Historical Coast Get-a-Way

Making Memories for more than 100 years

Celebrating 102 Years July 3-5
In the beginning . . . before the jetties were built in the early 1900′s, there was a wide sandy beach all the way from Garibaldi to Nehalem Bay. This beach served as the only access to this area, which was then known as “Garibaldi Beaches.” The area remained nearly isolated to all but a few hearty souls, who would drive up the beach by horse and wagon or walk during low tide.After several unsuccessful plans for a railroad line from Portland to Tillamook, the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company, promoted by Elmer E. Lytle, opened to Hillsboro in 1906, and the first steam engine was delivered to the Tillamook end about 1907. The coastal land homestead claims, once considered near worthless, took on a new value, and a flurry of subdividing into townsites took place from 1909 on.

About 1910, the Pacific Railway and Navigation line ran flatcars as far as Salmonberry, and the first train from Portland arrived in Tillamook in October, 1911. The railroad was the vital factor in the development of the Rockaway area.The train from Portland back in the teens and 20′s was the main mode of transportation to the coastal communities. It was an all day, dusty, long trip by car over gravel and plank roads, so the old steam trains played an important role in those early days. The train left Portland around 9 a.m. and arrived in the Rockaway area about 2:30 p.m. An extra engine was used to help it over the summit.

The first passenger train came to Rockaway in 1912. At all the beach resorts in those days, it was quite an occasion when the Friday afternoon train arrived, bringing the daddies who were joining their families for the weekend, thus earning the name of “Daddy-Train.”

Today you will find “The Little Red Caboose” that serves as The Rockaway Beach Chamber of Commerce office set up at the Wayside as a symbol and tribute to these beginnings.The city limits of Rockaway Beach now encompass the subdivisions or townsites from north to south named Manhattan, Highland Park Addition to Manhattan, Moroney Town, Lake Lytle, Beal’s Addition to Lake Lytle, Seaview Park, Rockaway Beach, Elmore Park, Tillamook Beach (known as Saltair), Midway Beach, Twin Rocks, and a small portion of Ocean Lake Park. Information about these developments was gleaned from old abstracts, plat filings and records, as well as the stories of the early settlers and “summer people.”