A name for every place: Around Pacific County, from A to Z

Pacific County map circa 1950

EDITOR’S NOTE: The “place names” covered in this article are places of settlement — past and present. This list includes cities, towns, centers or hubs of scattered rural communities, logging camps, ocean/bay/river resorts, ghost towns, and failed real estate sales schemes of historic interest.

The author, Larry Weathers, was a gifted historian with a deep affection for our area. He was editor of the Pacific County Historical Society’s Sou’wester magazine from 1980 to 1989, when this gazetteer was printed. Weathers died in 2004 at the much-too-young age of 56. As Nancy Lloyd observed at the time, “He’s my ideal historian: thorough and thoughtful, good-humored and generous, accessible, professional, without axes to grind or empires to build.”

The Sou’wester — under Weathers, Ruth Dixon, Joan Mann, Ruth McCausland, Bruce Weilipp, Steve Rogers and other careful stewards — is a wonderful local asset, but one that is relatively underappreciated. Rogers, the society’s current president in addition to being Pacific County commissioner, has graciously agreed to the Observer’s desire to begin reprinting a selection of Sou’wester’s amazing content. We hope doing so will enhance modern readers’ knowledge and appreciation for our county’s incredibly rich and colorful history.

We think this basic introduction to county settlements and their origins is a good place to start. Although a few things have changed in the 24 years since it was first published — Surfside has grown a lot, for instance — we have left it as Weathers wrote it. It will be continued next week.

BALEVILLE: A rural farming and residential community located on Highway 105 and the north shore of the Willapa River across from South Bend. Elijah Pernich, an early resident on the south bend of the Willapa River, bought land on “Mailboat Slough” in 1871. Several real estate schemes subdivided the land around Mailboat Slough for boomtowns (1889-1891 and 1910) but each of the schemes failed and most of the subdivisions became additions to South Bend. North Pacific City (1889) and Willapacific (1910) were two of the most highly promoted schemes. In both cases, the land was low and swampy, sales were slow, the promised railroad terminals were never built, and the towns were ultimately a bust. Around 1891, Joseph Camenzind bought the Terminus Addition, which was on high ground, for his dairy herd and built a farmhouse and barn overlooking the Willapa River. Herbert Bale purchased land near the Camenzind farm in 1898.

Later, Herbert’s father Lee Bale, brother George T. Bale, and son Harry Bale purchased acreage in the same vicinity. In 1910 the Milwaukee railroad promised Herbert Bale a depot near his farm and named it Baleville. The railroad did not lay track past Raymond but the community was thereafter known as Baleville. The Bale and Camenzind farms and pastures still cover much of the landscape in Baleville, along with the South Bend sewage treatment plant and county airport facility. (See North Pacific City and Willapacific.)

BAY CENTER: A Willapa Bay/ Palix River fishing village near Highway 101. Bay Center is on a peninsula (the tip is called Goose Point), which extends into the center of Willapa Bay. The point was the site of an Indian encampment and trading ground before and after the arrival of white settlers. Bay Indians called the river and camp Palix (also Palux, Copalux), meaning “slough covered with trees.” Joel Brown, who took a Donation Land Claim in the area now known as Rhodesia Beach (named for the Rhodes family) in 1853, was the first white settler on the Peninsula. He dreamed of founding a town on the point called Brownsville but died in 1854 on his way to Olympia to serve in the Territorial Legislature. Dr. James R. Johnson and family filed a Donation Land Claim for Goose Point in 1855. For several years Johnson was the only doctor of medicine on the bay and maintained his practice at Bruceport. By 1873 the beachfront on the point was crowded with homes occupied by farmers and oystermen. They called their settlement “Palix.” In 1875 residents decided they needed a post office (Oysterville, across the bay, was the nearest) and held a contest to name the settlement. Mrs. Leonard (Mattie Goodpasture) Rhoades suggested the name “Bay Centre” (her spelling) because the community is located near the geographic center of Willapa Bay. A post office was established on May 16, 1876. The spelling of the town name changed to “Bay Center” in 1877. Around the turn-of-the-century there were so many churches on the point residents referred to the town as either “New Jerusalem” or “Saints’ Rest.” Today, the community is home to several oyster seed hatcheries and a small fleet of boats.

