Seaside History

I’ll See You at the Nat

December 26, 2012 | by Nate Burke

If you were to eavesdrop on the residents of Seaside in, say, 1923 you would most likely hear both children and adults hollering “I’ll see you at the Nat!” This idiom takes its place among other extinct phrases such as “Who do you think you are, Clark Gable?” As our more distinguished members of the community know, “The Nat” is of course short for “Natatorium”.  What’s a Natatorium you might ask?  Well it’s a Latinate and complex way of saying “pool”; usually a pool that’s housed indoors.  Starting in the 1920s, Seaside was home to three popular Natatoriums, one of which was the Oates Baths pictured here. 

The Oates Natatorium was located right on the promenade at Broadway.  Only a few brave souls swim in the ocean during the winter but the Oates Baths were the perfect answer for those who wanted to avoid the seasonal chills.  As seen in this picture (circa late 1940s), it was a communal place, where people gathered to indulge in a huge pool as well as Ladies and Gents steam baths.  These hothouses served as warm, pleasurable sanctuaries during the winter. 

Though the Oates Bath is now extinct, we now have the stellar Sunset Empire aquatic facility consisting of two indoor pools, a spa and a fitness room) where locals and visitors alike keep those swimming muscles in prime condition.  So the spirit of the old Natatorium culture does in fact live on, just under the guise of a new name.   

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Seaside’s History is an Honored Guest in Its Present

There are many local landmarks that celebrate the rich history of Seaside, a town that has been enjoyed as a popular beach getaway...

Learn More
Barefoot beachcombing: a Treat for Your Feet

Historical photo of children doing some barefoot beach combing.

Learn More
Fall in Seaside

Experiencing the changing seasons in Seaside

Learn More
Sea Foam on the shore's of The Cove in Seaside, Oregon
The Cove, Seaside’s Natural Treasure

Exploring Seaside's Cove, a natural wonder to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike

Learn More
The Daddy Train

The Seaside train depot was the major transportation hub before 1938.

Learn More
Hot Summer Car Shows help usher in the summer season in Seaside.
Hot Summer Car Shows

Two Seaside car shows help usher in and wind down the summer travel season

Learn More
Northwest Travel Magazine: The Fresh Side of Seaside, Oregon

Feature story on Seaside Oregon, highlighting top attractions in Seaside OR

Learn More
Gone Fishin’

You know you’re in Seaside when . . . this sentence can be completed in numerous ways. Today I’ll finish it with: . . . you see a guy walking down the road in tall rubber boots, fishing pole in one hand, long silvery fish dangling from the other.

Learn More
Episode Three: the Seaside Aquarium

Take the audio walking tour of Seaside

Learn More
Fruits of Your Labor

Picking blackberries on the Oregon Coast, local coastal berries

Learn More
Golden Age Arcade

Seaside's classic golden age arcade.

Learn More
Summer in Seaside can offer as much variety as our local candy stores.
How to Have an Epic North Coast Summer

A summer spent in Seaside is like a good clam chowder — fresh, flavorful and filling.

Learn More
The Perfect S’more

As the sun continues to make more regular appearances, I continue to look forward to external sunshine. And, yearning for a sweet treat, I’m reminded of that summer favorite: S’mores!

Learn More
Where to P.L.A.Y. in Seaside

The park is nestled next to Neawanna Creek where ducks float lazily by, a tree lined mountainside looming in the distance. Do a 180 and you get a great view of Tillamook Head to the south.

Learn More
Seaside Holiday Spirit
Seaside Holiday Spirit

Seaside holiday spirit is more than evident around town beginning in early November. Ushered in by lights and decorations going up...

Learn More
“Fascinated” on Broadway

Fascination has been a staple in Seaside, Oregon since the 1950s.

Learn More
Promenade Meandering

Strolling on the promenade in Seaside is a time-honored tradition on the Oregon Coast

Learn More
Going for a Dip in the 1920s

Seaside ocean antics in the late 1920s

Learn More