Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cape Meares and Bayocean

Much of Cape Meares was platted with the Bayocean resort as part of the same Bayocean Park subdivision. Their fates have been intertwined ever since.

Mears [sicStreet and 2nd Street shown on the original plat map above were both lost to the sea the same way, and over the same time period, as the townsite of Bayocean.  This is why modern-day Bayocean Road ends at 3rd Street. You can see more clearly what fell into the sea at Bayocean Lots In Pacific Ocean.  

Though concrete roads had been laid on Bayocean by 1915, there was no way to reach them for another decade. By 1929, additional improvements qualified Bayocean Road as a "market road," which brought in state funds for maintenance. Eventually, the county took on the maintenance of the streets inside the Bayocean Park subdivision. Individual street names were then - at least officially - dropped, as they all became part of Bayocean Road.  

Addresses 5800 and higher (northward) along all north/south streets in Cape Meares, and those along Bayocean Road from the beach to Cape Meares Loop, are part of the original Bayocean Park subdivision. Most of the buildings there now were constructed after the town of Bayocean had disappeared. The first homes in the adjacent Oceanview subdivision were built in the 1920s. Some buildings were moved there from Bayocean before the sea destroyed made it an island  in1952.

The most prominent of the Bayocean immigrants was its schoolhouse, which now resides at 5690 4th Street NW, and serves as a community center. The schoolhouse and Pagoda houses were the earliest to be moved off Bayocean - in 1949. The Cape Meares Community Association later added to the building and maintains it. 

Barbara Bennett lived in Cape Meares then and most of the years until her death in 2019. She recalled attending Bayocean School in 7th grade and graduating from 8th grade there in 1945. Among her fourteen classmates were her brothers Jerry and Jim Schlegel, Perry Reeder, Ernest Knutson, and the Bennett siblings: Harold, Rosemarie, and James. Barbara later married James Bennett. He was interviewed by Rick Dancer for a video called "Oregon Ghost Towns: Bay Ocean, the saddest story of all" before passing away in 2014. 

Photo by author.