Willapa Bay Oyster House
Sponsored and Administered by the Port of Peninsula
Open from Memorial Day Weekend
10 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
Come visit a replica of the residence of Oystermen and their families. Learn what it was like to live in a home built on pilings over the water. Be informed about this 145-year-old industry on Washington State's southwestern most bay. Study the estuary and its wildlife. Click here for information on the Great Washington Birding Trail.
Tour Buses, Schools groups and other groups are welcome on weekdays by appointment. Contact:
When they're attempting to gaze into the past, many people in frustration find themselves crying out "if only the walls could talk." Well, at the new Willapa Bay Interpretive Center in Nahcotta, the walls do just that.
Rather than bog people down with extensive dates, documents and details, the center features quotes from numerous oyster family pioneers and their ancestors, which weave more than 100 years of tales about the profitable industry on Willapa Bay and the families involved. The center opened in May of 1993 in a replica of an oyster station house.
Years ago, Mrs. A. Douglas King of Ocean Park donated the last oyster station house on Willapa Bay to the Port of Peninsula in hopes an exhibit on the 150-year history of oyster growing on the bay would be housed there. The station proved unusable, so a replica was built on the breakwater in Nahcotta.
The walls of the interpretive center are covered with quotes, old photographs, a chronology of the oyster industry and a 20-foot mural of the bay. Among the artifacts in the center is a 14-foot double-ended Shoalwater Bay dinghy built in the late 1920s by Dan Louderback Sr. of South Bend. Oyster tongs, baskets and a rake --tools of the oystering trade -- sit in the boat.
The center's display was created by artist Nancy Lloyd of Oysterville. She pulled the tidbits of oyster industry and oyster family history from hours of 20-year-old taped conversations with "old timers." The center also features a seven-minute videotape overview of the oyster industry and Willapa Bay's ecology generated by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which helped fund the project.
The cedar-sided center is one of the few spots on the bay other than Leadbetter Point that visitors can find easy access to the rocky shores and muddy floors of the bay on non-private property. A stairway allows access to the bay.
~ article compliments of the Chinook Observer