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Three Trippy Trivia, Odd History Tales of the Oregon Coast

Published 09/25/2017 at 4:27 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Trippy Trivia, Odd History Tales of the Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – There's a lot that went on along these shores in the fairly brief history of European settlement of the Oregon coast. It's been a tad over 150 years since people started filtering in in bigger numbers, and it's barely been 100 years since the region became a tourist destination of any kind.

Some events on these beaches were quirkier than others. Perhaps even downright strange.

Here's three examples of curious tales from Oregon coast history.

Giant Skeleton of Lincoln City. In the early '30s, human remains were found near the base of Cascade Head, in the bay. Even more startling was that the man was a literal giant, clocking in at eight feet tall. All this hearkened back to – and seem to confirm – ancient legends by local native tribes of a gigantic African man being briefly worshiped as a god. It also seemed to confirm legends of a “giant winged beast” - a sailing ship that wrecked here in the 1700s.

It appears the three men – two Europeans and an African – were among the crew stranded here. When the African man suddenly began fathering children, tribal folk decided he wasn't a god after all and killed him and his shipmates.

All this – including evidence of a shipwreck in that bay – started a massive treasure hunting fever that still exists. There remains considerable scientific interest in the area, sometimes by treasure hunters. See the full story

Pat Boone in a Pink Leisure Suit. What is now the Alsi Inn in Waldport goes back decades to some interesting, offbeat history (known for most decades as the Bayshore Inn).

The hotel started as the Pat Boone Inn in the late '60s, with him as partial owner. Indeed, he was there for its grand opening ceremony.

Amusingly enough, the backlit sign on the roadside had a picture of Boone wearing – get this – a pink leisure suit.

On the darker side, in 1978, the Bayshore Inn hosted a meeting and membership event by the infamous Heaven's Gate cult, which offed themselves in a mass suicide in California in the '90s.

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Ferris Wheel on the Oregon Coast? Believe it or not, Seaside actually once had a Ferris wheel. Sounds crazy in a coastal environment such as this, doesn't it? For one thing, it wasn't that tall – not quite 50 feet high. Secondly, it did not operate in anything but seasons of calmer weather. What isn't known, however, is how they tied it down during windier days and big storms.

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The Ferris wheel was part of Gayway Park, which ran from 1953 until the early '80s. This little amusement park stood a tad west of where the children's choo-choo train ride is now on Broadway and included a small roller coast and other bits of fun.

Over the decades, it ran into trouble with locals fairly often as many claimed it attracted the “wrong crowd,” which usually meant unruly teenagers. Noise complaints at night also irritated residents, as for a long time there were upstairs apartments in the buildings on Broadway.

 

 

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