BEDFORD: A logging camp in the Willapa Hills in the 1920s. Located on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad route from Chehalis to Raymond. Bedford was one of the logging camps operated by the Raymond Lumber Company (Charles E. Lewis, president). Name derivation unknown.

BREAKERS: Ilwaco railroad mail and passenger stop north of the City of Long Beach, 1901-1920. J. M. Arthur built “The Breakers”, a four-story hotel (December 1900), on the sandridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean and named it for the excellent view of the breaking surf. A fire in 1904 destroyed the hotel’s original elegance. Arthur rebuilt the hotel but declining patronage eventually closed it in 1920. A post office was established at the hotel August 17, 1905; discontinued March 31, 1919. The Breaker’ condominium, a modern facility, now occupies the site.

BRIGHAM CITY: Abandoned settlement on Hawk’s Point near North River on Highway 105. Capt. David K. Weldon and wife came to Shoalwater Bay from San Francisco in 1852 and built a home and store on Weldon’s Point (Hawk’s Point). Weldon laid out a town around his store and called it Brigham City. The name was bestowed in honor of Weldon’s partner, another early bay visitor, Captain Brigham. In 1854 the state legislature created Chehalis County (renamed Grays Harbor County in 1915) and designated Weldon’s place “in Bruceville” as the first county seat. Weldon was elected county treasurer. The county seat designation was changed to the stockade at Bruceville (Bruceport) later in the year when it was discovered that Weldon’s place was not in Bruceville. Weldon had another partner, Chehalis County Commissioner George Watkins, who built the first sawmill on Shoalwater Bay, on the banks of North River and Salmon Creek, near Brigham City. The partners were soon arguing over the ownership of the mill and went to court. The lawsuit, a fever epidemic at the mill, and a freshet which nearly destroyed the mill, were the end of Brigham City. Weldon returned to San Francisco, Brigham was lost at sea bringing supplies to the settlement, Watkins moved to the Cascades where he was killed by Indians, and the remains of the mill were dismantled and sold. Brigham City disappeared from maps of the bay. John Hawks and family were the only settlers found living on the abandoned settlement site in 1858. Weldon’s Point is now known as Hawk’s Point.

BROOKLYN: A rural community of homes and farms near the junction of the upper North River and Fall Creek in northeast Pacific County. The name “Brooklyn” was arbitrarily assigned by postal department officials when the community post office was established Dec. 10, 1891. Postal officials asked the designated postmaster Mrs. Marion (Emma C.) Roberts to suggest a name for the community of scattered farms. Mrs. Roberts submitted “Clifton” (a contraction of Cliff’s Town) in honor of her son Clifford Roberts. The department rejected the name because there was already a Clifton in Mason County, and substituted Brooklyn. The post office was closed May 16, 1969.

BRUCEPORT: Early Shoalwater Bay community located on the shoreline between South Bend and Bay Center, 1851-1895. Before the arrival of white settlers the site was an Indian village called “Wa-Hoot-San or “Hwa’hots.” The village was sparsely populated when the crew of the schooner Robert Bruce was stranded there in 1851. The crew was preparing to haul oysters to market in San Francisco when a disgruntled cook set the schooner on fire and burned it to the keel. The resulting camp was first known as the “Bruce Boys’ Camp.” In 1851, John W. Champ, who filed a Donation Land Claim on a portion of the village site, hired Washington Hall to survey a townsite to be called “Whilapi City.” According to James G. Swan, the settlers voted to name the town “Bruceville” in 1854. The name Champ proposed for the settlement was ignored. Bruceville was the county seat of Chehalis County (renamed Grays Harbor County in 1915) from 1854-1860. A post office was established April 29, 1858, and the town name was officially changed to Bruceport. The office was closed July 11, 1893. In the 1870s Bruceport had 25 families, two hotels, two stores and a school. Oyster harvesting was the main source of income. The settlement failed by the 1890s, a victim of several seasons of poor oyster harvesting and severe shoreline erosion. An historical marker, one mile south of the townsite on Highway 101, tells the fascinating story of Bruceport’s beginning.

