Saturday, February 23, 2019

1949 Ackroyd Aerial Depicts Bayocean Hotel Ruins and Erosion

For years I've wondered about the posts in the bay visible during low tide that run parallel to Dike Rd. and the wider posts just barely reaching above the mud on low tide that cross the small inlet near the gate at the south end of the hills. 

I've found no evidence of them in any aerial photos and maps from all my individual and archival sources as well as US Army Corps of Engineer records at the National Archives. I  thought they might have been installed after the breakwater was built in 1956 because they were so far out into the bay before that time (though not to the end of the original dock). Perry Reeder told me they were there when he was a kid. He thought they probably once held boards that served to protect the bay side of Bayocean from erosion during storms. This recently discovered aerial, taken by Hugh Ackroyd in 1949, confirms Perry's recollections. It was taken from the southwest, so 12th leading down to the dock and main part of town is out of sight to the right. 

Print and high-resolution digital versions of Ackroyd 01751-05 can be ordered at www.historicphotoarchive.net or by calling
 Thomas Robinson at 503-460-0415. He was kind enough to allow me to display it here when I told him the significance.

Posts running parallel to Dike Rd and crossing the inlet from the gate at the base of the hills.



Comparing Ackroyd's 1949 aerial to a profile view from the north not long after the hotel was finished (at 100' elevation) in 1912 gives you a sense of the great volume of sand lost to erosion during the intervening 37 years. What was left of the hotel in 1949 were ruins caused by deconstruction. It was abandoned by 1932, when the Tillamook Bayocean Company (local businessmen who bought it out of receivership in 1928) gave up trying to make a go of it. 

Bayocean photo #214 at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Call (503) 842-4553 for print or digital copies.
The cottages shown at the top were all built by Johan Poulsen, Portland lumber baron, in 1912 for use by himself and his daughters' families. The most southerly of them, known then as the Hicks House, was moved to the mainland in 1952, just before Bayocean became an island. It had been rented out to the US Coast Guard to house a war dog beach patrol unit during World War II. They built the small building below it as additional housing. The other cottages were sold to A.T.Dolan. The one closest to the sea burned to the ground shortly after Ackroyd shot his aerial. Ocean erosion continued until the bay side cottage crashed to the sea in 1954. The last house (Notdurfts; hidden behind the trees to the right) succumbed in 1960.   

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