Monday, May 18, 2015

Pagoda House(s)

After the Bayocean School (and now Cape Meares Community Center; see Cape Meares and Bayocean) the Pagoda house may be the most famous of the buildings moved from Bayocean to Cape Meares before a 1952 winter storm inflicted final destruction on the once thriving resort town.

A recent photo by the author of the Pagoda House in Cape Meares (address withheld to protect the privacy of residents) 
There were actually two separate houses - the main house and a smaller guest cottage - which sat on the high dune on Clarke Street The photo below was taken at the original location. After erosion approached, it was moved north and the guest cottage added.  
Photo from Oregon Historical Society photo collection 93-B.
Harold Bennett recalls his mother cleaning house for the Miss Cake and Miss Brownell, the ladies who lived there full time in the mid-1940s. Harold's brother James did yard work and split wood for them, according to his widow Barbara. On page 10 of Bert Webber's first book on Bayocean, What Happened At Bayocean: Is Salishan Next? Expanded Editionhe said the house was jointly owned by Drs. L.E. Cake and G.L. Gates. 

Photo by Howard "Buck" Sherwood
of Pagoda Houses being prepared for move
 from Cape Meares Community Center scrapbo

Photo by Buck Sherwood, courtesy of Mike Watkins,
 who lived in the Pagoda house(s) on Cape Meares














Milton and Jerry Schlegel (Barbara's father and brother), and Woodrow (Woody) Chase, a logger from Willamina, moved the Pagoda houses, and others, to the mainland as erosion threatened them at the new location. They used a tractor to push or pull the truck through bad spots like the gaps. The Tillamook Headlight Herald of April 7, 1949 announced the start of the process. 

During that summer, Milton and Jerry excavated property purchased on Pacific Avenue in Oceanside, built a basement, and fit the two houses together on top of it. On August 11 the Tillamook Headlight Herald described a larger housewarming by Bob and Barbara Watkins that celebrated its completion.  Mike Watkins was a young boy then, but he recalls a dumbwaiter that came with the house which his father wouldn't let them use to lift wood from the basement. His father had them remove the fancy rafter end trim because it was too fancy. As can be seen in the photos, the house originally had clapboard siding. Shingles were added before being moved and maintained for decades. More recent owners removed the shingles and went back to the original siding. Mike still owns a beach house next door.