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Between the Covers: Headlines from the past tell the Seaside story

Lost dogs, lost hikers and when airplanes barnstormed on the Seaside beach

Published on November 8, 2017 2:13PM

Last changed on November 10, 2017 7:02AM

A front page from 1931.

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A front page from 1931.

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Seaside saw some wild times in the 1930s. Yet there are some great parallels to more recent times too!

From the headlines of the Seaside Signal:

In 1930, arrests in Seaside jumped well over 100 percent from the previous year. There were over 130 arrests, with only 50 arrested in 1929. The Signal recorded that In December 1930 there were nine arrests. Two for drunkenness, three for staying out after hours, two for speeding, and two for disorderly conduct. 10 transients were given a place to sleep.

Cougars were an issue around Seaside just as they are today. The bounty for killing cougars was $25 each, but you had to go to Portland to collect it. Most of the farmers who were known to be good cougar hunters were reluctant to take the time to go into the big city for the reward so the paper was urging them to kill the cougars anyway since they threatened livestock.

In 1931 the city was looking for ways to improve the library. At this time the state librarian came and talked to the Seaside ladies’ group about ways they could help to develop the library. Shortly after this talk, 50 books were presented to the Seaside library by George H. Crandall, a local resident. The books were received by the librarian Mrs. Sophia Johansen for the library. The books included “Lives of Illustrious Men,” by Plutarch, and an “Outline of History,” by H.G. Wells. (While the library does not own these original books anymore, you can still find Plutarch on the library shelves today.)

While today we have more concerns about drones on the beach, back then it was requested at a meeting in 1931 that the north end of the Seaside beach be roped off for use by airplanes for barnstorming and as a taxi area for takeoff. The city council of the time said this would be more of a nuisance than an asset since there were already complaints about planes flying over the beach.

Also in the 1930s, two fishing piers were built at Tillamook Head over a period of three years, and each time winter storms or floating logs tore them down. The last pier built floated into the cove after being knocked into by a log or some other large object in a storm. Apparently fishing piers just weren’t meant to be built in the cove area.

Hikers traveling from Indian Beach to Tillamook Head frequently got lost in both January and February of 1931. Apparently the trail to circle bridge was fairly hidden since hikers were often unable to find it and would spend hours wandering around before finally making their way out of the woods. The second pair mentioned as lost that year were two teenage girls who finally made it out after following animal trails for hours. They had originally intended just a short hike to the “hermit’s hut.” They caught a ride back to Seaside just in time to meet up with the search party that was forming after concerns for their delayed arrival. Another man had spent all night wandering around and had finally hiked out midday the next day.

Back in the day, dairy farmers felt threatened by the incursion of margarine into the markets. All thirteen merchants in Seaside agreed to not sell oleo margarine to keep local dairy farmers in business selling butter. Gearhart and Astoria store merchants all entered into the agreement as well so that the farmers would have no fear of competition or lack of butter sales.

Dynamiting stumps around Seaside took a turn for the worse when a stump was lifted high enough in the air to tear away power lines requiring repairs and resulting in a power interruption throughout town until the lines were repaired. This is reminiscent of Seaside’s more recent incident with a Mylar balloon taking out the power on the Fourth of July here in Seaside. Power was out until shortly after the fireworks finished on the beach around 10:30pm, just in time for folks to return safely to their homes.

Two men who carved their initials into signs at the turnaround in 1931 were turned into the police and given a choice of paying a fine of $5 or spending two days in jail for defacing property. They elected for jail time and were put to work first watering Mrs. Hensaw’s flower beds (pocket gardens on Seventh Avenue for the general public that had been planted with dahlias and marigolds) before spending the remainder of their two days in jail. It was noted they were released without incident after serving their time.

There have been a lot of changes since the 1930s, but perhaps some things do still stay the same.


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