BURT: A logging camp in the Willapa Hills in the 1920s. Located on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad route from Chehalis to Raymond. Named for logging engineer Burt Bunker. The camp was one of the short-lived communities operated by the Raymond Lumber Company (Charles L. Lewis, president).

BUSH: A logging camp in the Willapa Hills in the 1920s. Located on the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad route from Chehalis to Raymond. Name derivation unknown.

CAMP BRIX: A logging camp on Sisson Creek in southeast Pacific County at the turn of the century. Operated by the Brix Brothers (Asmus, Peter Johannes, Albert, and Anton) under the name Grays Bay Logging Company. The company earned sufficient capital to permit the brothers to buy the Knappton Mill from A.M. Simpson in 1909. Albert Brix was in charge of the sawmill and P. J. Brix operated the logging camp.

CEMENTVILLE: See Knappton.

CHETLO HARBOR: Located on the south shore near the mouth of the Naselle River. Chetlo, or Jetlo, is a Chinook Jargon word meaning oyster. A post office was established here Dec. 19, 1911, and closed Feb. 15, 1918. Also known Cougar Bend.

CHINOOK: A resort and fishing community located on Baker Bay/Columbia River between the Chinook River and Fort Columbia. Named for the Chinook Indians who once occupied the north shore of the Lower Columbia River. In the 1850s the area was known as White’s Point because Neil White, a squatter, had a cabin there. H. S. Gile, pioneer land surveyor, purchased several land claims in 1864, and later, under the name Gile Investment Company, sold lots to new settlers. In the 1880s and ‘90s Chinook was famed throughout the U.S. for its catch of salmon. A post office was established at Chinook on March 17, 1892.

CHENOOK/CHENOOKVILLE: Early settlement on the Columbia River between Fort Columbia and Point Ellice. The name is derived from the Chinook Indians who camped there before and after the appearance of white settlers. The Chinook villa at this site was one of the permanent campsites of the tribe. Captain Robert Gray (May 1792), Hudson Bay Company factors (around 1800), Lewis and Clark (November 1805), and Fathers DeSmet and Blanchette (1831), all made note of the village in their respective reports. Lewis and Clark labeled the site “Chinnook” on their map and estimated 400 members of the tribe lived along the Columbia River and interior. In 1840 the Hudson Bay Company built a store to enhance trade with the tribe. Washington Hall filed a Donation Land Claim on the site in 1849 and eventually surveyed a town September 1850. The plat was recorded as Chenookville in County Commissioner records Oct. 5, 1852 (the alternative spelling “Chinookville” was also used). In December 1852 county records were transferred from Pacific City to Chenookville. It remained the county seat from December 1852 to Dec. 6, 1854. A post office was established Oct. 19, 1852, but was discontinued December 1860. The first salmon cannery in Pacific County was established at Chenookville (Point Ellice) by Ellis, Jewett and Chambers in 1870. By the 1880s nearby McGowan overshadowed the older settlement and erosion was rapidly removing buildings from the shrinking river bank. Erosion finally vanquished the old town site during this century (the name disappeared from area maps decades before), but it wasn’t until January 1965 that the plat of Chenookville was vacated at a county commissioners meeting. For a time (1948 to the late 1950s) the high ground behind the eroding beach was call Derbyville. The name derived from the annual salmon derby held at the campground located there.

COLUMBIA RIVER QUARANTINE STATION: Abandoned United States quarantine station at Knappton Cove/Columbia River on Highway 401. The site was part of the Job Lamley Donation Land Claim 1853 to 1876. The Hume brothers, who brought salmon canning to the Columbia River in 1867, had a cannery on the site from 1876 to 1899. The Federal Government bought the site for $8,000 and opened a quarantine station May 1899. The station caretakers and medical personnel were the only inhabitants of the station but there were several families living near the station and Knappton was just over the hill to the east of the site. Ships with infestation or disease went to Knappton for fumigation. Hundreds of Chinese, Japanese, and European laborers went through the station until it was closed in 1938. The Clarence Bell family bought the property at auction in August 1950 and operated a fishing resort on the site until 1956. The old station hospital, mess hall, caretakers/medical personnel quarters and repair shop are still used by the Bell family. The wharf was dismantled due to the danger posed by rotting pilings.

