Wheeler was born in the early 1900s, with the completion of a rail link to the navigable waters of Nehalem Bay. The train provided a means of delivering lumber and seafood to Portland and points east. The lumber mills and fish packing plants of Wheeler’s early decades are gone now… leaving a charming little village of historic buildings. They are strung together on the edge of the beautiful bay, as if displayed on a mantle at Christmas. Wheeler has been called “the little town with the million-dollar view!” It is a captivating place to relax, refresh and enjoy the splendor of Oregon’s north coast.
As of the census of 2000, there were 391 people, 176 households, and 93 families residing in the city. The population density was 545.7 people per square mile. There were 244 housing units at an average density of 340.5/sq mi. The racial makeup of the city was 93.09% White, 0.77% Native American, 1.79% Asian, 1.79% from other races, and 2.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.81% of the population.
There were 176 households out of which 16.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.6% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.54.
In the city the population was spread out with 14.3% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 19.9% from 25 to 44, 31.7% from 45 to 64, and 27.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,000, and the median income for a family was $31,161. Males had a median income of $26,364 versus $21,429 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,535. About 10.9% of families and 16.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.6% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
Labeled as a “Village” by locals, the City of Wheeler is a mighty active community. Volunteers maintain the parks, stage annual festivals, train the citizens for emergency preparedness and continually upgrade a vision plan for the city.