Seaside History

The Pull of Progress – Seaside in 1921

November 6, 2013 | by Nate Burke

In August, 1921, Seaside’s promenade was completed and the town hosted a huge celebration to honor the occasion. From this classic snapshot of the aftermath of the proceedings, you can see the Turnaround in all its fledgling charm. This was long before the statue of Lewis & Clark came to live in the center of the Turnaround. You can see that the construction is so brand new that there is only packed soil in the center roundabout.  This circular space would soon become a garden populated by begonias- with pansies planted in the spring (a popular attraction for visitors).

At the end of the first Word War, Seaside went through a phase of major development. Buildings were refurbished, roads improved, and new hotels began popping up on the beach and all over town.  Seaside’s population went from around 1500 in 1916 to 2000 in 1920, with estimates of 12,000-15,000 visitors during the seasonal months. At the time of the Promenade’s dedication, the crowd of celebrants was estimated to be around 25,000 – which had been Seaside’s record gathering. You can bet Seaside residents felt the keen pull of progress all around them in the summer of 1921.

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