Cape Blanco (Oregon)

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Cape Blanco from space, October 1994

Cape Blanco is a prominent headland on the Pacific Ocean coast of southwestern Oregon in the United States, forming the westernmost point in the state. It is located in northern Curry County, approximately 5 mi (8 km) north of Port Orford, along a mountainous and isolated stretch of the coast bounded to the east by the Coast Range. The cape is part of Cape Blanco State Park and is the location of the Cape Blanco Light, first lit in 1870.

The cape may have been named by explorer Martín de Aguilar in 1603 for its appearance, as blanco means "white" in Spanish.[1][2] In 1775, Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra named the point Cabo Diligensias.[1] It was later renamed Cape Orford by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 but this name fell into disuse and Cape Blanco became the common usage.[1]


At Cape Blanco, geologists have found that the land is rising at a rate of several millimeters each year.[3]


In Jules Verne's early science fiction book The Begum's Millions, a Utopian community named Ville-France is established in 1872 on the South Oregon beach. Verne gives the location of this fictitious community as "eighty kilometres north of Cape Blanco". Cape Blanco is also noted on a map of Brobdingnag in Swift's Gulliver's Travels.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c LaLande, Jeff. "Cape Blanco". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [First published 1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. pp. 159–160. ISBN 9780875952772. OCLC 53075956. 
  3. ^ Bishop, Ellen Morris; Allen, John Eliot (1996). Hiking Oregon's geology. Seattle: The Mountaineers. p. 52. ISBN 0-89886-485-2. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°50′15″N 124°33′50″W / 42.8376089°N 124.5639997°W / 42.8376089; -124.5639997