CRANBERRY STATION: Ilwaco railroad station north of the Breakers 1910 to 1930. John D. Briscoe settled on the site in 1853 and filed a Donation Land Claim. The station took its name from the nearby cranberry bogs, which run north and south through the center of the Peninsula. The residential subdivisions that now crowd the beach are known as Pacific Beach.

DAVIS: A logging camp in the Willapa Hills in the 1920s. Located on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad route from Chehalis to Raymond. Named for logging camp foreman Frank Davis, who was one of several short-lived camps operated by the Raymond Lumber Company (Charles L. Lewis, president).

DERBYVILLE: See Chenook/Chenookville.

DIAMOND CITY: Early Shoalwater Bay settlement on the northern tip of Long Island, 1867 to 1878. Isaac Doane secured patent to the oysterlands off the north tip of the island in 1867 and sold them to local oystermen. Eventually the settlement had around 75 inhabitants, mostly single men living in shanties. The only access was by boat. The name is said to be derived from the heaps of white oyster shells that covered the beach. The setting sun, reflecting on the glittering shell linings, gave them the sparkle of diamonds when viewed from across the water at Oysterville and Nahcotta. (Some sources say the reflection from shanty windowpanes made the settlement glitter like diamonds). The oystermen moved on when native oyster stocks were depleted by natural disasters and over-harvesting. A few homesteaders remained in the 1880s. Ferdinand John Katzer built a two-story house on the northwest edge of the island near Diamond City around 1893. In 1900, Ferdinand, and his brother Frank bought Diamond City and salvaged the remaining buildings for lumber. The Katzer house was moved by barge to property on Freshwater Creek, south of Nahcotta, where it stands today. The abandoned Diamond City site is today littered with driftwood and debris.

EAST RAYMOND: A rural residential subdivision on the Willapa River between Raymond and the town of Willapa. In the late 1880s Dan Louderback built a boat shop on Louderback Slough near the future site of East Raymond. Louderback built plungers, rowboats, sail boats, dinghies, launches, fishing boats, towboats, and anything else that would float on the waters of Willapa Bay. In 1892, the Northern Pacific Railroad surveyed a route through the area and by-passed the town of Willapa. Since the railroad depot was a mile from town, several Willapa businesses moved across the river to be near the railroad tracks. In 1912, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad surveyed a route through the same area and Henry Nihart filed a subdivision called “ East Raymond.” When the Milwaukee depot was finished in 1915 the post office was moved from the town of Willapa to East Raymond. The name of the post office remained the same. Local residents often refer to the town of Willapa as “Old Willapa” and East Raymond as “Willapa.” The Willapa post office in East Raymond was closed April 30, 1954. (See Willapa.)

ELK CREEK: A logging camp in the Willapa Hills in the 1920s. Located on the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad route from Chehalis to Raymond. One of the shortlived camps which appeared and disappeared as the hills surrounding the camps were clearcut of old growth timber. “Elk Creek” camp was established by the Sunset Timber Company in 1925. The name was derived from the location of the camp at the junction of Elk Creek and Little Elk Creek.

ELKHORN: A roadside stop on Highway 101 from the 1940s to early 1970s. The availability of gasoline at the end of World War II inspired construction of a series of rest stops and gas pump stations all along the coast. The Elkhorn cafe on Elkhorn flats was such a stop. The cafe and gas pump was the last stop in Pacific County on the Raymond to Aberdeen highway (opened October 3, 1930) before crossing the county line. The cafe closed in the 1970s. Elkhorn took its name from the Elk herds that grazed on the flats near Elkhorn Creek.

EKLUND PARK: A residential neighborhood on a hill at “the Narrows” of the Willapa River. Eklund Park was platted in the 1890s by the South Bend Land Company as an addition to the city of South Bend. The subdivision was never annexed and is outside the eastern city limits of South Bend to this day. The subdivision was named for Louis N. Eklund, founder and secretary of the South Bend Land Company. The Columbia Box Mill Company, built on pilings over the Willapa River, was located on the east side of the hill. The mill was built by Hyman and Company of California in 1905 and operated into the 1930s. Eklund Park is also called “Snoose Hill” by local residents due to the great number of snooze-chewing Scandinavians that once lived there.

