Classic Ridge Beach Company

Name: Classic Ridge Beach Company
Class: G6
GPS:Latitude: 45.7387184, Longitude: -123.912357
Directions: Classic Ridge was located “on a sand dune between Manzanita and Neahkahnie.” The GPS directions put it about a mile north east of Manzanita.

Based on plat maps, most of the town is now the northern part of modern day Manzanita. College Avenue was the northern border of the platted town, while Ocean Avenue is the southern border. Epoh Avenue is the general eastern border, while an now non-existent “Second Street” was the western. All of the numbered streets have been renamed. The GPS coordinates above would have been the North Eastern corner of the land claim that would become Classic Ridge.

Classic Ridge Beach Company

A heavily modified version of the town’s original Plat Map. Note that lots have been vacated and streets “erased.”


“The Sunday Oregonian, July 27th, 1920.

“Manzanita, Or. June 26 – (Special) – The season opened auspiciously at this beach with every indication of a lively summer. Many of the cottages at Manzanita and Classic Ridge already are filled for the entire season, and new arrivals are being welcomed daily. The convenient location of this report makes it a favorite stopover spot for motoring and hiking parties on the way to or from the Tillamook beaches and (A)storia and Seaside.
Mr. and Mr.s Robert Dobbings and sons, Nathan and Merle, and Mrs. E. Carr arrived Tuesday from Pasadena to spend the summer as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Kardell.
Bideawee cottage on Classic Ridge has been opened for the summer by Mrs. Frank Beard, her son Warren and daughter Opal of Oregon City.
J.H. Edwards of Portland is spending a fortnight vacation at his cottage.
Sheltered in the Miller cottage for the season are Mr. and Mrs. George Smith of Salem.
At their cottage, Lone Pine, for the coming week are Mr. and Mrs. Roy Peterson and son Darrol of Gresham. With Mr. and Mrs. Peterson as their guests are Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Bruger, also of Gresham.
For the coming fortnight the Calkins tent will shelter Mr. and Mrs. H.G. Irwin of Portland
A picnic was held on the beach last week by the students of Nehalem high school and their principal, Mr. English. A bountiful luncheon was served. The afternoon was spent in competitive games.
Installed in their cottage La Paloma for a two weeks’ outing are Mr. And Mrs. H.L. Hartman of Portland
Mr and Mrs. Elmer Pease of Portland were recent guests.
Occupying the Fred Fieldhouse cottage for the entire summer are John Fieldhouse and niece, Miss Alberta Allen, both of Gresham.
During July and August the Landis cottage will house Ciara I. Landow and her mother, both of Portland”

This article/advertisement was merely one in a long line of similar articles put out by the Classic Ridge Beach Company to advertise the resort town of Classic Ridge. The location was first discovered by Alice Weister and her sister Louise Edwards who came to Nehalem and spent two weeks there in early September 1909. This started a long love affair between the two sisters and their families over the area.

By August 1910, Louise Edwards and her husband, J.H. Edwards had purchased 200 acres from homesteaders John Gerritse and William, had built a large two story house that would become known as “The Club” or “The Beacon Club,” in person and as the “Classic Ridge Beach House” in print. It sat where modern day Highway 101 and Laneda Avenue intersect with a view of near by Neahkahnie Lake. They had renamed the lake to King Edward’s Lake in those days.

Louise Edwards had founded The Oregon Conservatory of Music of Portland and J.H. Edwards was it’s President. They dreamed of using Classic Ridge as a summer campus for the Conservatory to attract cultured residents with an interest in the arts. This is did quite well, concert singer Mrs. Sue Penegor Fowle sang there and The Club was well known for it’s concerts. It was also known for it’s guests literary interests and conservationist efforts. Two notable guests were Herman T. Bohlman, who has several paintings in the Portland Art Museum and was a noted photographer. He collaborated with William Finley to establish bird refuges on the coast.

The Edwards had surveyor Poysky plat out the town in 1911. Poysky’s name still graces one of the streets, as does his daughter’s name, Hope, spelled backwards. By August 1911 they had sold 210 of the 400 lots in town. Alice Weister, and her husband photographer Geroge Weister, built a cottage on Laneda in 1912. Anna Darrah built a cottage in 1915 that still stands at the corner of College and Greenridge. Doctor Henry Reinhardt built a fish hatchery in 1921 after purchasing land around the lake in 1915. He also had built a small dairy farm, a coal mine, and raised lilies in the lake that he exported around the world.

The Oregonian is full of ads over the next decade about Classic Ridge. Every summer ads had lists of names of Portland residents and beyond who had spent time in Classic Ridge. Tents and small cottages could be rented out for a week or the entire summer. And the railroad “coming soon,” was bragged about many times.

The Edwards were not beyond a bit of gratuitous self promotion. Each of these articles would frequently say “J.H. Edwards, spent the last two weeks in his cottage.” In addition his wife, Louise Hope Hurlbert Edwards, would be mentioned in the paper multiple times under different variations of her name. She went by Lucy and Lucia, not to mention Mrs. J.H. Edwards, and Mrs. Hurlbert-Edwards. Frequently two or more of these variations were mentioned in the same article!

The last of these advertisements stopped in 1922. By then the promised railroad had failed to come and Clear Ridge along with the other planned beach communities, of Nehalem Beach, Nehalem Bay Park, Nepach & Martin, Sunset Beach, Seabright, and Necarney City, floundered. All of the cities south of Manzaita on the Nehalem Spit are now Nehalem Bay State Park. The Edwards both died in 1935, and Clear Ridge was absorbed fully by Manzanita in 1946 when it finally became it’s own city.

More Information:
At the Foot of the Mountain: An Early History by Jane Comerford
Pictures from this era can be see in The Cavender Collection at the Nehalem Valley Historical Society.

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