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Historical Gravesite's Mystery Focus of N. Oregon Coast Presentation

Published 10/24/22 at 4:34 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Historical Gravesite's Mystery Focus of N. Oregon Coast Presentation

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(Seaside, Oregon) – There's never a bad season to get yourself immersed in local history, but fall just brings it out in droves on the Oregon coast. (Photo above courtesy Robin Montero)

October 27 begins the season for History & Hops on the north Oregon coast, with the presentation series in Seaside kicking off on October 27. History & Hops is hosted by the Seaside Museum on the last Thursday of each month, September through May, at Seaside Brewing Co. These events are free to attend and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

Kicking off the series is "Known Only To God: The Mystery of Sailors' Grave," presented by local residents Bill & Robin Montero at 6 p.m.

Sailor's Grave, at the southern cove end of Seaside, is one of the north Oregon coast town's enduring mysteries, but also a portrait of devotion to a cause. The intriguing secret about this section of Seaside is that there are a great number of unnamed dead buried in and around the beach, starting back at the beginning of the town. With sad regularity, the bodies of men washed overboard from passing ships would end up here, then buried somewhere close. (Photo Robin Montero)

Sailor's Grave marks the final resting place of one to three of these men (stories differ on how many). Local historians, including the Montero's, have delved into these mystery men over the last 100 or so years, trying to discern which is the correct tale.

A few years back, Montero told Oregon Coast Beach Connection a variety of nationalities sailed past this area from the early 1800s onward, and at least a dozen found their final resting place here. This sort of “tomb of the unknown sailors” marks a date in the 1860s, and according to many accounts it was one of the town's early settlers who found them after seeing them head out to sea in a small boat. They had gone out just as a storm hit and wound up washing back in, lifeless.

What country they were from and who they were will never be known, Montero said, and that will be among the many facets of this provocative bit of history explored in the program.

Meanwhile, over the last century, locals have rather selflessly tended to the gravesite, maintaining it, and in some decades refurbishing it or adding signage. The Monteros have been among them.

There will also be a 50/50 raffle for a cash prize. Must be present to win. Tickets will be sold on site for $1.00 each. Seaside Brewing Co. is at 851 Broadway St. in Seaside. www.seasideoregonmuseum.com MORE OF SEASIDE BELOW

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