FIRDALE: Farming community on Mill Creek. Named for the old growth fir trees which once covered the Willapa Hills surrounding the community. About 1906, the Sunset Timber Company (Ralph Burnside, president) laid rails for a logging railroad called the Pacific and Eastern (P and E). Firdale was established as a logging camp at one end of the line, while the other end was on the Willapa River. Logs were hauled to the river by rail, dumped and then rafted to the landing at the town of Willapa. In 1913, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad purchased the P and E holdings, severed the connection with the town of Willapa, and extended the line to Raymond in 1915. A post office was established at Firdale, March 21, 1912; discontinued Dec. 6, 1918.

FORT COLUMBIA: A deactivated military fort, now known as Fort Columbia Historical State Park, on Chinook Point overlooking the Columbia River. The Chinook Indians called the point “No’s-to-ils” and the hill (now called Scarborough Hill) behind the point “No’si-misp.” The point and hill were a permanent Indian encampment for decades unknown before the arrival of white settlers. Chief Concomly, a famed Chinook leader (ca. 1810 to 1830), maintained his principal lodge on the hill. Capt. James Allan Scarborough, retired Hudson Bay Company employee, and his Indian wife Ann Elizabeth settled on the hill around 1846 and filed a Donation Land Claim under the Law of 1850. After his death in 1855, title to the property was transferred to Rocque Ducheney, HBC employee living in nearby Chenookville. In 1867, the Federal government purchased Chinook Point for a military reservation from the Ducheney heirs for $2,000. It wasn’t until 1895 that the War Department decided to build a fort and install gun batteries. The fort was first occupied by a regular garrison in June 1904. A post office was established June 30, 1890, and continued in operation until Jan. 31, 1923. Fort Columbia was deactivated March 28, 1947, and listed as surplus. The old military post became Fort Columbia Historical State Park at a dedication ceremony held June 17, 1951.

FORT CANBY: A deactivated military fort on Cape Disappointment overlooking Baker Bay/Columbia River. An Executive Order, dated Feb. 26, 1852, reserved Cape Disappointment for military purposes. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was placed in operation Oct. 15, 1856, but construction of a post and fortifications were delayed until August 1863. The fort was not activated until April 15, 1864. For a number of years after its establishment the fort was generally known as “Fort Cape Disappointment.” Finally, on Feb. 13, 1875, the government designated the post “Fort Canby” in honor of Brevet Major General Edward Richard Sprigg Canby, who had been killed by the Modoc Indians, April 11, 1873. A post office was established June 30, 1890 and continued until Jan. 31, 1923, when it was closed. Fort Canby was deactivated on March 28, 1947. Jurisdiction over federal property was transferred to other departments, including the Treasury Department which operated Cape “D” and North Head lighthouses and the U.S. Coast Guard life saving station.

FORT WILLAPA: A stockade built by residents of the Willapa Valley in 1855 when fear of Indian attacks swept the Northwest. The site, now known as Giesy’s Crossing on Highway 6, was at the north end of the valley and overlooked the Willapa River. Three small buildings surrounded by a stockade wall (with guard house on top) were built to protect the settlers. The time of fear passed and the fort was never used for defense purposes. For several years afterward it was a community meeting place or housed new families moving into the valley. The stockade was sometimes known as “Fort Giesy” because it was on land taken as Donation Land Claims by the John and Henry Giesy families. Eventually the stockade fell into disrepair and the Giesy family built their home on the site. A post office was established at the fort April 29, 1858, and continued until Dec. 7, 1870, when the office was moved to Woodard’s Landing. The tree shaded knoll near the fort site is the gravesite of Willie Keil and members of the Keil Colony and Giesy family. An historical roadside marker on Highway 6 tells the story of possibly the longest burial processional in history.

FRANCES: A farming community on Highway 6. The name was bestowed by E. H. McHenry, chief engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad survey crew, who passed through the area in 1892. “Frances” was his wife’s middle name. The Wallace Campbell family homesteaded Elk Prairie, south of the townsite, in the early 1880s. Several Swiss/German families followed in 1886 and have been a dominant group in the community for over 100 years. Descendants hold a variety of ethnic celebrations at the Swiss Picnic Grounds on Elk Prairie Road each year. A post office was established May 26, 1894, and continued in operation until Nov. 23, 1973.

