Sunday, September 10, 2023

The Hillsboro Connection

Postcard courtesy of Mark Moore, "Oregon Electric Railway"
by Richard Thompson,  Oregon Encyclopedia. 
Bayocean was closely connected to Hillsboro from the start. Sales and construction of the resort would not have begun if, in September 1906, Elmer Lytle had not promised Tillamook County completion of his Pacific Railway and Navigation Company (PNRC) by the end of 1908 in exchange for their guaranteeing rights of way from the county line and land for a Tillamook Station. Lytle did not keep his promise - which was the primary reason the resort failed financially  - but passengers from Portland could travel to Tillamook (after reaching Hillsboro on the Oregon Electric Railway) on the PNRC after November 10, 1911. 

Lytle lost his PNRC to the Southern Pacific Railroad soon after it was finished. The Port of Tillamook took over increasingly more of the line after 1983, until a flood damaged so much of it in 2007 that it was shut down permanently.("Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad"). It's now destined to become the Salmonberry Trail, for the benefit of hikers and bicyclists. Just for the fun of it, I hiked all accessible existing sections in 2022. I also visited the original Hillsboro station after finding out it still stood in the same location. The photo to the right is of its northeast corner, taken from SE Cedar Street looking towards S 1st Avenue, the same perspective as the postcard above.

Card provided by granddaughter Sue Bagley Barr.
Because of this key transportation link, many of the people involved with the Bayocean during the half century it existed were from Hillsboro. The most prominent of them was Judge George Bagley. In addition to serving as Tillamook's Circuit Court Judge, he owned cabins on the spit. So did others from Hillsboro, like the Currins

In addition those cited here, see Bayocean: Atlantis of Oregon for additional sources and information. If you are unfamiliar with the Bayocean story, please read The Bayocean Story in Brief.  Look at the Index to find more articles that might be of interest. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The early postcard above shows the Oregon Electric depot, which was between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Washington – about the same location as today's Hillsboro Central MAX stop. The modern photo is of the Southern Pacific's freight depot at the address you reference. They're not the same building, even though they look quite similar.

    After 1914, both the Oregon Electric and the Southern Pacific ran electric interurbans out to Hillsboro: the Southern Pacific's "Red Electric" line didn't actually call at the freight depot, as the electric line took a loop off the main rail line to go north along 6th, west along Main, and then south along Range (now Adams), where it rejoined the main line. The electric ticket office was between 2nd and 3rd on Main (one block north of the OE depot) and there was an interchange with the steam line to Tillamook at the corner of Main and Range (where the Hatfield Government Center MAX stop is now).

    Once the Southern Pacific took over the line to Tillamook, it did run all the way from Portland, though it took a circuitous route: From Union Station, it crossed the river to run on the eastside down to the Oswego rail bridge, through Oswego and Cook, then up through Tigard to Beaverton and out to Hillsboro before turning north to head out to the coast.

    (Comment resubmitted after I noticed a couple of errors, sorry)