The “Pathfinders” used an old sail from the Marhoffer, which wrecked in Boiler Bay, to ease the car across the sand during the first automobile trip from Newport to Siletz Bay 100 years ago. (Photo courtesy Lincoln County Historical Society)
CELEBRATE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF PATHFINDERS:
FIRST AUTO TRIP FROM NEWPORT TO SILETZ BAY
The two-day celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pathfinders, the first auto trip from Newport’s Bayfront to Siletz Bay will be held Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21.
Four men, a dog, and a 1912 Flanders “20” Studebaker set out to demonstrate the need for better roads in Lincoln County by driving the 47 miles from the Bayfront to Siletz Bay and back. It took almost 23 hours and all the tools they packed plus a ship’s sail they purchased from the Wisneiski family. The few people they met along the way had never seen an automobile and were in awe of the contraption.
The kickoff for Friday’s events to celebrate the Pathfinders will be at 9 a.m. on Newport’s historic Bayfront in front of Bayscapes Gallery and Coffeehouse, 333 SW Bay Blvd. Bayscapes will provide free coffee and pastries. Newport Mayor Mark McConnell and County Commissioner Bill Hall will read proclamations declaring Pathfinder Days. All day on Friday cruises by Marine Discovery Tours will be buy one, get one free.
A vintage car caravan will leave about 10 a.m. and will follow some of the original route. Leading the caravan will be a “Flanders 20” of the same vintage and model as the original car.
The caravan will stop about 11 a.m. at Fogarty Creek for a historic skit featuring Morgan Locklear as narrator Sea Lion Charlie; Justin Atkins as professional driver J. D. Grant, Michael Eastman as professional photographer Fred S. Sassman, Stephan as organizer Will Burton, and Frank Geltner as journalist T. F. Kershaw.
The caravan will continue on to Roadhouse 101 where Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson will read a proclamation. Participants will be given coupons for discounted lunches at Roadhouse 101.
Events for Saturday, July 21, include an 11 a.m. showing of “American Graffiti” at the Bijou Theatre and “The Road from Mud to Glory,” a production of the Lincoln County Historical Society. At 1 p.m. J. E. Stembridge will speak at North Lincoln County Historical Museum. Stembridge is the author of “Pathfinder, The First Automobile Trip From Newport to Siletz Bay, Oregon July, 1912.”
Companion exhibits also will be up: “Cars: Motoring the Coast” at the Burrows House Museum of the Lincoln County Historical Society, and “Roads to the Future” at North Lincoln County Historical Museum.
A party to conclude the celebration will be held at 4 p.m. in the Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center of the Lincoln County Historical Society, 333 SE Bay Blvd. The event is free, and will feature refreshments and entertainment by “The Ocean,” a guitar and a drum band. Dancing is encouraged.