Rex Gerberding Collection The Silver Sands Resort, shown in the 1950s or early 1960s, is just east of John Wayne Marina.

BACK WHEN: Former Silver Sands Resort remembered fondly

THERE WERE MANY people who recognized the March picture from the past as the Silver Sands Resort at the corner of Whitefeather and West Sequim Bay roads.

Others knew the location as John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort.

This photo was taken in the 1950s or early 1960s.

The John Wayne family bought 22 acres for the John Wayne Marina in 1985.

John Wayne frequented Sequim Bay waters aboard the family yacht (the Wild Goose) and envisioned a marina in the scenic bay prior to his death.

Eventually, this vision became reality under the ownership and auspices of the Port of Port Angeles.

They also purchased an additional 500 acres. The Silver Sands Resort was on that 500 acres.

The Wayne family remodeled the cabins and renamed the resort the Sequim Bay Resort.

It is now John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort. The old cabins are a part of the present resort.

The Wayne family still owns 150 acres in Sequim, where John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort, located steps from the marina, invites visitors to enjoy getaways or extended stays in cabins or the RV park.

Phil Schenck wrote that he grew up in the ’40s and ’50s across the cove from the picture location.

He has many memories and stories of the resort.

Schenck said the Silver Sands Resort was a popular destination resort prior to World War II but the small, primitive cabins couldn’t compete with newer modern cabins built after the war.

Family buys resort

The Beerly family bought the resort after the war and sold antiques in the store on Sequim Bay Road.

They sold to Ann and Frosty Emery.

The Emerys worked very hard to update, including tearing down the old log cabins and replacing them with the cabins that are there today.

The Emery family was fun to be around, the young people of the area said.

They were full of stories, including Charley Emery’s World War II experiences in the Battle of the Bulge.

Ann Emery took care of the small grocery store and was good at getting the kids to talk about themselves.

Monte Rivett of Agnew wrote that he was sure the photo was just off West Sequim Bay Road, just past the John Wayne Marina.

He recalled that in the 1950s, the cabins were owned and operated by the Emery family.

Rivett said, “I went to school with Etta Emery, class of 1960, and I am also a Sequim native. I was born in the old hospital where the [Alzheimer’s] Care Unit is located on the north side of Washington across the side street from 101 Diner. Those were the good ol’ days — I guess, although these days are good too.”

Margaret Levitan wrote that the photo depicted the Silver Sands Resort just south of the Sequim Bay Marina.

Doug Madsen wrote that his parents stayed at the Silver Sands when they were looking for a change of scenery for their retirement.

They became so fond of Sequim Bay that they bought property that they could see from their room.

Madsen said he eventually bought that house and lives there now.

Ross Krumpe said he was born and raised in Port Angeles, and the beach east of Port Angeles was called Silver Sands Resort, which is right next door to the John Wayne Marina.

Krumpe added a little humor and said, “I shall be looking for a bank deposit in my checking account for my worthy information.”

Darryl Sanford of Sequim said, “It looks like the southeasterly view along West Sequim Bay Road, near the mouth of Johnson Creek. I have fond memories of catching searun cutthroat trout there in the ’50s and ’60s with my father and brother.”

Cecil Cameron said the old cabins in this photo were moved inland many years ago and much was improved and they are now part of the trailer park and rentals.

Marcie Thomsen wrote that the picture looks to be the John Wayne Waterfront Resort.

She doesn’t have any long-ago memories of this spot, but about three years ago, her oldest son and family from Kansas City, Mo., rented one of the cabins.

It was a beautiful spot, the cabins were very nice, and her whole family enjoyed getting together there.

Kim Acuna wondered if that was a picture of the corner of Whitefeather Road and East Sequim Bay Road. She was close, but it is actually West Sequim Bay.

Dave Munro said he enjoyed the old photo in the PDN.

“Though we’ve only been here in Sequim full time for 16 years, I believe your photo depicts early West Sequim Bay Road looking south along Sequim Bay toward the now existing Whitefeather Way intersection,” Munro said.

“Those cabins and trees appear to be those of the John Wayne RV & Cabins Resort, and of course the beach is likely that of the foot of Sequim Bay. That’s my 2 cents and I hope you are enjoying another fabulous Sunday in paradise.”

One reader, Gail Storm Delorm, wrote that she knew the little girl, Donna Wieland, that was in the mystery photo last month.

Wieland was in the class of 1957 and lived with a family in Sequim.

She was in the Sequim Irrigation royalty and on the cheerleading team for Sequim High School.

There are many little places throughout our county that are fun to explore and find out a little of their history.


Alice Alexander is a Clallam County historian, author, and a descendent of an Elwha Valley pioneer family.

She is a recipient of a 2014 Clallam County Heritage Awards.

She can be reached at [email protected].

Alice’s Clallam history column appears the first Sunday of every month, alternating with Linnea Patrick’s Jefferson County history column on the third Sunday of the month.

April picture from the past Do you know where this photo was taken? Hint: It is quite a bit west of Port Angeles. Write to Alice Alexander at 204 W. Fourth St., Apt. 14, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or email her at [email protected] and she will include your comments in her column May 7.

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