Check out this wonderful article from Bridget Otto of the Oregonian, that showcases 2010’s Cannon Beach Cottage Tour. We had a more successful year than ever with the event this year – selling out of tickets for the FIRST TIME EVER! Thanks to all the wonderful homeowners, volunteers, staff members, and everyone else who contributed to a banner year for the Cottage Tour! If you are interested in being on the planning committee for 2011’s Cottage Tour, please contact Grace Saad at 503-436-9301, comment below, or email

Revisit Cannon Beach’s storied past through a tour of cottages

Published: Thursday, September 09, 2010, 7:20 AM
LOOK BACK: Although the fireplace came after the house was moved
from Guild’s Lake to Cannon Beach, the remainder of the Moon-Shell
Cottage represents the World War II era in which it was built. Cottage tour gallery (6 photos)

CANNON BEACH — At the Moon-Shell Cottage, just one house back from the ocean’s edge, history has been preserved as much as possible.

The exposed ceiling shows off the original truss work that held up the roof when the cottage served as housing for shipbuilders at Guild’s Lake in Northwest Portland during World War II.

Most of the original fir floors run throughout the quaint but sturdy three-bedroom cottage that is one of seven properties on the 2010 Cottage Tour, on Saturday.

Each of the cottages harks back to a different time in the history of the beach town, says Dick Frank, who will be this year’s presenter — or storyteller, as he prefers.

The cottages date from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, Frank says.


WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 11
WHERE: Luncheon and lecture at noon at Tolovana Inn: 3400 S. Hemlock
WALKING TOUR: The self-guided tour runs from 1 to 4 p.m.
TICKETS: Contact the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum: 503-436-9301

Frank, who retired after years in risk management and moved from Portland to the north coast in 2003, says the history on the cottages is as confirmed as possible through county records, but much of the information is oral history.

The Moon-Shell Cottage landed on its site sometime after World War II. Story has it that after the war, the city of Portland sold the houses at Guild’s Lake for $500 each, which included moving the house anywhere within 100 miles of Portland. This particular cottage was owned by a woman with three children. The children had no interest in the cottage after their mother died, and it went neglected for years, with squatters staking a claim and brambles nearly encasing the place.

In the ’80s a Cannon Beach couple bought it and fixed it up. The current owner finished that task, outfitting the cabin with today’s luxuries such as beautiful bedding, an up-to-date shower and stackable washer and dryer, but she didn’t forget she was outfitting a 1940s-era beach cottage.

The furnishings, materials and sea glass collection are a deep bow to the cabin’s location and fit perfectly into the tiny home. Gentle sea breezes flow through each of the lovingly furnished bedrooms, while the original front door is closed off to prevent the not-so-gentle south wind from roaring into the house.

The tour, which benefits the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum, is a “tour through time,” Frank says.

Two other stops on the tour:

• The Meili Cottages are believed to have been housing for the workers who built the Arch Cape Tunnel in the late ’30s.

• History practically floods the Wave Crest Inn, which served as a hotel, grocery store, soda fountain and bus stop through the years. In 2000, the current owner started restoring the property to its original grandeur.

Frank says he hopes the tour shows the spirit of the people who have been coming to this part of the coast for ages.

And it hasn’t always been an easy trek.

In the late 1800s, Frank says, many families came to Seaside for the entire summer. They came by boat and train, which got the nickname “The Daddy Train” because the fathers would arrive on Saturday to spend the weekends with the family before returning to Portland to work.

Saturday’s tour begins with a lecture and luncheon at the Tolovana Inn, which has a bit of its own history. Originally on this site was the Warren Hotel, built in 1911 by the Warren brothers. Their first guest was Oregon’s 14th governor, Oswald West.

Frank, who has been in several productions at the Coaster Theatre in town, says they are going to have some fun with that information during the luncheon and lecture.

“It’s all about life at the beach,” he says with his ever-present grin.