Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Three Surprises of Oregon Coast History at Oceanside

Published 01/10//22 at 6:02 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Surprises of Oregon Coast History at Oceanside

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Oceanside, Oregon) – It's the tiny town that's packed with things to do, much more than its diminutive size would indicate.

And there's even more when it comes to the little Oregon coast hamlet's past.

As Oceanside gets ready to celebrate 100 years this year (look for something big this summer), it's a good time to look into its history. Here's three rather surprising tidbits.

Roosevelt and the Refuge

Those massive Three Arch Rocks offshore from this north Oregon coast gem are more than meets the eye. They're actually federally-designated wildlife refuges, making it illegal to hunt or kill the creatures that call it home.

How that came to be is connected to the concept of the Teddy bear.

Back in the late 1900s, a young man named Teddy Roosevelt spent considerable time in the area already known as the Tillamook Coast, and the little beach area that would eventually be called Oceanside. He loved this place, historians note.

By the time he became president of the United States, and he'd long become disconnected from this spot, the area was getting ransacked by hunters / poachers who were picking off the various wildlife from those looming rocks. Seals, sea lions, various kinds of birds made this place home, and the issue was a heartwrenching one for many in the still-new state.


This included a pair of naturalists / photographers, who wound up making years of observations about the place, paying special attention to the wildlife poaching problem. In 1903, they personally presented their findings to President Roosevelt, and pleaded with him to do something about it.

In 1907 he did: Roosevelt designated Three Arch Rocks a national wildlife reserve.

Roosevelt also inspired the idea of the Teddy bear – the toy that became a staple for kids thereafter. See Odd Oceanside History, N. Oregon Coast, Part 1: Roosevelt to Start Trek

One Crazy Idea: the Angel Walk


Oceanside in the '40s

Oceanside's tunnel was blasted out of that rock in 1926 by the Rosenberg brothers, who had purchased the land in 1921. In 1922, they officially named the town. See Curious History of Oceanside Part 2: WW II, Lighthouse on Oregon Coast

Before that tunnel, however, tourists had to go to the other side of the tunnel via an elevated wooden walkway that went around Maxwell Point. It was sometimes called an angel walk. If that sounds like a goofy idea, it was. It didn't last long in that rough surf. The structure fell apart more than once, and was rebuilt at least twice.

The tunnel itself isn't always stable, either. The exterior has been covered over numerous times over the last 100 years as landslides smother it. It was closed for years in the ‘80s. The most recent shut down happened at the end of 2020, but only lasting for a week or two. That landslide was caught on video, however. Famed Tunnel on Oregon Coast Covered by Rockslide; Some Needed Rescue

The Fallen Arch of Oceanside

For perhaps hundreds of years to maybe thousands of years, the other side of Oceanside had an arch. Then sometime in the winter of 2004, it suddenly didn't.

Back in that northwestern corner of the beach beyond Maxwell Point, there are a host of black sea stacks, many of which host an abundance of sea stars and other tidepool life. Before 2004, there was a massive hole in one of them, creating this engaging arch. It had a head-turning shape – a much-loved landmark in this tiny cove of the Oregon coast.

That fateful winter came and it crumbled. It was gone.

The area here is made of basalt: that black, sometimes angular rock that typifies Oceanside is actually cooled lava. Much of the lava fields on the north Oregon coast come from about 13 to 17 million years ago, including nearby Cape Meares. It's the hardest substance on this coastline, and it doesn't break easily.

So when something like that arch at the northern edge of Oceanside does go away, it's a big deal. Or at least it's supposed to be, but back then few people noticed. My Space was really the only social media then, and the whole concept of posting photos online was still in its infancy. Plus, there was really no proliferation of cameras like there is now. Those who would've cared the most – geologists in Oregon – didn't really get the word. These days, it would be the buzz online as well as with geologists.

The arch somewhat resembled the time portal in the Star Trek original series episode “City on the Edge of Forever.” That and a couple of other aspects got this beach called Star Trek Beach for quite awhile, though it seems it had already been called Tunnel Beach before that. For many years, no one knew the original name, and sadly that name seems to be taking over from the Star Trek Beach moniker. The Trek name is much cooler.

Hotels in Oceanside - Where to eat - Oceanside Maps and Virtual Tours


MORE PHOTOS BELOW





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

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


Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Great Coastal Gale of '07 Tore Into Oregon Coast 15 Years Ago - Video
The storm changed parts of the region forever. History, Bandon, Coos Bay, Newport, Lincoln City, Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Seaside, Astoria
How Storms - Even Solar Storms - May Affect Whales on Oregon / Washington Coast
Why do they disappear? Does it disturb them at all? Marine sciences
Attending Seaside Aquarium This Month Helps Feed the Hungry on Oregon Coast -...
Patrons pay admission to the aquarium with two cans of food per person. Seaside events
Warm Sunsets to Raucous Oregon Coast Storms: Upclose at Cannon Beach's Schoon...
One of the major highlights is that beachfront lawn. Cannon Beach hotels, lodging reviews
Washington Coast Holidays Include Crab Pot Tree, Santa with Pirates, Music, Food
Holiday happs from Ilwaco up through Westport. Washington coast events
Famed Holiday Show Tradition Back on Oregon Coast, at Newport Performing Arts...
The Christmas Show! is finally back, Dec. 16 and 17. Newport events
Cyber Monday for Oregon Coast Too: Giving the Beach for Christmas
Give a night or two at the coast, or books, hoodies, T's. weather
Orcas Spotted Again on N. Oregon Coast - First Time This Pod Recorded Here
A pod of four were photographed on November 23. Marine sciences

Back to Oregon Coast

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