~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #216: Urban Environments ~ From the “Wild Wild West” ~


If we go by the definition that a town is “an urban area that has a name, defined boundaries, and local government”, my choice for this week’s challenge, Oysterville, once was an urban environment. In it’s heyday it was a prosperous fishing community. Now a tourist destination with a thriving Oyster fishery, Oysterville is on the National Registry of Historic Districts in the USA.

“For generations before the pioneer settlers arrived, Chinook Indians gathered oysters in this part of Willapa Bay and camped in the area that is now Oysterville. The first white settlers here were Robert Hamilton Espy and Isaac Alonzo Clark. Chief Klickeas showed them reef upon reef of tiny native oysters that grew on the shallow bay bottom. Espy and Clark marketed the bivalves in gold-rich, oyster-hungry San Francisco. In no time, Oysterville became a rowdy, lusty boomtown. By 1855 its population and importance were such that it became the seat of Pacific County, Washington Territory. The town had many firsts – a school, college, newspaper, and finally, in 1872, a church – First Methodist.” (Oysterville Restoration Foundation/ORF)

“The Oysterville Church (above) was construction in 1892. Hundreds of visitors from all over the world sign the guest book every year and the “poor box”, located in the church vestibule, has long been a reliable source of revenue, helping to pay for the historic structure’s ongoing maintenance.” (ORF)

Robert Hamilton Espy, co-founder of Oysterville, built his house (above) in 1871. Constructed of California redwood, the “Red House” has remained in the Espy family for six generations. (ORF)

Built in 1865 by Captain J.W. Munson, until 1875 the structure (above) was the site of Oysterville’s first Pacific County Courthouse. As you can see, when I visited 9/15/2022, the gardens were glorious!

The John Crellin House (above), built of redwood in 1867, was the site of the Heckes Inn from 1920 until WWII, which was listed in the Duncan Hines Travel Guides as an outstanding eating place. (ORF)

Top Left: The Oysterville Schoolhouse (1907) was the third and last school in Oysterville. Top Right: The Oysterville Post Office has operated in Oysterville since 1858 and is the oldest continuously run Post Office (under the same name) in the state of Washington, and has been located in the Oysterville Store since 1919. Bottom: The Northern Oyster Company, originally a cannery, is now the home of Oysterville Sea Farms, where the oysters are as fresh as they get. The Cannery building (1940) is the only structure remaining in Oysterville that gives testimony to the town’s original reason for being! (ORF)

A mound of oyster shells slowly being assimilated into the landscape.

Though a bit of a side step from the theme, I hope you enjoy this little journey through a small charming town in the wilds of Washington State, USA. Thanks to Sofia Alves of photographias for this weeks challenge!

Wherever you explore, in big cities or small towns, please honor our earth, be kind and stay safe.🐾

This entry was posted in history, Lens-Artists, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, pacific northwest, photography, travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to ~ Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #216: Urban Environments ~ From the “Wild Wild West” ~

  1. Ralph Becker says:

    I always wanted to get down there. Have you ever read ames G. Swann?

    • Lindy Le Coq says:

      Hi Ralph, I haven’t read James G. Swann, though in just looking him up it appears I would enjoy his work. I have studied NW Salish Art and Culture since a class I took at UW! Way back, in the waaaayyy baaaack machine 🙂

      • Ralph Becker says:

        Swann is fascinating, and includes his ime in Neah Bay, one of my favorite places. He’s a wonderful early voice in the Washington wilderness.

  2. Prior... says:

    I liked your little side step from the theme and Oystervilr seems like a great place to visit for such fun history

  3. Tina Schell says:

    LOL not what we might think of as urban but thanks to your text and images an excellent choice! The oyster mound at the end really tells a story along with your other images and text. I have to add though that it makes me sad to think about the generous native Americans who shared the wealth with the settlers but are barely a mention in the town’s history.

  4. JohnRH says:

    Great history tour. I guess that redwood must be good wood with which to build.

  5. Sofia Alves says:

    I always find fascinating this type of houses, so lovely. Thank you for the history too, it makes it all the more interesting, especially that oyster mound.

  6. Jeff Cornwell says:

    Wonderful and Beautiful history of this little town. ❤️

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