The following article by John Goodenberger with photos by Alex Pajunas appeared in the February 28, 2014 issue of Our Coast Magazine.
Located on the Willapa Bay side of the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington, Oysterville appears much as it did more than a century ago. The town was established in 1854 by Robert Espy and Isaac Clark, who were guided to the area by Chinook Chief Nahcati.
Espy and Clark harvested oysters and shipped them to gold-rich San Francisco. An immediate success, Oysterville became a boomtown. However, its life was brief. By the late 1880s, the business collapsed and the small town was virtually abandoned.
Today, the massive wharves and canneries are gone, but a fine collection of homes from the 1870s remains. Tucked beneath ancient Monterey cypress trees beside grassy wetlands, the village has the feel of time forgotten. Don’t miss the chance to step inside its beautifully maintained church or to stroll through the cemetery on the hill.
Self-guided walking tour brochures are available within the church narthex.