Locating the Oysterville Church

May 20, 2014 | 0 comments

Oysterville Church Steeple

Oysterville Church Steeple

One of life’s lessons that I seemingly need to learn over and over is that what is obvious to me may not be apparent at all to someone else. A case in point came along in this morning’s email – a forwarded query from the Oysterville Restoration Foundation website. A young woman named Setria James send a pdf copy of her soon-to-be-published coloring book, Doodles Evergreen State Coloring Fun.

Her explanatory note said that she is a Texas author-illustrator and that this “tourist coloring book” will feature attractions and official state symbols. She went on to say; “I’m contacting you as Oysterville Church has been selected to be featured in Doodles Evergreen State Coloring Fun as one of the attractions. I would like to get permission to move forward with this idea. Attached is the working manual for review. Please see page 20 to get a better understanding as to how the content will appear once published.”

Let me say right here that Ms. James gets high marks for running this by the Oysterville Restoration Foundation. As it turns out, there is a slight error on page 20. Although the full-page to-be-colored illustration of the church is quite accurate, the text in the upper left corner of the page says “City: Ocean Park, WA.” I sent the correction and hope that the book has yet to go to press.

Entrance to Oysterville

Entrance to Oysterville

This is not the first time that our church has been mis-located. More than once I have seen pictures of the Oysterville Church labeled as such but also saying that the building is in “Nahcotta, WA” – both in books and on postcards. I can’t quite wrap my mind around that. The only explanation that seems feasible is that whoever is mis-identifying the location has no idea that Oysterville is a separate town four miles to Nahcotta’s north. But then, how did they get the photograph of the church?

On the other hand, more than one visitor to our little village has stood on the road right in front of the church and asked me, “Where is Oysterville?” When I respond, “You’re in it,” they look at me in disbelief. I think that Greg probably gets the same question over and over again at the Oysterville Store. And then there are the people who go looking for the church out by the ocean thinking that Surfside (which they invariably call Surfsides with an ‘s’) is Oysterville and they are looking for ‘downtown.’

I am reminded, too, of a roofer who was working on our house not too many years ago. He was nearly forty, he told me, and had lived his whole life in Long Beach, fourteen-and-a-half miles away. “I’ve never been here before,” he said. “It’s really nice.”

“Amen to that!” said I.

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