History of Moclips & Ocean Shores

Everyone enjoys a good origin story. This is only a brief history of our charming coastal getaway. Take it all into consideration when judging the website and its sponsors.

The City of Ocean Shores occupies the Point Brown peninsula on the Washington coast. Long before the arrival of European explorers and settlers, the Peninsula was used by the various local tribes for trading and other purposes. The Chinook, Chehalis, and Quinault Tribes used the area, as well as others that now make up the Quinault Indian Nation.


On May 7, 1792, Captain Robert Gray sailed into the bay and named the area Bullfinch Harbor. Later, Captain George Vancouver renamed the area after Captain Gray, now called Grays Harbor.

Moclips isn’t without its own rich history as well. Early American settlers established themselves in the North Beach area in the mid-19th century. However, the community didn’t become incorporated until 1905 after the completion of the Northern Pacific Railway.

The moment that truly made the Moclips community what it is today was the construction of not only its first resort but a health and vacation beachfront hotel built by Dr. Edward Lycan, whom over 5000 residents of Seattle traveled to see for medical attention regularly.

Although the structure was a major architectural accomplishment for its time, the 270 room hotel came crashing down in 1911 after facing one of Ocean Shores' common storms.

Today, a vacation rental home named after Dr. Lycan is erected on the original site of the historic hotel. The home is open to guests looking for getaways, family vacations, and romantic retreats.

Present zoning laws have allowed the house to be built close to the ocean in honor of those who made the original hotel. To ensure its long-lasting safety against the very winds that took down its owners added stilts to its foundation.

Moclips’s local historical society, situated on the North Beach, has amassed a sizeable collection of artifacts from the original hotel, all of which can be seen at a museum located at 4658 State Route 109 just north of the Ocean Crest Resort.

Even after the destruction of the resort, Moclips continued to grow as a thriving community with newer hotels, as well attractions, and industries which made it perfect for people to travel for both tourism and economic opportunities.

During The Second World War, the U.S Navy was based out of the nearby town of Pacific Beach. Making Moclips a desirable visit for soldiers in the area. To this day the Navy still occupies land in Ocean Shores as a recreational use center for those who serve.

There has also been plenty of pop culture events that have taken place in Moclips.

In 1974, beach scenes were filmed for the John Wayne movie, McQ. Famous Seattle rock star, Kurt Cobain, played with his pre-Nirvana band at The Spot Tavern. And in 2012, Animal Planet made a documentary about two former National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration scientists who discovered an unidentified marine body during an exploration of a mass stranding of whales in Moclips.

Ocean Shores currently remains one of the most sought-after vacation destinations for a variety of travelers. Regardless of your interests, there's plenty to do to make your stay one for the history books.

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