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Cape Shoalwater, Washington photographs and clippings

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: PH 190


Collection contains 41 photographs and several newspaper clippings documenting the rapid shoreline erosion of Cape Shoalwater, Washington circa 1955-1971. Photographs include images of bulwarks and groins erected by residents in efforts to protect the shore. The newspaper articles, which include photographs from the collection, date from 1955 to 1965 and offer background information.


  • Creation: circa 1955-1971

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical/Historical note

Cape Shoalwater is located along Washington State’s coastline. It is known for the rapid erosion that occurs there. This collection contains 41 images dealing with this erosion. There are also several newspaper articles that accompany the images. These newspaper articles use many photographs from this collection, and give additional background story on the erosion. The dates of the articles are from 1955 to 1965.

To combat the erosions effects on the shoreline the local residents tried several different approaches, documented in these photographs. They tried to create a bulwark with old cars and large rocks. This did not last. Then they created a groin out of wooden pilings and metal torpedo netting. This also did not last. Houses were lost, and acres of shoreline land were also lost to the sea. From 1890-1965 the cape eroded 12,303 feet at a rate of about 124 feet per year. A moving tidal channel caused the erosion. The channel migrates on an 8-12 year cycle.


1 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials


General Physical Description note

1 container, including 41 photographic prints and clippings

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Megan Dazey.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Cape Shoalwater, Washington photographs and clippings
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Normandy Helmer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA