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OSWALD WEST COASTAL RETREAT
importance of Oswald West.
Governor Chamberlain appointed him to be State Land Agent in 1903, and in that capacity, he was responsible for the recovery of some 900,000 acres of Oregon school lands fraudulently obtained by land speculators. In 1907 he was appointed to a four-year term on the Oregon Railroad Commission. Having gained a reputation as an effective reformer, West won the primary election and became the Democratic candidate for governor in 1910.
“Os” West won the general election and was governor of Oregon between 1911 and 1915. He was noted for urging an array of progressive legislation during his tenure, much of it relating to the conservation of natural resources. For conservationists, the governor’s defining action was taken in 1913, when he blocked the further sale of the Oregon tidelands by declaring the wet sands area a public highway based on the customary use of beaches as wagons and mail routes. The 1913 Legislative Assembly supported his Executive Order and laid the groundwork for additional legislation of the 1960s that affirmed the public’s right to access to, and use of the beaches.
West's Coastal Retreat
By the summer of 1913, his family was in residence in the new log house sited on a bench of land above the dry sand. The house, in a modified Adirondack design, was oriented with a view to the ocean and had a wide covered front porch, exposed log construction, and shingle roof with two patios, one in concrete and another in flagstone. A spring house, carriage house and barn were also on the site.