Perry Reeder gave his Bayocean presentation to a packed house at the Tillamook County Library on August 19th, 2015. Sarah Beeler did a great job of promoting the event by placing a sign at the entrance to the library and advertising in the Tillamook Headlight Herald weeks in advance. I posted in on several Facebook groups and saw a few history friends in the audience, some even came over from Portland. Unfortunately, our efforts were so successful, and the interest so high, that some folks had to be turned away, but not before Perry promised them to schedule another presentation. It was held on October 24th at 1 PM.
Sarah MacDonald getting things ready for the Bayocean presentation
by her father, Perry Reeder, August 19, 2015
Earlier in the day, Bayocean alumni gathered at the community center/schoolhouse to reminisce. They were gracious in letting me hound them with questions.
|Perry Reeder at Bayocean sign|
July 3, 2013
Photo by Sarah MacDonald
|Sarah MacDonald photo of folks gathered at the Cape Meares|
Community Center August 19, 2015, who lived on Bayocean
and Cape Meares before a storm made it an island in 1952
Perry's family moved to Bayocean Park when he was six years old - in 1944. With his buddies, he explored the ruins, yelled at the blimp pilots as they passed close overhead each day, kept cool snorkeling along the sandy shores of the bay, and listened to Mr. Mitchell's sermons while waiting for the bus or buying candy at his store. In 1950, watching the sea moving relentlessly closer, his family moved to Cape Meares. There he eventually raised his own family while watching Bayocean's destruction - and rebuilding.
Prior to the construction of Tillamook Bay's South Jetty, the Army Corps of Engineers hired Perry to captain a charter boat, from which their engineers and scientists took measurements that helped finalize its design. From 2002 to 2003 he served on the Bayocean Task Force. Perry owns a piece of property on the spit. A few years ago he coordinated county and family efforts to post signs to show where the business center of Bayocean had once stood - on the bay side of the spit. The fact that the signs are closer to the ocean now graphically illustrates the extensive geological changes that have occurred. Perry now lives in Oceanside and spends most days managing his family farm in Beaver. In July 2017 Perry and his daughter Sarah wrote Bayocean: Memories Beneath the Sand.