Though he did not start the first paper, the first half century of Curry county journalism revolves pretty much around Walter Sutton, real Oregon pioneer, who crossed the plains in 1854, and many years later purchased the Port Orford Post from J. H. Upton & Son, who had established it in 1880.

GEORGE STANLEY TURNBULL, History oF Oregon Newspapers
Walter Sutton as a young man via The Rogue Digger.
The photographer is Peter Britt of Jacksonville, Oregon.
Walter Sutton in 1889 (Back row, 4th from left behind mule)
Port Orford and North Curry County by Shirley Nelson.
1893 Rowells American Newspaper Directory listing.
The first issue recorded by the Library of Congress was on May 17, 1892
Sutton’s Print Shop(s) are visible in this 1902 photo of Port Orford (See #17 on the map).
Walter Sutton in his print shop with his family, c1900. Photo from the Alan Mitchell Collection.

More backstory from the excellent resource History of Oregon Newspapers: “After 12 years Mr. Sutton sold the paper to Walter Riley, who retired after a year, when Mr. Sutton resumed possession. He published the paper for two more years, then selling to Frank A. Stewart & Son (Hardy T. Stewart, editor), who changed the publication from Tuesday to Wednesday and carried on the paper for 16 years. The Stewarts sold back to Sutton and his son George. They in turn sold to F. W. Fulton, who after two years sold to a rival paper, the Curry County Reporter, and publication of the Tribune was suspended. “

1904 Port Orford Tribune - Front Page
The Front Page of The Port Orford Tribune in 1904 when Frank A. Stewart & Son acquired the newspaper. (The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, Volume 4)
The paper in its entirety can be viewed here as well as an issue from 1905.
Port Orford Tribune’s 31st Anniversary as recorded by
“The Oregon Exchange: Volumes 5-6” June 1923 by F.A. Grammell
The cylinder press was bought from The Bandon Western World as reported by a leading industry publication of the day, “The Pacific Printer: The Leading Trade Journal in the West for the Printing and Allied Interests, Volumes 27-28” (Jan. 1922)

The last known issue of the Port Orford Tribune as recorded by the Library of Congress was Vol. 34, no. 11 (July 22, 1925), which was followed in short order by The Port Orford News.

The Port Orford News, fruit of one of the latest efforts to maintain a newspaper in the town, was established by George W. Soranson in 1926. As secretary of the chamber of commerce and publisher of the News he is credited with having done much to promote the development of Port Orford. He helped to get a coast guard station established, was largely responsible for clearing the coast highway of billboards between Bandon and the state line. He also assisted in having set apart a state park commanding a view of Battle Rock, a historic spot, at Port Orford. On his death, aged 56, March 10, 1933, it was proposed to honor his memory with a roadside marker in recognition of his life interest in preserving the natural beauties of Oregon highways.

GEORGE STANLEY TURNBULL, History oF Oregon Newspapers

This article primarily focuses on the Pioneers of Publishing in Port Orford. Here is a list of all known publications printed in North Curry County as documented with the OCLC:

  • Southwest Oregon Recorder (188?-18??)
  • Curry County Post (1880-) Upton and Son Publisher
  • Port Orford Tribune (1892-) Walter Sutton, Founder Denmark.
  • Port Orford News (1926-) Geo. W. Soranson Publisher, Port Orford.
  • Port Orford Pilot (1931-) John B. Carter, Publisher, Port Orford.
  • Port Orford Bulletin (1935-) E.W. Hawk Publisher, Port Orford.
  • Port Orford Post (1937-) Port Orford Pub. Co., Publisher, Port Orford.
  • Port Orford News (1958-) Paul Peterson Publisher, Port Orford.

The Port Orford News is over 100 years today and is owned and operated by Matt Hall.

In other newspaper news, Port Orford Historical Photos is currently working to restore back issues of The Port Orford Today, another periodical of historical value to Port Orford. It was published by Evan and Valerie Kramer from 1990-2012. We are also fortunate to have two papers in town with the continued efforts of Theresia Hewitt at The Port Orford Beacon.