FRANKFORT: Early Columbia River community near Portuguese Point (also called Barney’s Point for Barney Gallagher who had a homestead there in 1876) in south central Pacific County. Named by (James) Frank Bourn and Frank Scott in their own honor. Bourn and Scott purchased land around Portuguese Point, formed the Frankfort Land Improvement and Investment Company on April 30, 1890, and on May 5, filed a town plat “where fashionable people would walk the streets — where commerce and industry would prosper.” Frankfort had three golden years (1890-93). Land sales and boomtown development were brought to an end by the Panic of 1893. Frankfort survived until World War I but the plat was not vacated until 1952. During its existence Frankfort was only accessible by water. The town had dozens of residential dwellings owned by fishermen, a land office, the Gannon Hotel, a newspaper (Frankfort Chronicle), school, store, saloon, and a post office established June 6, 1890 (closed Feb. 28, 1918). The last person living in Frankfort died in 1964. (See Gray’s Frankfort.)

FROGTOWN: Located between Chinook and Ft. Columbia on the Columbia River. Early local name for the frog filled swampland below Scarborough Hill.

GIESY’S CROSSING: See Fort Willapa.

GEORGETOWN: See Shoalwater Bay Reservation.

GLOBE: Early lumber mill community (1901-1928) between Lebam and Frances on Highway 6. The Globe mill was built and named by Frank Gougar in 1901. In 1902 it was purchased by W. C. Miles. A post office was established on April 19, 1904, and continued in operation until Nov. 30, 1929. Oren Armstrong was post master and mill foreman from 1908 to 1928. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1910, rebuilt in 1915, and operated until 1928.

GRAY’S FRANKFORT: Early Columbia River land company promotion on Frank Bourne Creek and Hoeck Bay in south central Pacific County. Named by Captain John Henry Dix Gray — pilot, merchant and entrepreneur, who filed the town plat on Oct. 8, 1890 and advertised it in the Oregonian, Jan. 1, 1891. Gray was encouraged by the success of Frankfort and purchased 800 acres on its north boundary. Lots were sold but the Panic of 1893 aborted the land boom before a town developed. J. H. D. Gray died in 1902 while serving as a judge in Clatsop County, Ore. The plat was vacated in 1952.

HALF MOON PRAIRIE: Half Moon Prairie, also called Half Moon Creek, was early name of the community now known as Lebam. The first settler on the prairie was William F. Meloy in 1879. (See Lebam.)

HILDA: A logging camp in the Willapa Hills near Eight Creek. Located on Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad route between Chehalis and Raymond the Pacific/Lewis County border. Name derivation unknown.

HOLCOMB: Scattered community of farms and homes on Highway 6. Former railroad stop on the N. P. R. R.. The name was chosen by officials of the Northern Pacific Railroad to honor Judge George U. Holcomb, who was general manager of the South Bend Land Company in the 1890s. A post office was established at Holcomb May 1912; discontinued April 30, 1943.

HOLMAN: A resort subdivision and former Ilwaco railroad stop south of Seaview. After Pacific City was found to be within the boundaries of the military reservation Cape Disappointment in 1852, James D. Holman, owner of the hotel Holman House, moved to his Donation Land Claim outside the military reservation. The claim included land overlooking both the Pacific Ocean and Baker’s Bay/Columbia River. Around 1855, the Holman family moved to Portland (returning for summer vacations or to do business). In 1873 Holman subdivided his ocean property and promoted the beach as a Portland summer resort. When the Ilwaco railroad was completed in 1889, Holman station on Holman road became a regular passenger stop and was the location of a water tank for the steam engines used by the railroad. The resort was also known as the Willows because of the numerous shrub-like willow trees in the area.

