History, Construction & Design

From its simple origins to its beautiful reincarnation as The Ocean Lodge, this section tells the story of our transformation. If you like history and factoids, this is for you!

Lodge History

The story of The Ocean Lodge begins with the Major Motel, established in the 1950s. Jack and Mary Jane Swynenberg, who became owners in 1980, sold this property to Mike Clark, Tom Drumheller and Patrick Nofield in March of 2001. It was their dream and their vision that became today’s warm and welcoming Ocean Lodge; the crown jewel in the collection of hospitality properties for the parent company Escape Lodging.

Lodge Design

Escape Lodging Company prides itself on creating inns and restaurants with a natural feel, intrinsic warmth and timeless architecture. With this in mind, designers Abbott Heys & Associates, of Seattle, were retained to create this 1940s style beach resort. Architects Ed Abbot, Michael Skidmore and interior designer Gabriele Heys put their collective talents together to create this wonderfully special oceanfront inn. It is our most sincere hope that we have created a place for you and your family where memories will take root and bring you back year after year.

Lodge Construction

We broke ground on The Ocean Lodge in January 2002. Our Ocean Lodge signature two-story lobby fireplace was crafted by local stone masons and is constructed from Columbia River basalt rock and embellished by the massive mantle-piece of driftwood found here on our beach following a particularly fierce winter storm. The beautiful wood floor in our lobby is another centerpiece of our lodge. The spruce wood was reclaimed from an old Boeing worker house, once populated by Rosie the Riveter women who worked at the aircraft factory during WWII. We reclaimed more wood; this time from the Astoria High School’s bleacher seats. We salvaged the gymnasium benches, and then cut, refinished, and gave them new life as our lobby stairs and front entry doors.