Photographer's Note

Natural Bridges at Samuel J Boardman State Park

The Natural Bridge at Samuel J Boardman State Park on the southern Oregon coast is but a part of several geological wonders witnessed as nature's wonder on the Oregon coast. It's located 5 miles north of Brookings, Oregon and included as a segment of the Oregon Coast Trail. The length of the park is 20 miles along the coast and that means 20 miles of spectacular beauty, coastal headlands, hiking trails and more. Included within the park are: Arch Rock, Miner Creek and "Secret Beach," Thomas Creek Bridge, Thunder Cove, House Rock, Whaleshead Beach, a herd of wild goats and so much more ...

Samuel J Boardman State Park corridor is a 12 mile, forested linear park with a rugged, steep coastline interrupted by small sand beaches. This park was named in honor of Samuel H. Boardman, the first Oregon Parks superintendent. He and others of his generation felt this shining green emerald coastline should be saved for the public. What gems they gave us: admire the 300-year old sitka spruce trees, gaze at the amazing Arch Rock and Natural Bridges, and walk the 27 miles of Oregon Coast Trail that weave through giant forests.

Seaside prairies, spectacular vistas, secluded cove beaches, rugged cliffs and forested sea stacks come one after the other at this park. Visit old mining sites. Stand and ponder the old shell middens and wonder what it was like to live in a Native American village by the Pacific Ocean.

More about Sam:
Sam Boardman, as he was affectionately called, was born in Massachusetts in 1874, had schooling in Wisconsin, and migrated to Colorado as a young man, then to Oregon. He homesteaded along the Columbia River east of Arlington, and the town of Boardman is named for him. Having an affection for trees he pioneered in planting them in that treeless country, especially along the Columbia River Highway and the Old Oregon Trail. This tree planting along the shade-less highways later became a project of the Highway Department in which he took great satisfaction.

In 1919 he joined the Highway Department in the Maintenance Department, but his interest in preserving Oregon's scenic and recreational spots resulted in his appointment as the first State Parks Superintendent by the first State Parks Commission which had just been created by Governor I. L. Patterson.

In 1927 Oregon had 4,070 acres in forty-six small state parks; before retiring Mr. Boardman increased the number of parks to 181, and acreage to 66,000. The increment is due largely to his personal efforts in enthusing donors to make gifts and in urging the public money for land acquisition at a time when pressure to put all the limited funds in highway construction was great.

He had vision to see Oregon's need for preserving immediately her scenic resources. He predicted, if Oregon had sufficient state parks, a great growth in the tourist business and lived to see it become the state's third largest source of wealth. He had a keen appreciation of the beauties of ocean, forest and mountain, and with good judgment selected for acquisition as state parks these areas of outstanding qualifications. It is extraordinary how much he accomplished with very limited funds in those twenty-one years he was Superintendent of Parks. His efforts were directed largely at acquisition of land, believing that purchases should be made while the land was unspoiled and inexpensive and that development could wait until more funds were available. The phenomenal rise since then in the cost of potential park land has proven the wisdom of Boardman's foresight and policy.

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Additional Photos by Buddy Denmark (PecoBud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 408 W: 0 N: 912] (3824)
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