Seaside History

Ben Holladay’s Seaside House

January 8, 2014 | by Nate Burke

Now home to the Seaside Golf Course, this venerated property was once the location of a luxurious Italian Villa style hotel built by the renowned railroad tycoon, Ben Holladay.  The villa was built in 1871 to attract and entertain the booming inland elite.  Ben Holladay first visited Seaside in 1870 on a hunting expedition.  This was long before Seaside was first incorporated in 1899 and the area was as wild as it was beautiful.  A few hundred yards from the cove, and tucked underneath the protective wing of Tillamook Head, the land attracted him immediately.

Holladay quickly appraised and purchased the land. Construction of the “Seaside House” began immediately and within a year, this gorgeous and imposing structure dominated the landscape.  The property soon became a popular haven for the upper-classes, replete with a race track and premium stable facilities.  Widely advertised along the west coast, the Seaside House become famous for its plush elegance amidst the dramatic and untamed nature of the Oregon Coast.  Even though Seaside’s close approximation to the beach could alone explain the name of the city, tradition states that the city was actually named after Holladay’s Seaside House.

Photo Courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society

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