with 17.7% under the age of 18, 28.4% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,736, and the median income for a family was $40,408. Males had a median income of $30,970 versus $21,490 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,687. About 9.7% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
It is of particular note that there are no reliable statistics for census during the 1930's. The town became a virtual ghost town and hundreds of people disappeared in a matter of months, assumed to have left in search of jobs elsewhere.
A 2013 study, released once every 10 years, listed Lincoln County (of which Dark Falls makes up the majority of the population) as the least religious county per capita in the United States. Only 1 in 4 people indicated that they were affiliated with one of the 149 religious groups the study identified. The study indicated that some of the disparity, however, may be attributed to the popularity of less traditional religions (ones not included as an option in the study) in the Pacific Northwest.
Boyd Logging Company, Proctor Fishing Company and Miskatonic University are the three largest employers in Dark Falls. For the most part if someone is not employed at one of these companies, they are in a service position taking care of those people.
Boyd Logging Company was started by in 1859 by Hubert Donald Boyd. Despite several early setbacks, rumors of which still whispered, the company grew rapidly and kept the town afloat during the depression, In 1923, logging baron Wyatt Boyd founded the Boyd School of Forestry Sciences.
There was a short lived silver rush back in the late 1800's, but strikes were few and far between and eventually all prospecting was halted.
Recovery followed quickly after WWII and the town grew anew despite strange disappearances and a higher than average murder rate. It was during the late forties that the Proctor Family arrived in Dark Falls, starting a large fishing company. They also founded the west coast campus of Miskatonic University, which had a campus in Arkham, Massachusetts, acquiring the Boyd School of Forestry Sciences in the process. MU is one of the most prestigious and sought after universities on the west coast.
Arts and Culture
Museums and other points of interest
- Miskatonic Public Library
- Museum of Horrors
- Museum of Natural and Unnatural History
- North Point Lighthouse
Parks and Recreation
Dark Falls early on enjoyed public land preservation despite the logging industry. The city has at least 35 public parks within and adjacent to the city limits, some of which include:
- Bachman Golf and Hiking Trails
- Coffin Park
- Crow Hill
Dark Falls was once known as the "Crow Capital of the World", but all the crows disappeared suddenly and mysteriously in early 2004.
Dark Falls has a higher than average education rate per capita in the State of Oregon in young adults and children under the age of 21. Despite this, 98% of the residents choose not to leave the city once formal education is complete.
Public schools in the city are administered by the Dark Falls School District. Dark Falls High School sees a majority of its sponsorship from the Boyd Family. Dark Falls is also the home of Miskatonic University, West Coast, which is funding extensively by the Proctor Family.
- Dark Falls Gazette, daily newspaper
- The Daily Inquisitor, Miskatonic University campus newspaper
St. Anthony's Hospital is the largest in the area and provides exceptional care usually only seen in war zones. This is commonly attributed to the high risk involved in the logging and fishing industries.