Sunday, June 19, 2011

Small Town America - Oysterville, Washington

                                    
Oysterville is a tiny little village on the eastern shores of Willapa Bay in Washington state.  First settled by the white man in 1841, the town was established in 1854 and aptly named Oysterville after the flourishing oyster trade. For many generations before, this area was the fishing and camping grounds of the local Chinook people.
During lowtide, this oyster boat sits waiting for the oyster man to come on board for the harvest.  To the first white settlers, the oysters that covered the tideflats were looked on as a treasure trove of gold.  These delicacies could be shipped south to San Fransico and sold to the restaraunts who then sold each tiny oyster for a dollar a piece! 

Beautiful houses were built, some of which still stand today; a church,

 courthouse


 and  a school


 were established along with a newspaper and several saloons. Oysterville was booming and soon had about 500 residents.

Because so many oysters were harvested, by the late 1880's the oyster beds were dwindling, then a much-awaited railroad track ended about four miles away.   Without the railroad and the oysters, how would people make a living?  Residents quickly begin moving out and even now, 140 years later, Oysterville has only a handful of year round residents.  It's a beautiful, serene little village.  Come on, take a walk with Riff, Gus and I...






"Myrtle Johnson W----
was the last Indian Princess
Born in Oysterville"




I bet these women could sew a nice quilt then pull on their boots to dig up some oysters and clams.  Women after my own heart~
When you're done with your walking tour of Oysterville, make sure you pop over to Oysterville Sea Farms.  Sit out on their brand new deck while enjoying a cup of their wonderful chowder and a cold beer or a glass of Willapa Bay wine.  It is not at all a hardship to enjoy your chowder or steamer clams with a view like this!  If you hit it just right, you may just get to watch an Oysterman at his trade and feel the whisper of times past.
To read more about Oysterville and find some great history on the town and individual dwellings, pop over here. So much great information!

I hope you enjoyed our little tour of Oysterville today and if you're ever in the area you'll stop by and see it for yourself.  While you're there, pick up a bushel or two of oysters for great summer grilling. Now, please excuse me while I slurp down this Willapa Bay oyster...

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too cool!

Mary said...

Paula, What an amazing little town. Loved the history and the photos along with your narrative made me feel as if I was walking along with you. Thanks so much for this tidbit of history.

Hope all is well with you. I miss talking to you.
Blessings,
Mary

jojo said...

Oh yum...what a great post. I think it's time we took a little day trip to Oysterville!

Adrienne said...

Thanks for taking us with you. I think it's time for us to head that way - I've always enjoyed Oysterville and the history there.
~Adrienne~

Stacey's Treasures said...

What a fun town to explore & what wonderfull history!!!
Thanks for taking us along on your travel's.

mtnchild said...

Wonderful day trip. Too far for me, but I did enjoy going along with you. Such history needs to be passed on and preserved. Great walk, thank you.
Yvette

Jenny said...

What a beautiful place. I know my husband and I would love it there.

Run Lori Run said...

Great photos...we're always looking for new trips around the NW, so thanks for sharing!

Paula said...

What a gorgeous, gorgeous place!! I LOVE the little church... and hope you saved me some of that chowder- I'm hungry after seeing that last picture! *YUMMY*

tipper said...

I enjoyed the walk and the history! Makes me wish I could visit Oysterville.

Bonnie said...

Loved the tour! Oh I would love a bowl of chowder....

Adrienne said...

Oh how I wish I could visit there! That seems like such a peaceful place so full of history. Thanks for taking this east coast gal along.