Friday, June 5, 2015

The Hicks House


One building moved from Bayocean is referred to as "the Hicks house" because it was last owned by C.G. Hicks. Located on the highest point of the town, at the apex of High Street, Bay Terrace, and 14th Avenue, it sat catty-corner to the Bayocean Hotel Annex. It's the one on the right (south of the other two) in this photo. 


This photo, from Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, must have been taken
from a hotel room on the northeast corner, looking northeast.
In What Happened At Bayocean: Is Salishan Next? Expanded Edition (12-13) Bert Webber reported  that all three homes were built by Johan Poulsen, a prominent Portland lumberman,and continually owned by family members until 1944 (though they rented the main house to the Coast Guard during World War II), when they sold one to A.T. Dolan and the other two to C.J. Hicks. Webber said these were the most extravagant homes on Bayocean. Perry Reeder said that a butler answered the door at the Hick's house. 

Barbara Bennett said that it was known as the "House of Hicks" because they operated a catering service there. Joann Steffey, daugher of A.T. Dolan, said the Hicks also owned a restaurant by that name in Portland. This is confirmed by the January 1947 newsletter of Geological Society of the Oregon Country, which held a meeting there.

Early in 1952, Hicks accepted the inevitable and sold both houses for next to nothing to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ross, according to Barbara Bennett and Dr. Rex Parsons, who lived in the house on the Netarts Highway from 1983 to 2002 . The Rosses paid LeBeck and Sons, a Portland contractor, $7000 to move both houses (February 7, and March 27, 1952 articles int the Tillamook Headlight Herald ). They must have subcontracted Leonard Bales Construction and Morgan Burckard Plumbing to get the house ready to move, because Leslie Vaughn Burckard was with her father the entire time, and later married Morgan's son Gus. She was only nine years old, but remembers being frightened by the cliff moving closer to the house each day. One of the photos depicts this clearly, in that the Bayocean Hotel Annex, which was to the right of the Hicks house, had already fallen 140' to the beach below. 
Looking north, from the south down route taken.
Dorian Studio photo provided by John Chaix
Photo taken from the north, looking south, ocean to the right, hotel 
ruins gone. The Dolan house is  not obstructing the view because 
it had burned down.  Dorian Studio photo provided by John Chaix

In order to get it onto a barge and ship it across the bay, the house had to be cut in half. Parsons was told that that Mrs. Ross (just 5' tall) ignored state policemen's orders to stop because of concerns that the house was too close to the power lines, and just "kept on truckin". He added a two story addition that's not shown in the photo below, but he preserved the original walls and ceilings of two bedrooms, the bath between them, and the hallway leading to them, because they were old growth, tongue-and-groove, clear fir.

This is a photo of the Hicks House taken in 2016.
One of it's rooms can now be rented via Airbnb
  
The Tillamook Headlight Herald  reported on February 21, 1952 that the first Hick's house was moved a week earlier and that the crews intended to come back for the second house the following week, but they never did. In their March 27 issue, Lewis Bennett explained that by the time they could return the foundation of the second house was crumbling, so they packed up their equipment and headed back to Portland. Another likely factor was that (as reported in the paper) a breach made the road impassable from March 20 to April 3. On December 10, 1953 the paper shows the second Hicks house sitting alone with the garage of the first one.