Sunday, August 23, 2015

Amanuensis Monday: Soil Stabilization District

This week I am transcribing an article which touches only briefly on my family history. Instead, my interest in the article stems more from a familiarity with the geographical area and its history.

First, the family history portion: Walter Underwood is stated to be the president of the Netarts and Oceanside Community club. I am not certain at this time whether it is Walter Underwood, Sr., my great-grandfather, or Walter Underwood, Jr., his son, but it is one or the other. They both had homes in Netarts.

The beach at Netarts, looking toward Happy Camp, August 2015

Group Urges Soil District
NETARTS, March 30. (Special)—Members of the Netarts and Oceanside Community club expressed a desire at a meeting of the club here this week for a soil stabilization district to extend from the one recently organized in the Sandlake area, north along the coast and taking in Bayocean.

With considerable sliding along the coast line, including extensive erosion on the Bayocean peninsula, it was felt a soil stabilization district is needed. Mich Provo, Netarts; Robert Brady, Oceanside; Bob Watkins, Bayocean, and Walter Underwood, Netarts, president of the club, were chosen to look into the matter of getting a soil stabilization district established.

Developments in the Cape Lookout area, including a state park under development, also were discussed. Mrs. Robert Brady of Oceanside was elected secretary to complete the unexpired term of Quentin Terry, Oceanside, who resigned from the office.

The article mentions “extensive erosion on the Bayocean peninsula,” which makes anyone with a knowledge of Bayocean history nod sagely. The town of Bayocean no longer exists. It was founded as a vacation resort town, but the building of a new jetty on only one side of the bar caused a change in the ocean currents, and the town was eaten by the sea.

At the time that this article was published, the natatorium had already been swallowed, but some buildings yet remained. The town was still a town, albeit a suffering one. The worst was yet to come. Eventually every building would fall, and the spit on which the town had been built would become an island.

Today, the spit has been reestablished as a spit due to the building of a second jetty, which caused the sands to re-accumulate. It is again connected to the mainland, but its glorious past is long gone. The only building on it now is an outhouse for the convenience of boaters and those who come to walk or ride their bikes up its single gravel road. It is now a county park, closed to vehicular traffic.

Walking down Bayocean Spit, August 2012

I also find the mention of “developments in the Cape Lookout area, including a state park under development” to be interesting. Nearly every summer a large group of friends and I enjoy the campground at that state park and hike the trail that runs to the bluff. It seems almost strange to realize that the park was still new in 1940.

The beach at Cape Lookout State Park one misty July morning, also in 2012


Group Urges Soil District,” The Oregonian, 31 Mar 1940, p. 26, col. 4; digital images, America’s GenealogyBank ( : accessed 23 Jun 2012), Historical Newspapers.

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