Park Heritage Notes–Traces of Drake & Cook (2010)
Visitors to two coastal parks will discover historical markers commemorating two famous British explorers, Captain James Cook and Sir Francis Drake.
Captain Cook made the first recorded landfall made by a ship on the shores of the Pacific Northwest near Yaquina Bay on March 7, 1778, the same day he named Cape Foulweather. A marker near the lighthouse in Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site notes the event.
A monument honoring Drake lies in Cape Arago State Park. It describes an anchoring by Drake that some historians believe took place in 1579 in the south cove by the cape. Captain Cook also took the liberty of naming the landmark Cape Gregory in March 1778. However, in 1850, a 19th century federal agency called the United States Coast Survey renamed it Cape Arago after a French geographer and physicist.