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Yachats Then and Now: The Old and Newer Oregon Coast Frozen in Time

Published 03/04/21 at 4:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Yachats Then and Now: The Old and Newer Oregon Coast Frozen in Time

(Yachats, Oregon) – The digital world has given us numerous things: some good, some bad. It certainly has enhanced our understanding of history, however. Without it a lot of Oregon coast historical photos would probably be gone now.

Old photographs of Yachats inspire particular delight, as they show an area that has changed very little in many ways, thanks to all those rocky blobs and shelves that are some 40 million years old or so. Unlike many Oregon coast towns, the landscape itself has not been altered much by the building of jetties or other structures that moved sand around. Places like Seaside, Coos Bay or even Newport have seen drastic changes.

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Way back when the 804 Trail wasn’t the 804 at all - but merely a tract of beachside rocky shelves – someone caught this shot of the fascinating little Oregon coast detail (at top). Somewhere in the mid century, the photographer called it a land bridge, but that’s a stretch. It’s really just a kind of arch over a giant groove. Clearly, the eons have not been kind to this little feature, wearing it down into a hole.

Looking at it today (above), little has changed. Now, just as back then, you could sometimes see sunlight glinting off the waves as they scooted their way underneath.

It’s interesting to note the sand levels haven’t changed much here, judging from the appearance of the older shot. It looks largely the same as when water levels are higher.


Along the mouth of the Yachats River, back around the ‘50s or so, this was the view of somewhere in Yachats. However, it seems likely it’s not the bay mouth as indicated in the photo but rather northern Yachats where there’s lots of sand.


In either case, this is what Yachats’ bay looks like now, with a little secret patch near the main access providing some raucous waves but mostly a calming river scene. Pictures of a bench can sometimes speak a thousand words.

Yachats Then and Now: The Old and Newer Oregon Coast Frozen in Time

Back in 1927, the tiny town of Yachats looked like this from the bridge over the river. It almost seems as if there’s little difference in the amount of buildings.


Fast forward in time and even the same tree is in that spot.


Way back in the 1910s, that stunning viewpoint just south of town looked like this. The rocky forms are the same, but some little set of roads is visible – and no buildings.

100 years later and this spot is as stunning as ever. It’s now an oceanfront neighborhood near Yachats.


Also somewhere in the 1920s, this shot shows the burgeoning little tourist town just as it was becoming one. See Yachats Life In 1920s: A Rough But Quirky Oregon Coast.

In 1927, one newspaper describes the place: “One of the prettiest beaches in Oregon is at the Yachats….” Noting there is no touristy aspect here at all, including “no hot dog stand.”

100 years later and this view hasn’t changed too much, partially because you’re looking at the state wayside. Head farther to the right of this modern photo and you’ll still find those sand flats and slightly pebbly spots. See Gruesome / Rock ‘n’ Roll History of Yachats for full history.

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