Shoalwater Bay Yacht Club? APRIL FOOL!!

Apr 1, 2023 | 2 comments

A bit of April Fool’s history?

Perhaps you have seen the sign on the west side of the Taylor Hotel that identifies it as the Shoalwater Bay Yacht Club.  Or perhaps you have visited the Shoalwater Bay Yacht Club website which says, among other things:  Established 1877. Rejuvenated 2023.  We are a yacht club that is open to the public!

Wow!  And right in the heart of Ocean Park, too.  Not really within sight of Shoalwater Bay, though.  And, says the logo, it was “established in 1877” at the Taylor Hotel which wasn’t built until 1886.  And it was in Ocean Park which didn’t exist even as a Methodist Campground until 1883.  I am so confused.

To convolute matters even further — there really was a Shoalwater Bay Yacht Club established “in the early ’70s… (1870s that is) with headquarters at Oysterville.”   And the annual regattas that have been held in Oysterville for the past twenty years were established by Oysterville residents with deep roots here to honor those early Shoalwater Bay Yacht Club regattas.  I doubt if it has ever occurred to any of them to consider a Headquarters in Ocean Park.

Oyster boats called plungers were used in the first regattas in the early 1870s.

Did “headquarters” in Oysterville in the early 1870s mean that they had a building?  So far, there is no evidence to substantiate that idea.  And, Ocean Park is not mentioned at all in the Regattas’ historic record.  Oh!  Wait!  There was no Ocean Park in the early 1870s.

Interesting that it was all brought to my attention today.  Does that mean someone will soon say “April Fool!” and it will go away?  Or is it more like convoluting history — one of those “George Washington Slept Here” sorts of promotional deals?  (When I was a kid, every hotel on the Eastern Seaboard seemed to sport one of those signs.  I wonder if it really did help the bottom line of those establishments.)

Well, to those of us trying to shed a little light on our actual (and truly amazing) history, this convoluted version of a small piece of it seems really weird — at least to me.


  1. Kristina Jones

    Beloved Cuz! You Go Girl! The Nerve! The Very Idea! Sheesh. I am so disappointed in the establishment that hacked together this slur on the original Oysterville Yacht Club! I hope you will publish this heresy in the Chinook Observer…other old time peninsulites will agree fully and completely. I am hot and bothered and salute you, Sydney, for your forthrightness, accuracy and Excellent Reportage. Get ’em!!! Love, KK

    • sydney

      Beloved Kris,
      Interestingly, only you and Cousin Ralph have responded with any outrage at all. Ralph’s take was that this is concrete proof (along with the “elite” garden tour last year) that the Peninsula is being gentrified… He’s probably right. I have more thoughts on that subject but will save them until we can have a proper in-person-rant!
      Love, S.


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