WHERE IS OYSTERVILLE?

Map of Willapa Bay

Map of Willapa Bay

Oysterville Cannery - click for larger image

Oysterville Sea Farms Cannery (1974)

Oysterville is located in the lost corner of southwest Washington State.  It is the most northern settlement on the North Beach Peninsula, which has the mighty Columbia River on its south, the Pacific Ocean on its west, and Willapa Bay on its east. Once you are on the Peninsula, drive north on Highway 103 until you reach a T-stop at Oysterville Road. Turn right driving east toward Willapa Bay. The road makes a gentle bend and turns into First Street.

GEM OF THE BAY: OYSTERVILLE

The 80-acre Oysterville National Historic District and the areas immediately adjacent to it are the heart of Oysterville. With Willapa Bay as its backdrop, the historic district feels like a movie back lot version of a 19th century coastal community. In fact, some structures actually are from the 19th century. Eight houses, a church, the Oysterville cannery and a one-room schoolhouse are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Though Oysterville is a ghost town, it has life. Oysterville's post office is the oldest continuously operating post office in Washington state. The Oysterville Store sells groceries, souvenirs and gifts and is open year round. Oysterville Sea Farms sells seafood from its farms and specialty foods from its bakery daily.

The Oysterville Church is open everyday of the year. The Oysterville cannery and all eight of the houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places create almost constant activity as they are maintained and repaired by their private owners. similar efforts are made by non-profit organizations to maintain and repair the church and one-room schoolhouse.

The Oysterville Church Summer Vespers are presented at 3 p.m. every Sunday from Father's Day through Labor Day. The services are open to everyone. The Jazz and Oyster  festival is held annually in August and features great Northwest jazz being played on the lawn of the Oysterville School. Proceeds from the jazz and Oyster festival help support the Water Music Festival. The Water Music Festival's most popular concerts are the Oysterville church concerts, held in late October.

It was the California Gold Rush of 1849 that drew significant numbers of settlers of European descent to Oysterville. Gold miners loved to spend their gold on Willapa Bay oysters. Settlers and Chinook Peoples gladly filled schooners with oysters to be shipped to San Francisco.

Going into its 153rd year, Oysterville exists primarily as a state of mind. A walk through Oysterville can reveal the supremacy of nature; evoking connections to generations gone by, while subtly forecasting the folly of generations present and future. visitors often find themselves seeking sanctuary in the peace and insight they discovered here, long after they have left Oysterville.

 

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