It was March 7, 1946, when the first issue of the Brookings-Harbor Pilot appeared on the streets of Brookings.
“It is the aims and ideas of Dewey Akers and Dave Holman to operated their newspaper for the welfare, betterment and development of the Brookings-Harbor area and to serve the community to its best interests,” said the editorial printed in that first edition. “The Brookings-Harbor Pilot will be an organ for voicing public opinion, and fostering a healthy and vigorous spirit.”
So far, in the ensuing 65 years, the Pilot has never missed an issue. It was an 8-page weekly tabloid at first, with subscriptions available at $2.50 per year. The first advertisers were the Pine Cone Theater, Chetco Drug Store and the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce. The office was in the Central Building.
Holman resigned three months later. With the community population only 600 at the time; there wasn’t enough revenue to support two families. He would land in Florence, and publish the Siuslaw News for many years. Akers died in a plane crash in 1952. Our current building has a plaque in his honor at the front door; in his honor, we call our basement conference room (and occasional art gallery) Dewey’s Digs.
The same balance of community service and commercial enterprise has remained at the Pilot through several ownerships, several design changes, a new name, expansion in 1990 to a twice-weekly newspaper, and to a website in 1997. We have a wall full of awards attesting to our success as a community newspaper.
With every issue over the past 65 years, the crew at the Pilot has been dedicated to providing accurate and timely information of interest to this community. That simple goal, stated in the first editorial of the first edition, has guided the Pilot since 1946, and will do so for many more years.