Skip to content

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!

Stop and Smell the Roses

Spending a little time with Seaside's pocket gardens

Learn More
Tips for Whale Watching In and Around Seaside

** Story updated for 2022 ** While it’s possible to see whales all year along the Oregon Coast, visitors tend to flock to Seasid...

Learn More
5 Ways to Social Distance in Seaside

With miles of wide sandy beach and clean sea breezes sweeping along the oceanfront Promenade, Seaside is one of the best places to...

Learn More
A Kid-Free Couple’s Getaway

We know kids love Seaside. And Seaside loves kids. But you can, of course, enjoy Seaside without the youngsters in tow. Whether yo...

Learn More
Seaside is Dressing Up for the Holidays

Seaside, Oregon preparations for the holiday season

Learn More
The Cove in Seaside

Rain or shine, the Seaside Cove is a must-see-stop whether you’re a tourist or a local. It’s a mixture of sandy and rocky beach. There are tons of parking spots, and Seltzer Park is just across the street. There are public restrooms and a shower to rinse off sandy feet. There are also plenty of benches for both wave watching and people watching.

Learn More
How To Surf Seaside

Surfing in Oregon? Yes! The North Coast has some of the best breaks in the Pacific Northwest. And yes, the ocean is a bit nippy, b...

Learn More
Haunted in Seaside? Just like all towns with a deep history, there's chatter of the spookier side too. We dive in to find out when and where.
Spookiest Spots in Seaside

A fair number of sites in Seaside are thought to be haunted. So we took a deep dive to see what locals and experts had to say about the paranormal.

Learn More
Plan Your Seaside Vacation

Whether you’re in search of a luxurious weekend getaway, an outdoor family adventure or a fun getaway with your pup, Seaside has...

Learn More
Epic Mountain Biking Trails at Klootchy Creek

Updated 2022 Seaside’s natural landscapes are settings for all kinds of two-wheeled adventures, including challenging rides on l...

Learn More
Patta’s Thai and Seafood Making A Splash

SEASIDE SPOTLIGHT: Our latest profile in a series focused on the behind-the-scenes movers who make Seaside the unique destination ...

Learn More
Roaming the Sand for Treasures

The beach is often filled with unique finds, especially after a storm.

Learn More
Top Things to Do With Teens

Traveling with too-cool-for-school teens? I feel you. I have two teenagers myself. But be assured, you’ll find plenty of totally...

Learn More
Beach Reads for a Vicarious Escape

Chances are, you have more time to read right now than you have had in the past decade. And we all know, a good book can transport...

Learn More
Seaside Golf Club

A look at the history of the Seaside Golf Club.

Learn More
How to Treasure Seaside

Learn why one family uncovers more reasons to love Seaside each time they visit. After 40 years of coming to Seaside, there are st...

Learn More
Wildlife Along the Coast

Driving highway 101 can yield miles of scenic wonders

Learn More
Beach + Burrito, A Love Story

What better way to enjoy the Oregon Coast than with a warm and savory, affordable and portable burrito — perhaps the perfect to-...

Learn More