Thursday, June 18, 2009
OYSTERVILLE AND LONG BEACH
Sydney Stevens, tour writer, describes historic Oysterville so: Oysterville was a rip-roarin' town in those days. There were those who lived in "sin" and those who lived to be "saved" - about an even division. When the church was dedicated, the hard drinkers abandoned the saloons, marched in a body to the church, put their gold pieces in the collection plate, and returned to what they considered more stimulating than praying-drinking.
The Long Beach Peninsula is long and narrow, (about 28 miles long and 2 miles wide.) It has a Pacific Ocean side and a Willapa Bay (freshwater) side with Cape Disappointment at its Southern tip. Oysterville is now quiet and picturesque with old historic buildings, the oldest working Post Office, and graveyard. The Postmistress was helpfully kind to me, and gave me a cache of Oysterville for my stamp collection. The whole town site is now on the National Historic Registry and thus preserved for all of us. The oysters, once depleted are now farmed with dredges, cranes and huge oyster baskets. We bought them fresh along with steamer clams to take back to the motor home for dinner. The Methodist Church opened in 1897,
A pass by the cemetery and you realize people are unique, live or dead, and that the dead still speak to those who visit.
Most people come here to play, with many vacation homes and permanent campsites along the Pacific side. Long Beach reminds me of other Beach Towns before they got too sophisticated. Fast food joints, bumper cars, a carousel. Fun in the sand, throwing frisbies for your dog, horse back riding, buggy rides. Along with your paper bowl of street chowder, the smells of cotton candy, salt water taffy and popcorn fill the air. A signature tacky joint called Marsh's Free Museum lure you in with a million thrills like Alligator Man, the two headed calf, 5cent machine hucksters and cheap souveniers- Oh, kid heaven.
Heaven for us was the oysters. We were told they'd open in 3 minutes on a barbeque. Not!! Lying cook books claim they will open on a hot barbeque within 6 minutes. After 15 minutes Jim hammared the first 6 apart. The next batch went into the steamer and they didn't read the lying cook book either. They came out much better with a screw driver after the six minutes was up. With sour dough bread, the juice from the steamer clams, nicely laced with white wine, garlic, lemon juice, onion powder, tobasco and worcheshire sauce. Hey, delicious and what the heck. We laughed the whole time at our efforts, wondering if our neighbors were also laughing at our ignorance.