ILWACO: Resort and fishing city on Baker’s Bay/Columbia River. The Chinook Indian name for the site was “No’skwalakuthl.” James Johnson, former Hudson Company bar pilot, moved his family to the site in 1849 and filed a Donation Land Claim. J. D. Holman took a Donation Land Claim on Johnson’s western border in 1851. “Holman’s schoolhouse on Baker’s Bay” was the site of county commissioner meetings from March to May 1855. In 1855 the Holmans moved to Portland and the Johnsons both died. Guardians for the Johnson children sold the claim to Isaac Whealdon and family in 1858. The Whealdons were the only white settlers on the site for several years and the homestead was known to travelers as “Whealdonsburg.” On Nov. 26, 1860, the Pacific City post office, which had been closed in May 1856, was reestablished at Whealdon’s home. The name Pacific City was retained for sentimental reasons until Oct. 21, 1865, when it was changed by the post office department to Unity. The name Unity was applied to the growing community by soldiers at Fort Canby during the Civil War years when their was a great deal of talk of the Union. On March 19, 1873, James D. Holman, who was living in Portland but vacationing yearly on his claim next to Whealdon, subdivided his land and filed the plat of the Town of Ilwaco at the courthouse in Oysterville. The name honored “Elowahka” Jim, an Indian neighbor of Holman and Whealdon. Jim was married to Elowahka, a daughter of one of Chief Concomally’s wives, and was generally known by her name. The post office department made the name official July 18, 1876, when Holman was appointed Postmaster of Ilwaco. In June 1892, Whealdon subdivided his land and filed a plat for the Town of Whealdonsburg but by then the name Ilwaco was the acknowledged name of the town. Whealdon’s street names, which included references to his Quaker faith, local tree types, and the first names of his wife Mary Ann and three daughters, Elizabeth, Eliza, and Adelia, were retained by Ilwaco city fathers, however. Ilwaco was a sawmill and salmon cannery town during its early years, and was the southern terminus of the Ilwaco railroad (1888-1908). Ilwaco was incorporated as a town Dec. 8, 1890. Today, Ilwaco is a charter boat resort with a large commercial fishing fleet.

KLIPSAN BEACH: A resort community on Highway 103 south of Ocean Park. Klipsan is a spelling variation of the Chinook Jargon word “klip sun,” meaning “sunset.” The name was chosen by retired sea captain A. T. Stream in 1912. Stream was promoting a unique “all year resort development” on the Pacific Ocean with “absolutely no saloons” and featuring a confined retail business block, quiet neighborhood streets lined with cottages and bungalows, a commodious hotel, and public buildings. A post office was established Jan. 13, 1912, and continued in operation until April 30, 1919. The resort was next to the Ilwaco Beach Lifesaving Station commanded by station keeper Captain Theodore Conick (1902-13). Theodore, who was married to Amelia Conick, the Postmaster at Klipsan Beach, submitted a petition to the lifesaving service to change the station name to conform with the surrounding community and avoid confusion with the town of Ilwaco, thirteen miles south. The change was finally approved June 11, 1912. The U.S. Lifesaving Station (Coast Guard station after 1915) was in operation at Klipsan from 1889 until closure in the mid-1940s.

KNAPPTON: Abandoned sawmill town overlooking the Columbia River, south of Naselle, on Highway 401. In 1868, Portland businessman Jabez Burrell Knapp, found suitable rocks for the manufacture of cement near the Columbia River home of Job Lamely. Knapp and partners purchased the waterfront site from Francis Hopkinson, a music teacher, and in 1868-69 built a large kiln and a barrel factory to package the cement. Knapp called his manufacturing settlement Cementville. The raw material for making cement proved limited however, and the venture failed after two years. Knapp next organized the Columbia River Manufacturing Company and went into the sawmill business. He continued to make cement and barrels but those works were scaled down. In 1870 Knapp quit his Portland business and moved permanently to the settlement he now called Knappton (contraction of Knapp Town). The name was confirmed when a post office was established April 13, 1871; it was discontinued Nov. 15, 1943. In 1876, the mill was sold to Captain Asa M. Simpson, who eventually sold his interest to the Brix brothers Grays Bay Logging Company in 1909. The onset of the depression crippled the Knappton mill but a mill fire in 1936 closed it for good and destroyed most of the homes on the adjoining hillside as well.

LEBAM: A farming and residential community on Highway 6. Settlers first moved to the site in 1879 and called their little community Half Moon Prairie, or Half Moon Creek. When the post office was established May 26, 1890, postmaster Jotham “Joe” Weeks Goodell was asked to supply a shorter name. Goodell considered vario

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.