National Register of Historic Places in Coos County
The Hotel North Bend is the largest, tallest, and most grandiose hotel in North Bend.
During the early 20th century, a lack of roads prevented travel inland from Coos Bay. North Bend became a popular stopping point between San Francisco and Portland by ship. It would take 48 hours to sail to San Francisco. It was a three day trip by steamer and stage to Eugene.
In 1916 rail service opened the region to commercial trade and tourism. The Coos Bay area became a transportation hub. Tall ships, timber, sawmills, coal mining and salmon canning fueled the economy. Between the 1930s and 1950s the US Government contracted shipyards to build mine sweepers and rescue tugs.
During the 1940s, Jack and Nellie Ripper managed a restaurant and gambling club in the hotel. To emphasize the club's friendly and safe environment, policemen, military officers and deputy sheriffs were always welcome and shown special favors to encourage their presence. During World War II, the Rippers baked cakes for the officers using their precious wartime sugar ration coupons.
The building was last used as a hotel in the early 1960s when Greyhound operated bus service out of the ground floor and the upper floor rooms were used to board travelers.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in July 2005.
When we photographed the building in 2010, it was an apartment building.