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.

and so much more!

The Daddy Train

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

Learn More
Celebrate the Holidays in Seaside

Celebrate the holiday season — Seaside-style! That means escaping the frenetic holiday bustle and slowing down to enjoy the sigh...

Learn More
After the Storm

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

Learn More
The Best Part of Waking Up

Delicious breakfast dining at favorite Seaside local hot spots.

Learn More
How To Walk Seaside, Oregon

Discover things to see in Seaside, OR including the Seaside Promenade, Tillamook Head Trail & Tillamook Head Lighthouse, bird...

Learn More
A Seagull’s View

Aerial shot of Seaside Oregon from the 1920s

Learn More
Fall in Seaside

Experiencing the changing seasons in Seaside

Learn More
Sweets in Seaside

Confections conjure up memories of visits to Seaside Oregon as a child.

Learn More
Ice cream time in Seaside, Oregon
An Adventure to Share

A winning family vacation in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Murals, Swing Jazz, and Marine Life: Experiencing Seaside’s Arts & Culture

Seaside, Oregon, is known for its downtown murals and active arts scene. Photo: Rick Mickelson As one of the best known beach dest...

Learn More
Seaside Golf Club

A look at the history of the Seaside Golf Club.

Learn More
A Glimpse of the Turnaround: Circa 1940

Seaside's classic turnaround circa 1940.

Learn More
Top Take-Out Spots in Seaside

Maybe you need a quick breakfast to fuel your day’s adventure? Or you’re hungry for dinner but too tired to venture out of you...

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
An early morning kayak ride

One kayaker's take on an early morning ride into the Necanicum Estuary.

Learn More
Alcohol Server Training at Clatsop Community College

Alcohol server training certificate at Clatsop Community College in South County Center

Learn More
Seaside Skatepark

The Seaside Skatepark (also called the PTR “Hometown Park”) has a unique history. It was opened in June of 2007, and was built by Placed to Ride. The owner of Placed to Ride, Stefan Hauser, lives here in Seaside.

Learn More
The Quieter Side of Seaside

Seaside without the bustle of Broadway Street? If that sounds more like your speed, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to...

Learn More