• Cannon Beach History dates back to the Native tribe who lived in the area before Europeans arrived

The Cannon Beach history is one of the chapters of overall Oregon's history, from Indigenous Americans and first pioneers to the present day.

Native Americans of the Area and the Arrival of First Europeans

Fascinating Cannon Beach History dates back to the American Tillamook people who lived in the area before first Europeans arrived. According to anthropological and archaeological research, the first ancestors of the Native Tillamook tribe occupied this areas since the 15th century.

At the beginning of 1805, William Clark visited Cannon Beach with his men. They spent the winter at Fort Clatsop about 20 miles north near the mouth of the Columbia River. In December 1805 two expedition members return to camp from a successful trade with Tillamook people near the mouth of Ecola Creek. On January 10th, 1806 Clark himself ventured to meet and trade with natives. The whale sculpture was later placed in Cannon Beach to commemorate this event.

The original name settlers gave Cannon Beach was in fact, Elk Creek. Modern-day Ecola Creek was named Ekoli by Clark after Chinook "Ehkoli" which stands for "whale". Community members renamed it Elk Creek and named the community the same way.

The town's contemporary name originates from a cannon that washed ashore in the late 19th century. The cannon was from a US Navy schooner Shark that had sunk in the area in 1846, and it surfaced on the beach near what is now Ecola State Park in 1898. The cannon was later removed and now it is on the display at the museum in town. In 1922, the town was renamed Cannon Beach and Elk Creek was renamed Ecola Creek to keep the name Clark originally gave it.

Cannon Beach

Tsunami Flood in 1964

In 1964, Cannon Beach was flooded by the tsunami created by the Good Friday earthquake. Flood water washed away the highway bridge over Ecola Creek and heavily damaged parts of the city. The north end of Cannon Beach suffered the most damage to the point where some houses were torn from the foundation. This event was the reason for the sand castle contest to boost residents' morale and attract visitors after the disaster.

Modern-Day Cannon Beach

Nowadays Cannon Beach is a popular place to visit on the northern Oregon Coast. Rich history, many things to do in and outside of the city, beautiful landscapes, and a nearly unlimited number of outdoor activities to choose from attract visitors throughout the entire year.

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