Seaside History

Knights of Summer: Seaside’s Lifeguarding Tradition

June 19, 2013 | by Nate Burke

The first day of summer is upon us and our local lifeguard team is out in force. Lifeguarding in Seaside has a rich tradition of service, where athletic men and women have spent their summers sprinting through the sands and surveying the horizon with eyes peeled for trouble. In fact, lifeguards have been a part of our coastal town for almost 100 years. The first lifeguards started patrolling during Seaside summers around 1915. In 1923 the first lifeguard station was constructed on the beach just southwest of the Turnaround. The station acted as a useful observation tower and graced Seaside’s beach with an enduring reputation for fun and safety. With the first summer lifeguard team and accompanying observation tower, Seaside became the most vigilantly guarded beach in Oregon. With this reputation for vibrant beach culture, Seaside drew talented local lifeguards and also pulled from the ranks of other coastal cities from across the country. For those who wanted to spend a memorable summer in Seaside, three months on the North Oregon Coast was an exciting prospect.

The beach is a community in its own right and has its very own social circles, so it’s only proper that the lifeguards act as a nucleus for the sun-loving set. Willy Paul and Bill Palmer (shown here in a photo from 1933) were two popular and gregarious lifeguards who grew up in Seaside; both were outstanding athletes and quickly became the most trusted men on the beach.  Practically glowing with friendliness, health, and ability, Willy and Bill were some of the earliest incarnations of the local lifeguard tradition.

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Establishing Another World Record

Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament establishes yet another record during stellar event.

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

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

Learn More
Seaside Nightlife

Above photo: A group enjoys some live music in a photo by Don Frank. Some visitors come to Seaside for the beach, some for the att...

Learn More
Riding the Streetcar in Seaside

Riding the streetcar in Seaside is a fun and affordable way to see the town.

Learn More
Find a Beach Path Less Traveled By

A Sunday stroll along the beach at 12th Avenue in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
A Chinook Fishing Tale

Chinook Salmon Fishing in and Around Seaside Oregon

Learn More
A Weekend of Discoveries

Last weekend I went to the Pouring at the Coast Event with my boyfriend, and had the best time! We were given souvenir glasses to use during the event (and they had rinse stations to keep your glass clean between tastings). We tried craft beers from every brewery, and I discovered I really enjoy the dark beers

Learn More
The Move to Mobile Browsing

Is your site optimized for mobile browsing? It should be. The Seaside Visitors Bureau is constantly tracking trends in the hospita...

Learn More
After the Storm

A look at a storm from the early 1900s in Seaside

Learn More
Oregon Coast Visitor Tsunami Awareness Program

Tsunami awareness resources from the Office of Emergency Management

Learn More
The Sweet Side of Seaside

Above photo: A tray of sweets on display at A Sweet Affaire, held every February. In February, we invite you to bask in the sweet ...

Learn More
Artillery on the Beach

Artillery on Seaside

Learn More
Celebrating the Moms in Our Life

Honoring motherhood through a photo on the beach

Learn More
The Roaring Twenties on Broadway

The roaring twenties was an exciting era in Seaside.

Learn More
Dedicated to the Promenade

It's been nearly 92 years since the inaguration of Seaside's Promenade

Learn More
Riders of the Storm

Winter weather on the Oregon Coast is the flipside to flipside to golden summers, but it can be just as beautiful.

Learn More
Family Reunion

Seaside is a hot spot for family reunion get-togethers.

Learn More
The Succulent Season

Celebrating the arrival of the Oregon Coast

Learn More