Oregon is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

Bayocean, Oregon remains a tale mostly unheard of today. Once a bustling seaside resort town nestled along Tillamook Bay, it met a tragic fate, swallowed entirely by the ocean. In this narrative, we delve into the rise and fall of Bayocean and its enduring legacy.

The Rise of Bayocean:

Founded in 1906 by the visionary Thomas Potter, Bayocean emerged as the ambitious “Atlantic City of the West.” Potter acquired a vast 1,600-acre sand spit separating Tillamook Bay from the Pacific Ocean, transforming it into a lavish resort enclave. With a plethora of amenities including a hotel, dance hall, natatorium, movie theater, and more, Potter’s dream attracted throngs of visitors. Bayocean flourished, earning the moniker “the town that dreams built.”

The Fall of Bayocean:

Yet, Bayocean’s prosperity was short-lived. Potter’s constructions, particularly the seawall and jetty, inadvertently disrupted natural tidal patterns, triggering severe erosion. As the ocean encroached, buildings crumbled, infrastructure collapsed, and the once-thriving town descended into desolation. By 1952, Bayocean lay submerged, a ghost town abandoned to the elements. Its demise epitomized a cautionary tale of human ambition versus environmental reality.

The Remains of Bayocean:

Today, scant traces of Bayocean linger, visible only during low tide in scattered concrete foundations and debris. The Army Corps of Engineers intervened, erecting a new jetty and dike to stabilize the shoreline. Now part of the Tillamook State Forest, the land offers recreational opportunities amidst its poignant history. A solitary historical marker and plaque stand as solemn reminders of Bayocean’s existence, ensuring its memory endures.


Bayocean, once a beacon of ambition, now rests beneath the waves, a poignant symbol of human folly and environmental consequence. Its brief yet dramatic existence immortalizes it as Oregon’s Atlantis, a story not lost to time but etched into its sands.

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