A.N. Armstrong is quoted in History of Oregon as having journeyed along the coast in Tillamook County in the 1850's, employed by the Oregon Surveyor General. About Oceanside, he writes that after leaving Cape Lookout at North Latitude 45º34º along the beach trail to Tillamook, "you cross a very high, rugged mountainside, so that it is with the greatest difficulty that mules can pass at all; an animal losing his foothold here would have a clear fall of 300 feet."
In the late 1800's John W. Maxwell, a veteran of the Illinois Cavalry, purchased and homesteaded the entire area where "The Village" now sits. The Maxwell children attended a school located on Bayocean Spit and the family had friends who lived in a big house and owned a razor clam canning factory, both located on Netarts Spit. None of which exist today. The clam cannery business was ruined when the ocean took all the sand away and left a rocky shore. Now over a hundred years later Netarts Spit is again a sandy beach.
Beginnings of Oceanside
At that time the area called Maxwell Point was known as part of Netarts and was accessed by a wooden plank road along the beach.
Pauline Alderman, Tillamook county pioneer descendant, writes in Tillamook Lest We Forget of the beaches in the 20's as attracting many writers who would be seen sitting under a tree with a manual typewriter on the lap. In the 30's she tells of a hike with her brother along the beaches from Bay Ocean to Neskowin. On the worst day of the Tillamook Burn they walked from Cape Meares to Oceanside using flashlights because the sky was darkened by smoke and ash. As they walked "great cinders and fiery twigs splashed, hissing into the water". The next day they walked "ankle deep in burnt twigs that had been blown out to sea by force of the fire and carried back by the tide".
Old pictures of Oceanside show it to have been a tent city at some point, with rickety looking suspension bridges strung around Maxwell Point.
Older residents remember a roller skating rink near where today's post Office sits.
During President Taft's term of office,
the Three Arch Rocks was declared a national wildlife preserve and a 50 ft buffer
zone was imposed around the rocks which many to this day help ensure the survival
of one of the largest populations of puffins & murres. A herd of Sea Lions
studs the flatter rock and can be seen and heard unaided from the beach at the
Tunnel Beach Suspension Bridge
The tunnel through Maxwell Point accesses
Tunnel Beach on the other side and was blasted through by the Rosenberg family,
still prominent in Oceanside.
Some locals say that during World War
II a cannon was installed on the other side to defend our shoreline against
possible submarine invasion from Japan.
Around the next point at the North end
of Tunnel Beach is Agate Beach which can only be reached by going around the
point on a minus tide. And yet another secluded beach to the North of the next
point, during a minus tide will give access to a natural cave which enters the
cliff through one portal and forks into two exits near Short Beach below Radar
Road. This cave is called Lost Boy Cave for a good reason and its name provides
proper warning to anyone venturing in when the tide turns.
A rare 6 rayed starfish lives in this
cave & many large anemones are visible in the tidepools.
From Radar Road, the fortunate but small group of residents are treated to a different view of Three Arch Rocks which from that perspective suggests the profile of a fat bald giant lying in the water with the top of his Alfred Hitchcock head pointing Northwest and his feet sticking up out of the water near the beach. Not surprisingly, Radar Road residents call this rock formation The Old Man.
Three Arch Rocks have been named individually as well. The largest is Shag, the westerly most small one is Storm Rock, and the middle one has had two names: Finley rock and Mid Rock.