Friday, June 9, 2023

The Hough House Suffers a Slow Demise

As noted previously, The Last House on Bayocean fell to the sea in 1960. Another home within the Bayocean Park subdivision succumbed later, but it was on Cape Meares, so not tallied among the 59 lost. It was located on the southeast corner of 2nd Street and 1st Avenue (now Bayocean Road) as shown on the original Bayocean Park plat map.

Culp 115 image (undated), Lorraine Eckhardt.
Erosion hit the mainland as hard as the spit, but owners simply moved their houses back from the advancing sea, in some cases, multiple times. Unfortunately, this house was too big to move. Instead, its empty, deteriorating shell provided tourists something to explore and photograph. On November 20, 1958, the Tillamook Headlight-Herald said it sat “deep in debris and rocks as the beach moves farther inland.” Since no specific day it was taken by the sea was ever noted, it must have slowly given way over many years. 

After Bayocean: Atlantis of Oregon was published, I heard from David Hough, son of Lawrence (Evert) and Edith Hough, the last owners of this house. The 1943 photo he sent is the first I'd seen of it shown in a livable condition. It has the same perspective as the Culp image above, providing a before and after comparison. David also described it: "The Bay Ocean house was a bit primitive. We had running water, probably from the Cape Meares system, and electrical power, but limited plumbing. Heat was from a single woodstove. The house sat just above the water level of the nearby swamp, and there was an outhouse perched at the end of a sploshing board walk." 

I hope the publication of Bayocean: Atlantis of Oregon prompts others to share their personal Bayocean stories and photographs. 

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