Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sherwood House

Photo from Lorraine Eckhardt's Bayocean album. The first and middle names of Albert 
George and Orilla Sarah Jones are reversed in many official and unofficial records.  
After the Bayocean Natatorium became unstable from ocean undercutting in 1932, it was closed permanently. A handwritten note from Howard Sherwood, Jr. (Buck) in the Cape Meares (Bayocean School) Community Center scrapbook says that George A. Jones salvaged its lumber to build a large house for himself and his wife "Rilly" on Cape Meares in 1933 and 1934. He also installed a buggy above a tall hop plant out front, rented out a few rooms, kept a few grocery items to sell picnickers, and called their place the "Buggy Knot Inn." 

Photo of the south side of the house from Cape Meares Community Center
(Bayocean School) scrapbook. People unidentified. A buggy wheel is just
barely visible on the left, which would be in the front of the house. Columns
attributed to the Bayocean Natatorium are shown extending above the roof.
Photo of Buck Sherwood from Mike Watkins, taken six years
before his death in 2005. Buck took many photos of Bayocean 
used in newspaper articles, books and on websites, like mine.  
















Testimony submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) by Jones in 1938* suggests another source of lumber for their home. He reported surveying and supervising early construction on Bayocean, from 1907 to 1909, and returning to the area in 1930. In 1932 he purchased and deconstructed the summer cabin of D.S. and Vesta Williams. Tillamook County Deed Book 32, page 535 (DB 32:535) shows they purchased lot 22 in block 67 (67:22) in 1915. Judge George Bagley and Swan Hawkinson, who also had Bayocean cottages, confirmed Jones' account in their testimony to the USACE. Hawkinson said the Williamses first tried moving their house uphill and away from the ocean. Their cottage would have been much smaller than Jones' house so he needed more lumber. 

Buck Sherwood told Mike Watkins, his boyhood neighbor and lifelong friend, that Jones built the house for less than $1000. This figure would have included what Jones paid Williams and the Tillamook-Bayocean Company who then owned the Natatorium. Why didn't Jones mention Williams to Buck (his family didn't move to Bayocean until 1938, so all of what he wrote must have come from Jones)? Perhaps it just wasn't as good a story. If Jones had realized it, he could have bragged that some of his home's lumber came from the most northerly home ever built on a Bayocean lot. The Williams cottage was near the end of the paved section of High Street, a half-mile north of the first house lost five years earlier, and 1000' north of the Mueller cabin (see the map in that post to locate these properties) moved over to the bayside five years later.  

Jones had purchased the lot (12:15) in the Oceanview Subdivision from George Higgins back in 1915. While still serving as the Cape Meares Lighthouse Keeper, Higgins took advantage of Bayocean publicity by developing and advertising his lots in Tillamook newspapers (the Potters advertised in big city papers) as a lower priced alternative. Jones and his wife bought eight adjacent lots (7-12 and 16 -17) during the 1930s. Buck said his family moved into the house in 1940. The deed for Howard (Sr.) and Maude Sherwood's purchase of all nine lots was not recorded until 1948 (DB 116:269) so they likely bought them on contract. Members of the family continued living there until 1990, which is why neighbors still refer to it as the "Sherwood House."

See the Index page to find more stories like this. 

* From USACE records at the Seattle branch of the National Archives: POR-81; Civil Works Project Files, 1902-1968; Box 175; File 7250 Bayocean Preliminary Exams & Surveys.

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