Agate Beach Motel was built in 1940 and has kept the original footprint of 2 buildings encompassing a large lawn overlooking miles of pristine beach. Our two buildings include covered and drive-in parking. In the same way as it does today, the parking provided at single-level motels, such as Agate Beach Motel, provided travelers with a sense of safety and ease knowing their cars were nearby. The qualities of the historical layout and ease of use continue to be important to many of today’s travelers as well, and we are pleased to be able to offer the restored convenience and beauty of motor lodges to our 21st-century guests.
Storytelling is a year-round art here at Agate Beach Motel, and we are pleased to be able to share a few of those here in writing. We invite you to sit around the fire, gather on the sun decks, or cuddle in your blankets as you listen and tell your own.
The restoration of buildings
With so much history and joy found in this location, it is no wonder we felt fortunate to own Agate Beach Motel; however, when we bought it in 1990, it was non-rentable. There is no doubt many others may have chosen to tear it down and build condominiums or another hotel. All of the carpet and sub floors required replacing, the roof needed fixing and the constant exposure to the extreme elements of wind, sun, and rain meant an unending need for repair and financial investment. With this in mind, the conversation between, “let’s just sell it” and “let’s restore it” became more common. Nonetheless, after a few more sunsets and time spent experiencing the rugged beauty here, our vision of restoration prevailed.
It took one year of driving over the mountains from Bend, Oregon with our two daughters, ages 6 and 8 at time, and a lot of hard work to get it to being rentable. The girls worked and played alongside us as we pulled the carpet, nailed in new beams, painted the suites, reroofed, and updated the electrical and plumbing.
During the next few years, the renovations began to take place primarily during the fall and winter months, though we would often come over as a family to live here for weeks at a time. The memories of working while a storm was approaching remain indescribable. So too, the times of seeing whales spout along the shore during the fall migration. Birds of all kinds came to visit on their way south, and after a day’s hard work, we would bundle up by the fire and appreciate what we had accomplished.
Originally, the stairs down to Agate Beach were not much different from many others that can still be seen today…straight down. By the time we got to the point of deciding to build a new staircase, we were familiar with the difficulties of building in the intense natural elements. Through the wind, sun, and rain, the crew literally hung from the cliff while pounding the foundation beams deep into the Cliffside. However, no matter how difficult the day was, we would often look up and find other crewmembers taking a moment to enjoy the view, catch a ray of sunshine, or simply feel the fresh air blowing. Eventually, we decided to build the platforms. Maybe they really were the plan all along or maybe they were built for the crew to have a spot to rest, either way, the platforms became known for being a perfect spot to take a rest, enjoy the view, or steal a kiss.
Over the years, we have not stopped pouring our hearts into this place. Even though the motel now stays busy year-round, we continued to update the rooms, decks, and property as needed. Pat enjoys building unique tables, cabinets, and headboards for the rooms out of his special wood collection, and I enjoy decorating and keeping the kitchens fully stocked, the blankets cozy and warm, and the beds comfortable and clean.
The restoration of service
Hospitality is another key aspect of the historical motels that we have kept as a priority. Our first manager, Maynard and his wife Donna managed the motel for 16 years, and in that time, they built a reputation of their own here. Expressing a style straight out of the 60’s era with polyester blue high-waisted pants and combed-back hair, Maynard not only took incredible care of the property, he also became a guest favorite. His friendship and oddities were both comforting and entertaining. Donna was generous and kind and complimented Maynard’s friendly style. Our current managers, Dave and Maggie continue to exhibit a hospitable spirit with joyful hearts and gratitude of being able to live in such an incredible spot year-round. They love to share their own stories about Agate Beach Motel and are pleased to let travelers know about local places to visit, food to eat, and trails to take.
Just north of Agate Beach Motel lies the famous Bloch house, once home to honored composer Ernest Bloch (1880-1959). Local stories speak of visits to Bloch by his friend, contemporary, and admirer, Albert Einstein. Some say one can still see an engraving by Einstein’s hand on the walls of the Bloch House. A local conservation group continues to promote and care for the home and guests often enjoy a visit to the house when they are here.
The restoration of romance
Nothing is mundane about this place. The entire motel is filled with the beauty of the natural world we live in, and the distractions of daily life are a world away.
Historically, surfing started along the Oregon Coast at Agate Beach in 1964 and has since served as a sacred ground for surfers for many generations. At that time, the beach was 3 miles outside of town and locals chose the beach for its protective cove. Since then, surfers continue to come to the beach and can be seen riding the waves year-round.
Additionally, guests have encountered more than a rose on the pillow at Agate Beach Motel. They have experienced romance, connection, and affection. The water tides have pulled at many hearts and the stars, moon, and rhythmic movements of the outdoors have affectionately tugged at their souls. Many spouses have fallen in love again as they held hands, slept in, and walked the beaches together.
Lovers of literature have been coming to Agate Beach Motel over the years to be filled with inspiration from the wind and waves, so they can overflow with a refreshed creative vibe and passion. Musicians have met here year after year to jam around the fire ring and let others dance the night away. Cooks and connoisseurs love the winter months as they gather together to create satisfying dishes and partake in the beautiful combination of a warm kitchen during a winter storm.
You’re part of our history
There is no doubt the hard work that first year has been worth it. Our daughters are now grown, and we continue to make trips over the mountain on a regular basis. The wonderful memories continue to grow as do our relationships with one another. We will often visit with guests on their porches as they enjoy a glass of wine and talk of the many tales we have from our times here at Agate Beach Motel. We have come to know many guests well due to their regular visits and we value the opportunity to meet new ones. We love this place and consider it a piece of heaven.