Seaside History

Wave Meets Wall

October 9, 2013 | by Nate Burke

There are waves, there are breakers, and then there are the fabled White Horses.  Back in 1925, Mother Nature cut the reins and let her foamy white stallions loose on the Turnaround. Fortunately, Seaside’s classic Turnaround landmark was built by the J.H. Tillman Company to withstand tremendous oceanic forces, and even act as a kind of seawall.

The J.H. Tillman Company was a local Seaside construction outfit that thrived in the 1920s and won the contract to pave the Young’s Bay Bridge in 1921 – for a robust total expenditure of $9,578. The Tillman company was also the first to pave the 10-mile stretch of newborn highway that stretched from Seaside to the Skipanon river in Warrenton (at the time, it was christened the “Roosevelt Coast Highway”, presumably in dedication to Theodore Roosevelt who died in 1919).

But history proves that when it came to concrete structures, they built em’ tough back then (and elegant!). For good reason too, as Seaside’s beachhead used to be much less spacious before the South Jetty construction up north. Nowadays, the beach stretches a good 300 feet from the Promenade and Turnaround, so we don’t get images of wave drama like this anymore.

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