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Oregon Coast Hotspots That Go Back Farther Than You'd Imagine

Published 07/14/020 at 3:24 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Hotspots That Go Back Farther Than You'd Imagine

(Newport, Oregon) – Often when you're bouncing around the beach towns of Oregon, you're stepping on something older than you may think. To time travel on the Oregon coast is truly a trip. Certainly, the past lives of Astoria, Coos Bay and Newport have a few surprises.

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Nye Beach, Newport. This uber-charming neighborhood of the central Oregon coast town looks old timey Americana right off the bat, with its tiled streets seemingly time-traveled forward from an era when it was trodden on by horse-n-buggies, or maybe Model T's. The truth is all of that look is relatively new: Nye Beach was given a retro redo around 2000. It never actually looked that way. In reality, its original streets were of mud and planks.

Nye Beach was established back in the 1880s, named after John Nye, the man who had first acquired the property in the 1860s. By the early 1890s, it was becoming a tourist destination, and stayed that way through to about World War II. The fun resumed a bit after the war, but by the 1980s it had become neglected and even somewhat known as a bit rough in some respects.


That all depends on your point of view, however. True, it was less spruced up than many other parts of the coastline, but some consider this the glory days of Nye Beach when it was an inexpensive oceanfront option and certainly cheaper to live than other areas. It also had that notoriously kooky hotel about this time: the old Gilmore Hotel had quite the raucous reputation (including “nudie parties” where guests simply let it all hang out).

Later it became the Sylvia Beach Hotel. Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours


Coos Bay's Hollering Place. The westward chunk of Coos Bay known as the Empire district was actually a thriving little town called Empire City, which was established way back in 1853. This makes it one of the oldest towns on the Oregon coast, but also one that eventually disappeared, basically enveloped by Coos Bay.

The Hollering Place found at Coos Bay's edges was a busy wharf at one time, part of Empire City's booming logging and shipping industry. It was also the only route up the coast. Hollering Place got its name because that's where you “hollered” for transportation to come and get you so you could then make it to the spit and travel northward. This was the case through until about the ‘20s when Highway 101 came into existence.

Now it's typified by the pier extending out into the bay and a handful of pleasant scenic spots.

What isn't well known – and overwritten like a cruel hard drive wipe – is that the area was originally called Hanisiich by its first residents the Coos tribe. They started here perhaps over a thousand years ago, maybe thousands. They were abruptly displaced by the formation of Empire.

The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw now oversee the area again and have been responsible for much of the developments of the site. The improvements and the fun are essentially thanks to them. See Oregon's Adventure Coast.

Astoria. The north Oregon coast hotspot has undergone a bevy of changes in the last 15 years, but that's nothing compared to what it's seen in over 200 years. Astoria is known as the oldest settlement in the west for a reason: it started in 1811 as a fur trading post. This was less than ten years after Lewis & Clark had first explored the area, but even that's nothing compared to the ancient land claim of the Clatsop people that lived here for millennia before Europeans came.

However, even Lewis & Clark noted the tribe clearly had some interaction with white sailors from various vessels, maybe going back generations. Some tribal members had definite signs of European heritage.

In the ‘90s, Astoria resembled old Portland in many ways, and it was a glorious diamond in the rough. Some of those now-glittering historic Victorian homes actually went for as little as ten grand back then. Hotels in Astoria/Seaside - Where to eat - Astoria Maps and Virtual Tours




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