Published In

Oregon Historical Quarterly

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018


Shipwrecks -- Oregon -- History, Treasure troves -- Oregon -- History, Cultural property -- Protection -- Oregon


“Euro-Americans in coastal communities conflated and amplified Native American oral traditions of shipwrecks in Tillamook County, increasingly focusing on buried treasure,” write authors Cameron La Follette, Dennis Griffin and Douglas Deur. In this article, the authors trace the Euro-American blending of Native oral tradition with romances and adventure tales that helped create the “legends contributing to Neahkahnie [Mountain]'s reputation as Oregon's treasure-seeking haven.” They also examine the history of treasure-seeking in the area and describe the escalating conflict between Oregon's treasure-hunting statute and cultural resources protection laws, which led finally to statutory repeal that ended all treasure-hunting on state lands. While treasure hunting is no longer allowed in Oswald West State Park where Neahkahnie Mountain is located, the “Beeswax Wreck” lore continues to fascinate visitors to the north Oregon coast.


This is the publisher's final PDF article as it appears in Oregon Historical Quarterly. Copyright © 2018, Oregon Historical Society. Reproduced by permission.

This article is part of a special issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly, that features articles on over a decade of research into uncovering the mystery of the “Beeswax Wreck.”

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