Though Tillamooks likely had contact with sailors from Spanish ships that cruised Oregon's shores as early as the 16th Century, the first recorded contact was with sailors of the Lady Washington, captained by Robert Gray during his first trip to the Pacific Coast. After a couple days of peaceful trade, the encounter ended badly, with one sailor and three tribesmen killed in a skirmish over a cutlass. Third mate Robert Haswell dubbed the location "Murderers Harbour" in his August 16, 1788 log entry, as an expression of his angst over the event. The Oregon section of Haswell's log was published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly June 1928 article "Captain Robert Grays' First Visit to Oregon." Haswell mentions passing a spit while sailing into the bay but provided no description of Bayocean Spit.
|The Octopus Tree at Cape Meares was used for ceremonies by Tillamook Indians|
For more information about Tillamook history, read what living tribal members have to say at Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.