As the 1989 centennial anniversary of Washington State approached, the timber and fishing industries that had supported the Long Beach Peninsula were in decline. Hoping to attract tourists, Ilwaco Port Director Bob Peterson spearheaded an effort to “paint larger-than-life murals on the exterior walls of buildings.”
Painted in 1986 by artist Thomas J. Teitge of Hailey, Idaho, this mural was a “window into the past” on the side of what had been the Doupé general goods store in Ilwaco. “Starting on the left side of the work, a contemporary child carrying a skateboard is walking toward the scene of downtown Ilwaco, circa 1920, complete with the narrow gauge railroad running down Main Street.”
The building has been unoccupied for many years, though it seems to be under perpetual renovation. I was sad to see that the above mural has been scraped away, leaving only hints of the original painting.
The above restored triptych, on the side of Long Beach Pharmacy in the center of downtown, depicts 1920’s era beachcombers and clam diggers.
This large mural by William Garnett, depicts net fishermen with horse seiners. It is on the side of what is now the Olde Town Trading Post coffee shop building in Ilwaco. When I drove by this week, I noticed scaffolding along the wall. I can only hope the mural is being restored. What a shame it would be to lose this illustration of peninsula history.
Painted by Colin Williams, this mural on the side of the Long Beach Elks Lodge depicts a historic shipwreck near Cape Disappointment, where the Columbia River enters the Pacific Ocean. Known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific,” thick fog banks, strong currents and waves, and powerful winds have been the peril of many ships since exploration began in the 15th century.
Painted Pacific County, Damian Mulinix, The Chinook Observer, July 25, 2017.The Long Beach Peninsula, Donella J. Lucero and Nancy L. Hobbs, Arcadia Publishing, 2004.
Wishing everyone safe travels. Please be kind and stay safe.🐾
Thanks to Patti for another opportunity to shine a little light onto the history of this place I call “The Edge of a Continent.”