Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Secrets from Beneath Rockaway Beach: Hidden Oregon Coast History

Published 08/19/2018 at 5:07 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Secrets from Beneath Rockaway Beach: Hidden Oregon Coast History

(Rockaway Beach, Oregon) – Every winter, sand levels drop – some years more than others.

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials even in summer
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Check each listing for specials
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some Deals even in summer; great packages
In Lincoln City:
Major price drops on some dates and some lodgings
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Specials can still be found
In Newport:
Includes exclusive listings not found anywhere
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials; lodgings not listed anywhere else

In Rockaway Beach, on the north Oregon coast, some winters mean the emergence of incredible things – really eye-popping parts of the town’s past. If sand levels get low enough, you can discover a 100-year-old shipwreck that has rarely been seen since the '70s, and a puzzling hint of an attraction once revered.

The shipwreck (that of the Emily G. Reed) gets all the attention, but the tiny remnant of a structure popular with tourists almost 100 years ago gets overlooked.

Periodically, you may find little chunks of wood sticking up out of the sand near the creek at the main access downtown, known as Ocean’s Edge. They look like old pilings, or stumps. They’ve even been confused with the ghost forests seen in some areas like Cape Lookout, Newport or near Pacific City.

They’re actually part of a sort of barrier, a bulkhead is probably the best word. It protected a once-famed attraction not from the sea, oddly enough, but from the creek itself, according to local historian Don Best in a 2011 interview with Oregon Coast Beach Connection.

Somewhere in the early part of the century, as Rockaway Beach got its start, the town acquired a natatorium – a heated salt water pool, the kind that was all the rage before the 1940s. Newport’s Nye Beach had one, Seaside had two, and a now-swallowed up ghost town called Bayocean – on the Tillamook Bay – also had one.

“When they built the natatorium in Rockaway Beach, where the wayside is today, they also built a bulkheaded channel for the creek - Rock Creek,” said Best. “It was about three feet wide and 8 to 10 feet tall, with 2 x 12 inch planking on the sides and even a covered top so that the creek would not ‘wander’ back and forth with the seasons.”

What you’ll see is a small, circular wood structure, comprised of what look like little pilings jutting up from the sand, located close to Rock Creek as it comes spilling out from the land above.

Best said several creeks in the area had a structure like this, including the creek that comes out of Spring Lake.

In the aerial photo Best provided (below), dating back to 1928, you can see a longer bulkhead and a shorter bulkhead. The one that’s visible in winter is the longer version. More photos below: Lodging in Rockaway Beach - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


Oregon Coast Lodging




More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Whale Numbers Soar Along Washington, Oregon Coast - Rarities Too
Unusual water, weather conditions bring in huge whale numbers, including a beaked whale, blue whale
Southern Oregon Coast Hosts Unusual Fest in October: 10 Days of Food, Outdoor...
October 18 - 27 along 135 miles of trails and shoreline. Restaurants, Yachats events, Newport events, travel tips
September Preview of Astoria, Cannon Beach, Seaside - N. Oregon Coast Fun-O-Rama
Rama Last embers of summer and beginning of fall bring a surge of activity. Cannon Beach events, Seaside events
Razor Clam Ban Expands on Southern Oregon Coast
From the south jetty of the Umpqua River down to the California border
On Seaside's Prom: Part Oregon Coast Cottage, Part Upscale Hotel with History
The front stares at the ocean's chaotic wonders, originally a mansion built in the early 1900s
Newport's Late Summer Bashes: August, September on Oregon Coast
Food, fun in the outdoors and plenty of culture come crashing in. Newport events
UPDATE: Baby Whale on Oregon Coast Did Not Make High Tide, Is Euthanized
There is talk it could be euthanized. Found in Waldport's Bayshore area. Sciences
Neptune Scenic Viewpoint on Central Oregon Coast Bigger Than You Think
Between Yachats and Florence sits surprisingly sprawling Neptune

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details