Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Kooky Oregon Coast History: Lincoln City's Pixieland Part Two

Published 10/04/2018 at 4:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Kooky Oregon Coast History: Lincoln City's Pixieland Part Two

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Pixieland and its progenitor, Pixie Kitchen, were two of the more unique historical aspects of the entire Oregon coast. While the amusement park was a bright flash in the pan - in tourism terms - that didn’t last long, the restaurant that created it was a shining beacon for a couple of decades. Albeit a rather gaudy one. Both helped cement the Oregon coast as a natural habitat for tourist traps, yet they both have a rather massive, looming place in regional history. (All photos courtesy Explore Lincoln City).

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; check for specials now
In Cannon Beach:
Deals beginning now or soon
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Check each listing for specials
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Deals begin soon
In Lincoln City:
Deals on rooms beginning now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Specials start in September
In Newport:
Specials and deals beginning
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials
In Yachats, Florence
Specials; lodgings not listed anywhere else

Not all that history is normal stuff, however. This is part two of the Kooky History of Pixieland: part one can be found here.

Part one left off with Pixieland starting to die off in a rather sudden manner. It was created by Pixie Kitchen owner Jerry Parks in the late ‘60s (and little known fact: Parks was mayor of one of the little villages in the ‘50s that would later become Lincoln City).

Another little known odd fact: Parks, Pixie Kitchen and Pixieland had a major Disneyland connection involved. Parks had long been friends with a musician and composer named George Bruns since the ‘30s. At one point, Bruns became heavily involved with Disneyland, and in fact helped save the giant from ruin in its early years. When Bruns brought Dixieland nights to Disneyland in the ‘50s, that suddenly brought a turnaround to the burgeoning business. He’d also been either composer or arranger for numerous Disney films, including the Love Bug.

Parks’ restaurant began using robotic cartoon characters by the early ‘60s, and Bruns created the tunes these kooky creatures sang (just like the Pirates of the Caribbean rides in Disneyland). When Pixieland came along in ‘69, Bruns was responsible for some of these animatronic tunes as well.

Parks was ever the publicity and gimmick hound. He knew how to create a buzz. This included having a gibbon – a smallish ape – goofing around the restaurant.

Explore Lincoln City executive director Ed Dreistadt recalls the tales of the freaky monkey, and how Sharon Parks – daughter of the owner – recounted its brief existence at the restaurant.

“It was a weird ape with long arms,” Dreistadt said. “Sharon and her mom used to take it on walks on the beach. It was an attraction they kept in the basement. As it got a little older, it got mean and started biting people, so they had to make it go away.”

The story goes it went back to the zoo in Portland where it came from in the first place.

Meanwhile, Pixieland was in trouble. By 1975, the end was quickly on its way. That year is essentially when the place shut down. Although it seems it didn’t technically shutter its glittery gates until 1977. Parks announced a two-year phase-out in ‘75. By that time, Pixieland was in visible decay. The abandoned buildings were becoming an eyesore, and many observers remember the dilapidated barn and other constructs visible from the roadside that were seriously falling apart.

About that time, the government took notice.

In ‘76, the U.S. Forest Service was looking to restore all the wetlands in the area, including the land Pixieland sat on. When the government got wind that part of their new business plan included more construction and a new development, they began to pounce, eventually by condemning the property which in turn allowed the agency to buy the land for pennies on the dollar later on.

A series of backroom deals and shuffling of papers and finances went on behind the scenes for a bit, but in 1978 the corporation was considered dead. About that time, Parks retired from Pixie Kitchen as well and left it to someone else.

In the end, it seems a multitude of factors went into the fairy tale’s demise: high cost of upkeep in the salt air, maybe some mismanagement, but mostly the inability to attract enough patrons to turn a healthy dime.

These days, some bits of the mythical attraction are scattered about in the oddest places. Two of the whale boat cars can be seen in front of the Anchor Inn in Lincoln City. A train still putts around in Utah these days. There’s a whole Facebook group dedicated to the place which occasionally shows memorabilia belonging to someone.

There’s only one tiny bit of evidence of the old empire: between NW 36th St. and NW 35th St. in Lincoln City, next to the big credit union building, is where the famed Pixie Kitchen was. Now, it’s a coffee stand surrounded by a parking lot and pavement.

More on Pixieland and coastal history is found in these books:

A weird side note: the old restaurant building was bought up in the late ‘80s and eventually became a ruddy little bar by the name of Hershey’s. That bar suddenly burned down in the early ‘90s when a couple living upstairs - in the old apartment where Parks and his family once lived – got into a horrific fight and the woman started a fire which burned the building down.

When that happened, a host of old memorabilia and objects from not only Pixie Kitchen but Pixieland too were found in the basement of the former eatery/bar, including model train sets and cardboard cut-out figures. All of which eventually disappeared, but some have made their way back to Lincoln City. See part one of the Pixieland story here.

Around 2000, a short-lived bar in West Salem acquired the old red seating booths from Hershey’s (it’s doubtful these were connected to Pixie Kitchen, however.) That bar shut down in late 2000 due to a massive riot that brought in cops from Eugene, Lane County sheriffs, Woodburn, Silverton and even small communities close to Portland. Lodgings in Pacific City - Where to eat - Maps and 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

Warm Spell for Oregon Coast, Portland Continues; Beach Hazard for S. Coast
Coastal beaches will be in the 60s, sometimes close to 70 degrees. Weather
Oregon Coast Virtual Tours
Deep details of Astoria, Warrenton, Gearhart, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Bay City, Oceanside, Pacific City, Netarts, Neskowin, Lincoln City, Gleneden Beach, Depoe Bay, Newport, South Beach, Waldport, Seal Rock, Yachats, Florence
Nehalem Bay Lodgings; Wheeler, Nehalem, Motels, Hotels
Updated weekly: lodgings in Nehalem Bay, Wheeler, lodging, motels, inns, lodging deals
Cannon Beach Hotels, Lodging, Motels - N. Oregon Coast
Updated weekly: hotels in Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, lodging, motels, inns, lodging deals
Seaside Oregon Coast Hotels, Lodging
Updated weekly: hotels in Seaside, lodging, motels, inns, lodging deals
Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals, Vacation Homes
Astoria rentals, Gearhart rentals, Seaside rentals, Cannon Beach rentals, Manzanita rentals, Rockaway Beach rentals, Bay City rentals, Oceanside rentals, Pacific City rentals, Neskowin rentals, Lincoln City rentals, Gleneden Beach rentals, Depoe Bay rentals, Newport rentals, Waldport rentals, Yachats rentals
Comprehensive Oregon Coast Lodging Guide - Large List
Large list of lodgings w/ photos from Oceanside, Pacific City, Yachats, Newport, Lincoln City, Rockaway Beach, Manzanita, Wheeler, Arch Cape, Depoe Bay, Seaside, Cannon Beach
Oregon Coast Shipwrecks Exhibit Starts Off with Mystery in Cannon Beach
The mysterious beeswax, the offshore lighthouse, more. Cannon Beach events, history

Back to Oregon Coast

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

Oregon Coast Lodging


Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details