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!

How to Start Cycling In Seaside

Few places in the Pacific Northwest are as primed for pedal-powered exploration as Seaside. I should know since I’ve ridden abou...

Learn More
Saddle Mountain State Park Excursion

A day trip to Saddle Mountain adds diversity to Seaside as a destination vacation.

Learn More
Seeing Seaside on a Surrey

Cruising around Seaside on a Surrey can be great exercise and a scenic journey

Learn More
Shell Road

Shell Road was the small, primitive pathway that eventually became Broadway.

Learn More
We’re Getting Crabby on the Coast

Dungeness crab season on the Oregon coast

Learn More
View from the Tower

View from the old Seaside Hotel tower.

Learn More
How to Treasure the Beach

No one owns the Oregon Coast — it belongs to everyone. Thanks to 1967’s landmark Beach Bill, Oregon has some of the most prote...

Learn More
Burgers and a beer at U Street Pub & Eatery
Big Burgers You’ll Want to Brag About

Seaside is, of course, known for its fresh seafood. Dozens of restaurants have clam chowders and local razor clams on the menu. Bu...

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
“Fascinated” on Broadway

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

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
Seaside Library

A look at the humble beginnings of the Seaside Public Library

Learn More
The Beer 101 Pint Pass

While attending the 2015 Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism, I met Brandon Holmes, co-founder of technology startup Bandwan...

Learn More
Color Now Bursting on the Coast

Pick up a colorful bouquet of summer dahlias at roadside stands along Highway 101 and other coast highways

Learn More
Clatsop Lodging Industry Jobs Surpass Pre-Recession Levels in Past Two Years

According to preliminary estimates, average employment in Clatsop County’s accommodations industry rose by 50 jobs to 1,310 in 2...

Learn More
View from the Pacific Pier

The view circa 1906 of Seaside's old Pacific Pier

Learn More
Seaside Lifeguards: A Fond Seasonal Farewell

Can you believe it’s almost Labor Day Weekend? Don’t fret!  We’re still probably in for some dynamic weather throughout Sep...

Learn More