The Inn at Arch Cape is a rare Oregon Coast property, one with a story and a soul. Its history is intertwined with mail delivery, groceries, a general store, and lodging on the Old Oregon Coast, just south of Cannon Beach.
The original structure was built in 1939 by Ernest White, who constructed his beach house north of the newly excavated Arch Cape tunnel, which completed the final stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway.
The three-room building was known simply as “The Beach House” in the early years, and later as the “Old Post Office.” The original rooms served as guest cabins, as well as the the Arch Cape Post Office and a general store for the community (see photo below). Mrs. Ross White, Ernest White’s mother, ran the post office, a place where the locals would sit by the fireplace (which is still in Room #4) and visit over a cup of coffee, chatting with neighbors as they stopped in to mail a letter or a pick up a loaf of bread. It was the soul of the small community five miles south of Cannon Beach, Oregon.
In the 1960s, the name was changed to The Inn at Arch Cape.
In 1946, the building was enlarged, adding two ocean side apartments, which were available as nightly rentals. The building changed hands and over the next decade was owned by a number of families, including Blanche Peckover, and the Hurds, Smiths, and LeGault families. In most cases, the women in the families served as post mistresses for the locals’ mail boxes.
In 1960, Ethyl LeGault, who owned the property in the early 1950s, built a larger general store and deli on the property adjacent to Inn. The deli became the daily stop for local Arch Cape news and gossip. Ethyl was a beloved neighbor who successfully managed both the general store and lodging properties until her death in 1971.
The top floor layout of the Inn has been remodeled over the decades. The original Arch Cape Post Office was situated between what are now Rooms 3 and 4. This space served as the Post Office for the town until 1960, when it was moved to the general store, south of the Inn. New guest rooms, garages, porches, and the fire pit were added over the years, but the Inn has maintained its intimate and cozy appeal.
The Inn at Arch Cape changed hands a few more times, with Bob Turk and Jerry Railton owning the property for a time, before Tracy and Henry Hooper bought the property in 2004. The Hoopers, who own the lovely Gearhart Ocean Inn in Gearhart, worked hard to make the Inn consistent with the style and manner of the north Oregon Coast, while adding a number of modern amenities.
In 2017, the Hoopers sold the Inn to Heather Newman and Chris Anderson, who carry on the property’s proud Oregon Coast tradition.
Source: Henry Hooper