Oysterville Restoration Foundation

Visit Oysterville

Plan Your Visit

Oysterville Church

33590 Territory Road, Oysterville, Washington

Visitors are welcome to enjoy the serenity and ambiance Oysterville has to offer. The church is open year-round and every year, hundreds of visitors from all over the world step in the door and back in time.

We invite you to come inside to explore and sit among the pews — listen for reverberations of hymns sung by villagers for over a hundred years.

While visiting, we hope you will sign the church guestbook and help yourself to a Walking Tour brochure. Please consider making a donation (information in the vestibule) to support the maintenance of this historical landmark as well as ORF’s other preservation projects. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Tour Oysterville

The Walking Tour (see below) is an excellent guide through the interesting spots in Oysterville. The lanes, marked Clay Street, Merchant Street, and Division make for an idyllic stroll through Oysterville and provide lovely views of Willapa Bay and the home fronts, as most homes along Territory Road face the bay.


The Oysterville Schoolhouse is the best location for starting your Oysterville tour. Please park in the gravel lot. The schoolhouse and grounds are publicly owned. You are welcome to look in the windows and play in the schoolyard, just as children did a hundred years ago. If the school parking lot is full, you may parallel park along any of the paved roads. You may also parallel park in the grassy lanes, denoted by street signs. Please do not block the lanes, as these are county roads. We also ask that you refrain from driving down the lanes to the bay as the ruts make the lanes difficult to mow and maintain.

Privately-Owned Properties

Oysterville is a community of privately owned homes, and while visitors are welcome to enter the
church and peek through the windows of the school, please respect the privately owned properties and stay on the street side of the picket fences.

Businesses in Oysterville

There are two businesses in Oysterville.

The cannery building is the home of Oysterville Sea Farms. Although no longer a cannery, Oysterville Sea Farms sells fresh oysters and steamer clams straight from the bay. Additionally, Oysterville Sea Farms carries a fresh and diverse specialty food line featuring cranberry condiments, cereals, spices, and breading and much more. Store hours and more information can be found on their website at www.willapawild.com.

The Oysterville Post Office is the oldest post office operating continuously and under the same name in the state of Washington. However, since its beginning in 1858, the post office has never been in a building of its own. It has operated out of private homes, even from the back of a saloon, but most often in association with a general store. Since 1918, it has been in its current location at the west end of the Oysterville Store (not currently operating) just at the foot of Davis Hill.

Post Office
3012 Oysterville Rd
Oysterville, WA 98641 0000

Public Restrooms

The church has a year-round outhouse located a short walk through the churchyard to the back of the building. During the summer, two porta-potties are located near the schoolhouse.

Walking Tour

When you visit Oysterville, stop by the Church to pick up a print copy of this walking tour of Oysterville’s Historic District.

Click here to open a map of the village. The numbered descriptions below correspond with the numbers on the map. While all primary structures are listed here, only those which are on the National Register or are of particular significance are illustrated and described in detail.

1. The Oysterville Church – 1892

Built at a cost of $1500, the church was a gift to the Baptist denomination by R. H. Espy. No regular services have been held here since the mid-1930s. In 1980 the church was rededicated as an ecumenical house of worship. Music Vesper services conducted by ministers from various churches on the peninsula are held Sundays from mid-June through Labor Day Weekend. All are welcome to “come as you are.”

2. Johnson Homesite – 1870 – 1896

The Johnsons were one of many Native American families who lived in Oysterville in its early days.

3. W. D. Taylor House – 1870

This house was constructed by early Loomis Stage Line driver, W. D. Taylor, who later built the Taylor Hotel in Ocean Park. Behind the house are the remains of later owner Tommy Nelson’s commercial oyster smoking business which operated from the 1930s to the mid-1950s.

4. The Red Cottage – 1863

This, the oldest surviving structure in the village, was built by Captain J. W. Munson and until 1875 was the site of Oysterville’s first Pacific County Courthouse. It was once owned by local author Willard R. Espy, a grandson of R.H. Espy. The pink rose on the picket fence is an 1870 variety, “Dorothy Perkins.”

