History of Rockaway Beach, Oregon
Before the jetties were built in the early 1900's, there was a wide sandy beach all the way from Garibaldi to Nehalem Bay. This beach served as the only access to this area, which was then known as "Garibaldi Beaches." Named after Rockaway Beach on Long Island in New York, the community of Rockaway was established as a seaside resort in 1909 by the Rockaway Beach Company.
After several unsuccessful plans for a railroad line from Portland to Tillamook, the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company promoted by Elmer E. Lytle opened to Hillsboro in 1906, and the first steam engine was delivered to the Tillamook end about 1907. The coastal land homestead claims, once considered near worthless, took on a new value, and a flurry of subdividing into townsites took place from 1909 on. About 1910, the Pacific Railway and Navigation line ran flatcars as far as Salmonberry, and the first train from Portland arrived in Tillamook in October, 1911. The railroad was the vital factor in the development of the Rockaway area.
The first passenger train came to Rockaway in 1912. Prior to the railroad, it was a 2 week journey from Portland along the Wilson River Trail and the steam train quickly became the main mode of transportation to the coastal communities. At all the beach resorts in those days, it was quite an occasion when the Friday afternoon train arrived, bringing the daddies who were joining their families for the weekend, thus earning the name of "Daddy-Train." The train left Portland around 9 a.m. and arrived in the Rockaway area about 2:30 p.m. with the help of an extra engine, "The Seashore Special", to get over the summit.
Compiled from "Memories of Rockaway Oregon By the Sea" by Rosamary Walker