reening Ways         for earth-wise days
About & Contact Oregon Coast Area
Oswald West “Outstanding Achievement in the Conservation of Natural Resources” (from memorial sign seen below) Early governor (1911-1915) of Oregon only serving one term but who has had a major impact on the state. An innovative man, Oswald West took hold of some of the most pressing issues not only of his time - but of all time - and created some major reforms. He was a key player in protecting Oregon Coast beaches and other areas in Oregon from encroachment and over-development. Among other things, he supported women’s rights, prohibition (possibly because he had a difficult relationship with an alcoholic father) and was involved with death sentencing issues. He had a desire to incorporate natural elements into architectural and structural objects along the coast. Things like scenic bridges and low rock walls continue to maintain the natural feeling and beauty of the area, and have been contributed to by a variety of sources, including bridge builder Conde McCullough. We cannot help but think he would be severely disappointed over the state of Oregon Coast forests today. If he had still been around, the clear-cutting rampage which wiped out whole forests probably would not have happened. West had an innovative approach coupled with true grit. He originally came into politics with low funding but did not let this deter him. It is suggested here that by maintaining a connection with nature, he adhered to a form of realism which included seeing raw beauty as an important part of life. By keeping natural elements linked to the surrounding terrain without wiping out large parts of the Oregon Coast environment, he set the example for a legacy which for many years in Oregon was retained. It was not until the start of heavy deforestation did that legacy see a decline. We need more Oswald Wests today. Sources Notable Oregonions: Oswald West History Conde McCullough Bridge Builder Oregon History Lincoln County Oregon Coast History