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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

FEED THE SEALS





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Splash Newsletter

75th Anniversary Celebration Draws Crowds and Stories

This year’s summer season started with a splash. Almost 2,000 people arrived on Friday, May 25 to feed the seals, view Pacific Northwest sea life, and to celebrate the Seaside Aquarium’s 75th Anniversary. Admission prices were rolled back for the day to 1937 prices: 15 cents for adults, 10 cents for children.

Inside, the walls along the tanks were festooned with newspaper articles in chronological order from the 1930’s to 2012, sharing the history of the Aquarium and its inhabitants. A display on all things 1937 (including the introduction of Spam) provided a context for the Aquarium’s establishment. Seventy-five different prizes were given away in drawings held throughout the day.

A whopping 1,483 adults and 502 children, both locals and visitors from as far away as British Columbia, came to share good wishes and fond memories of the beach and the Seaside Aquarium. General Manager Keith Chandler said he spent the day listening to enthusiastic stories about fishing, clamming, and the Aquarium’s seals. (continued. on p.2)

Crowd watching the Seal Tank
Crowd inside Seaside Aquarium

From Natatorium to Aquarium

Seaside Baths 1924 Seaside Aquarium 1937
Lillian Viggers in front of the Seaside Baths Natatorium, August 1924. Photo courtesy of Susan Cagnolatti.
The Seaside Aquarium opened May 29, 1937 and has been in operation for 75 years. Photo from a postcard.

The building that holds the Seaside Aquarium was not originally created to hold sea life! In 1924, it opened as the Seaside Baths Natatorium, an indoor swimming pool. It was the second natatorium in Seaside. The venture failed in the early 1930’s and the building sat empty until 1937 when a group of investors retrofitted the first floor to hold an aquarium. Although changes were made to the building to accommodate tanks, much of the piping framework needed to bring salt water in to the live creatures was already in place. The pipes have been replaced numerous times, but the structure is much the same seventy-five years later.



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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.