Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

A report came in about trucks on the beach. Come to find out, it’s just the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department’s usual beach monitoring. Jeremy Wright of the Parks Department said they send a vehicle out on regular patrols to check for changes on the beach, things that need to be removed, or anything that calls for enforcement activities. The latter category would include riding e-bikes on our beach; they are considered motorized vehicles, which are prohibited on Cape Meares beach. Thanks, Parks Department, for keeping things safe here.

Several ladies from Cape Meares visited the first of the holiday bazaars at the Tillamook Fairgrounds earlier this month. It is amazing how creative people can be. Everything from lifelike paintings of wildlife on wood to homemade jams and jellies to lovingly knit hats and quilted blankets; such fun to wander through the aisles and find a few treasures.

I was glad to see Claudia Harrison occupying her usual corner in the big hall. Claudia has a connection to our area. Her paternal grandfather was Del Burdick. Del married into the Biggs family, a family with long roots in Tillamook/Cape Meares. In fact, the original two-story Biggs home still stands on Bayocean Road and has been beautifully restored over the last few years. Claudia was told that Grandma and Grandpa Burdick occasionally helped the lighthouse keeper at the Cape Meares Lighthouse by chopping wood for him.

Claudia grew up as one of 12 children and remembers the family living in the tent city in the old town of Bayocean at one time. She recalls her dad, whose work was in lumbering and sawmills, being ill with rheumatic fever and her mother and an older brother collecting driftwood from the beach to keep a fire going. When times were tough, the family was still able to eat by gathering clams, catching fish and crab, and shooting ducks. Early on, before Bayocean Road was built, people living on Bayocean Spit had to get to Tillamook by boat.

Now Claudia and one younger sister are the only ones living out of those dozen children. Although widowed a few years back, Claudia is still energetic and full of life, as attested to by her large collection of beautifully sewn items for sale at the bazaar. Thank you for letting me share this bit of history in the Fencepost column, Claudia Harrison.

Thanksgiving is fast upon us, and two individuals in our community are especially thankful. Both Ciel Downing and Kate Merz have moved into their new homes. Ciel now lives on 4th Street northwest and Kate on 8th Street northwest. We all know how new construction can have delays, obstacles and unexpected costs. Congrats for getting to the finish line, ladies.

Some December dates to put on your calendar, all at the old schoolhouse: Cape Meares holiday potluck and white elephant gift exchange on Dec. 7, caroling party on Dec. 17, and the New Year’s Eve finger food potluck and silent auction on Dec. 31. Happy holidays!

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