5. Michael Parker House – 1992

6. Chris Freshley Cabin – 1980

7. Larry Freshley Cabin – 1995

8. Ned Osborne House – 1873

Osborne arrived in Oysterville in 1866 aboard the schooner Sailor Boy along with his good friend and neighbor, Charles Nelson. He began building this house for his bride-to-be, continuing to work on it even though she jilted him before the wedding date. When she married another, however, Osborne stopped building and never completed the upstairs bedrooms. He lived a bachelor all his life in this house.

9. Charles Nelson House – 1873

Like his next-door neighbor, Nelson was born in Kalmar, Sweden. The two sailed together as young men, eventually settling in Oysterville. Mrs. Nelson’s lovely garden featured old-fashioned flowers and paths made of sparkling white, crushed native oyster shell. Many Nelson’s descendants live in the area.

10. Nordquist House – 1994

11. The Meadow

In the meadow across from the Red Cottage a stone bench has been placed so that visitors might sit and view the bay. On it, inscribed in Willard Espy’s hand, is a line from his book, The Road to Grandpa’s House.

12. Holway House – 1949

13. Tom Crellin House – 1869

Like many of the old houses in the village, the Tom Crellin house was built of redwood lumber brought north as ballast on oyster schooners out of San Francisco. In 1892, after the Crellin family had moved to California, R. H. Espy purchased the house to serve as a parsonage for the new Baptist church. Since 1902 it has been occupied by Espy descendants.

14. Wachsmuth House & Cottages – 1939

15. Courthouse Sign

This wooden plaque was placed on July 4, 1976 during Oysterville’s bicentennial celebration when the village was granted its National Historic District status. It marks the site of the old Pacific County Courthouse, the first tax-financed building constructed in the county.

16. Oysterville Schoolhouse – 1907

This is the third and last school in Oysterville and was used by Pacific County School District #1 until consolidation in 1957. The first school was a prefabricated building of “red wood” made in California and shipped aboard one of the oyster schooners in 1863. The booming community soon outgrew the “little red schoolhouse” and in 1874 a two-story building was built on this site, serving the community until it burned down in 1905.

17. Hampson House – 1987

18. Wilson-Codega House – 1993

18-A. Hayward House – 2014

19. John Crellin House – 1867

The house was built by Tom Crellin’s older brother using plans he brought from his native Isle of Man. From the bay it is obvious that both Crellin houses (the white and green) were built using the same plans, though younger brother Tom added bay windows and a bit more gingerbread to his. From 1920 until WWII this was the site of the Heckes Inn, listed in the Duncan Hines Travel Guides as an outstanding eating place. The Monterey Cypress trees in front were brought from California in the 1890s as ballast on an oyster schooner.

20. Smith Cabin – c.1920

21. Kepner House – 2004

22. Jacobs House – 1991

23. Kemmer House – c. 1920

24. R. H. Espy House – 1871

Robert Hamilton Espy, co-founder of Oysterville, built this house in 1871, shortly after he married. From 1854 until that time he had lived in a log cabin about 100 feet south and across the road. The “Red House” has remained in the Espy family for six generations.

25. Stoner House – 1905

Dewitt Stoner, a bachelor living with his mother, first built a small house just east of the present house on the same lot and built this larger house when he married. Until recently it was the site of the last remaining windmill in Oysterville – a structure that was part of almost every property before electricity came to the village in the late 1930s.

26. Fire Station – circa 1978

27. Janke House – 1910 

28. Captain Stream House – 1869

A.T. Stream came to this country in 1860 from his native Norway, arriving in the Shoalwater Bay area in 1867. He was in Oysterville at the time of the 1870 census, but lived at various times at Tokeland, South Bend, and finally at Klipsan, which was named by him after the Indian word for sunset. He distinguished himself as a member of the United States Lifesaving Service and was well-known for his racing expertise in the annual regattas sponsored by Oysterville’s Shoalwater Bay Yacht Club.

