Saturday, August 25, 2018

Oregon Beaches Circa 1920

Benton County residents have long escaped valley heat by heading to the Oregon coast.

Circa 1920, driving to the coast was an adventure as only 0.4 miles of the Corvallis-Newport Highway were paved. Benton County resident Alvina Amort described one trip in this diary entry from August 10, 1917:

“Left Corvallis about 9.  19 miles from home, just before we reached Wren, we had our first blow out.  We ate our dinner way beyond Blodgett.  Had 2 more blowouts.  Couldn't fix the last 'till a guy came who had an extra patch.  At 4 o'clock we stopped a long time to cool the engine and rest.  Stopped at Toledo for gas.  Got to Newport about 5:30.”

Once in Newport, travelers could take a ferry across Yaquina Bay (there was no bridge until 1936) and drive on the beach.

Ferry T. M. Richardson, Yaquina Bay,
Newport, Lincoln County, Oregon
Watching the waves
at an Oregon Beach, #Circa1920
Once there, however, people then engaged in many of the same activities as they do today, though the dress is different. 

Walking on an Oregon Beach
Looking in tide pools
Looking for agates at Newport, Oregon 
By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

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