OCEAN SHORES, WASHINGTON
Ocean Shores is located on a peninsula comprising 6,000 acres, 6 miles long and 2 miles wide with accreted tideland. It is on the Northwest side of Grays Harbor.
Native Americans of the coast region and the Chehalis Valley historically used this area for food gathering, trading and socializing. Seasonal villages dotted the peninsula.
Captain Robert Gray, a Boston trader, sailed the ship Columbia to anchor inside the harbor in May 1792. The “Lone Tree” spruce, located near the tip of the peninsula, was a landmark for Gray and other ships for more than a century.
Matthew McGee was the first non-native person to live on the peninsula permanently, settling here about 1860. A.O. Damon settled in the area near the present-day North Beach High School in 1861; in 1878 he acquired the southern peninsula tip from McGee. Damon thus owned the entire peninsula.
A pier was built near the southern tip and later another was built on the bay side near the northern end. Supplies and mail came across by boat from Hoquiam and thence on land north to settlements including Taholah and Quinault.
The 1st North Jetty was constructed from 1903-1916 and rebuilt from 1941-1945. Major rehabilitation work was completed in the 1970’s and in 2000.
The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army had military facilities on the southern end of the peninsula during WW II. They were located in the vicinity of the present-day Coastal Interpretive Center.
In 1929, Damon’s grandson, Ralph Minard and his wife Ruth, took over the land as a cattle ranch. The ranch was in operation by the Minard family until the land was sold to a group of developers in 1960.
Planning and development of the new community of Ocean Shores began immediately. Surveys were done and plat maps were completed, and residential lot sales began immediately after that. At the same time the lakes and canals were dredged. Construction of the first hotel began in 1961. The marina was constructed in 1963. Ocean Shores became an incorporated city in 1970.