Skip to content

Seaside History

The End of the Trail

February 6, 2013 | by Nate Burke

In 1940, the “End of the Trail” sign was built at the turnaround to commemorate the Lewis & Clark expedition’s two year, 4,000 mile journey across the North American continent.  The original sign was a depiction of the expedition’s crowning achievement and a monument to the historical significance of the North Oregon Coast.

“Ocian in view! O! the joy!” wrote Capt. William Clark as he stood at the Columbia River Estuary up north.  The expedition ultimately settled on the south side of the Columbia in December of 1805 (15 miles north of Seaside in present day Astoria). There they built Fort Clatsop and called it home for the winter.  Nowadays, Fort Clatsop is a magnet for enthusiasts and includes a replica of the original fort, an interpretive center offering an exhibit hall, a theater, and also features popular ranger-led historical programs.

The Salt Works in Seaside is a historical site commemorating the expedition’s salt making activities (salt was vital in the food-preservation process).  They set up camp just off the sand dunes which is now a residential area next to the promenade on Lewis & Clark Way.

On January 6, Clark took 12 men through the Salt Makers’ Camp and over Tillamook Head to view a beached whale at what is now Ecola State Park (“ecola” is the Chinook word for whale) and barter for blubber and oil.  While on the Tillamook Head trail, Clark paused at one of the many spectacular viewpoints and later wrote “From this point I beheld the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in my frount a boundless Ocean . . . . the Seas brak with great force [and] gives this Coast a most romantic appearance.”

 


 

These are just a few of the local Lewis & Clark historical sites in the area.  Thanks to preservation efforts, all of these landmarks and moments of awe in the Lewis & Clark legacy can be relived along Oregon’s North Coast by the modern explorer.  However, the original “End of the Trail” sign at the turnaround has been replaced by a towering bronze statue of the explorers facing west.  It’s a transporting experience looking out over the Pacific next to the bronze replicas of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.  At these times Capt. Clark’s outcry, “Ocian in view! O! the Joy!” becomes a passionate sentiment that rings true even in our modern times.

Editors Note: The quotations above originate from William Clark’s journal. Though containing typos, Clark’s words have been quoted with his original creative spelling intact.

and so much more!

Roaming the Sand for Treasures

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

Learn More
Tillamook Head Trail
Seaside’s Very Own Rainforest: Tillamook Head

Hiking the Tillamook Head trail offers pure bliss for this local hiker

Learn More
Playland: Amusements in the 1930s

Recognize this classic Seaside landmark? For nearly 70 years, countless kids and adults have come to the Oregon Coast to get behin...

Learn More
Camping in Seaside

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner. One of my very favorite things to do during Memorial Day weekend is to go camping. I love setting up the tents, snuggling in a warm sleeping bag, sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows for s’mores, and smelling like a campfire all weekend. I love every bit of it! If you’ve never camped by the Pacific Ocean then you are missing out! You get to add the salty air, sandy beach, and all the benefits of being near Seaside to add to your camping experience.

Learn More
Beach Blanket Bingo

Going back to the early 1960s, we look at beach culture.

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
Antiquing in Seaside

Antique shopping in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Going for a Dip in the 1920s

Seaside ocean antics in the late 1920s

Learn More
Promenade Meandering

Strolling on the promenade in Seaside is a time-honored tradition on the Oregon Coast

Learn More
Hot Spots

Just like the windswept Oregon coastline itself, Seaside is ever-changing. While embracing traditional attractions like the Promen...

Learn More
See What’s New in Seaside This Summer

When’s the last time you visited Seaside? Maybe it was last season, or last year or back when you were a kid. In any case, there...

Learn More
Pocket Garden Walking Tour

When you walk down Broadway Street, you notice the patches of flowers planted along the sidewalk — all bursting with color, no m...

Learn More
All About Independence Day 2020 in Seaside

Let’s be clear: July 4th is going to look a little different in Seaside this year. While many of your favorite events had to...

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
Flying Into the Seaside Airport

Visitors often see an aerial photo of Seaside Municipal Airport and ask, “Are you sure that’s not Hawaii?” The lush green la...

Learn More
Unique Seaside Spots to Stay

(photo courtesy of the SaltLine Hotel)   From oceanfront studios and restful retreats to in-house spas and pet-friendly suite...

Learn More
Paddle Neawanna Creek
How To Paddle Seaside

Kayaking and paddle boarding options abound in Seaside, Oregon. Find out what you need to know to float the coast....

Learn More
For a Taste of Oregon’s Beautiful North Coast, Visit Seaside

Seaside has been a vacation destination for nearly as long as Oregon has been a state.

Learn More