29. The Bunk House – 1959

30. The Cannery – 1940

The Northern Oyster Company, begun in the 1930s by Ted Holway, Glenn Heckes, and Roy Kemmer, operated as a cannery until 1967. Now it is the home of Oysterville Sea Farms, selling fresh oysters and other local products. Though no longer a cannery, it is the only structure remaining in Oysterville that gives testimony to the settlement’s original reason for being.

31. Friedlander/Thurston House – 1994

32. Eddie Freshley House – 1982

33. de Marcken/Freeman House – 2004

34. Hausler Cabin – 1989

35. Merton Andrews House – c. 1935

36. The Andrews Garage – c. 1900

37. Carl Andrews House – c. 1940

38. The Oysterville Store & Post Office – 1919

The Oysterville Post Office has operated in Oysterville since 1858 and is the oldest continuously run Post Office under the same name in Washington. It has been in its present location since 1919 when Bert and Minnie Andrews began the Oysterville Store.

39. Bert Andrews House – 1907

40. Oysterville Cemetery – 1858

Begun in 1858 on land donated by F.C. Davis, the old section of the cemetery contains the graves of many pioneer families. Near the entrance is the grave of Chief Nahcati who befriended R. H. Espy and showed him the oyster beds and for whom Nahcotta, a village three miles south of here, is named. Just to the south, near the marker which reads “And the sea gave up its dead…” are the graves of unknown sailors who washed ashore nearby in the early days of Oysterville.

 Thanks to Sydney Stevens for this text and to Patricia Fagerland for her illustrations.

The R. H. Espy House, built in 1871 and #24 on the walking tour.
Summer Vespers

The Vespers season runs from Father’s Day through Labor Day. Services are on Sundays at 3 p.m. at the church. Enjoy music, company, and stories from Oysterville residents and friends as they share a special “Oysterville Moment.” All are welcome to attend.

The church is a vital community center for the village and often serves as a gathering place for celebrations and town business meetings. It is the focus of ORF’s resources and all proceeds collected from the “poor box,” vespers services, and rentals are prioritized for its upkeep. ORF also maintains several open spaces throughout the village.

Regional Tourism Resources

Discovery Awaits on the Long Beach Peninsula

The Peninsula offers visitors shops, great seafood, comfortable lodging, small museums, horseback riding, and an expansive beach. It is home to a new national park, two historic lighthouses, renowned restaurants, cranberry bogs, and oyster farms. 

Learn more at www.funbeach.com

The Official Website of the Chinook Tribe

More than forty Chinook settlements existed in Pacific County in Southwest Washington at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Those groups that lived around Shoalwater Bay came to the northern part of the North Beach Peninsula to gather salmon berries and to hunt seal. They called the area near Oysterville “Tsako-Te-Hahsh-Eetl” – Place of the Red-topped Grass. 

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

The purpose of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is “to preserve and interpret the heritage of the Columbia Pacific region, including the lower Columbia River and adjacent coastal areas of southwestern Washington, northwestern Oregon, with special emphasis on the Columbia’s north shore, the Long Beach Peninsula and vicinity of Willapa Bay in Pacific County, Washington

Columbia River Maritime Museum

Located in Astoria, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is to collect and preserve historical and cultural maritime material relevant to the Columbia River, and to display and interpret selected material from the collections for the education and enjoyment of the public. 

Northwest Carriage Museum

You are invited to explore the world of the 19th century traveler at the Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond, WA. The museum is home to 25 beautifully restored vehicles, many the “Cadillacs of their day” with ivory door locks, brocade trim, and leather interiors.

Pacific County, Washington

Pacific County was established February 4, 1851 by the Oregon Territorial Legislature — before there was a Washington State or even a Washington Territory. Oysterville served as the third Pacific County seat from 1855 until 1892 at which time South Bend became the fourth and final location for county government headquarters. The County’s official website provides links to various boards and commissions as well as statistical information.

The Pacific County Historical Society

The Pacific County Historical Society is a private, not-for-profit, charitable organization devoted to preserving and presenting the history of Pacific County, Washington. Their museum, located in the county seat of South Bend, features exhibits covering natural history, local Indian history, transportation, natural resources, communities, maritime, and cultural history. The Society’s quarterly publication, the Souwester, is an excellent source for Pacific County history.