Timing, as they say, is everything.
So on a spring morning in 1949, when Marie Wilson ‘encouraged’ her husband Max to build her “something with an ocean view,” he saw two brilliant opportunities packaged together in perfect time: a chance to please his wife (smart boy!) while simultaneously embarking on a bold new business venture.
And so, with one woman’s desire to be nearer the water and one man’s good sense of business AND marriage, the Anchorage was born.
The nearby military outpost of Fort Canby (now Cape Disappointment) had been recently decommissioned with the end of World War II, and Max’s vision found fodder with the sale of the outpost’s officers’ barracks offered at $15 per building. As the current proprietor of a moving and hauling business, Max had the necessary equipment to individually load the barracks onto trucks and cart them up the beach to their present location, where he ingeniously coaxed these rustic 1930’s accommodations into “modern” 1950’s gems.
One by one, each of ten units came together to create the Anchorage Motor Court, which was fully completed by the early 1950’s, proudly boasting “Frigidaire equipment, Simmons beds, and a view of Long Beach’s most recent shipwreck.”
The Wilson’s happily operated the Motor Court for almost three decades before handing the very successful business over to their daughter, Juanita, whose talent for hospitality was equal to her parents’.
The Anchorage remained a ‘family business’ until the mid 1990’s when good timing played a role again. Ready to retire, Juanita’s path crossed with that of a young Alaskan couple who, like Marie Wilson almost 45 years earlier, went looking for that seaside retreat. They bought the Motel, and after two years and considerable renovation, successfully offered the units for sale individually, creating what we now have today: The Anchorage Cottages.
With so many loyal friends and customers spanning almost 60 years of time, the Anchorage, while technically a Condominium Association, still operates much the same way it did in 1952. Recently, Juanita remarked on a period of time when she was faced with the decision to really ‘modernize’ the Anchorage:
“I thought about it for awhile, and then discovered that people really didn’t want a fancy upgrade with contemporary furniture and a phone in every room. They liked the old-style we had—clean and cozy rooms with friendly service. I think it reminded them of something that’s been lost everywhere else. In a crazy world, we kept it…simple.”
And today, we couldn't agree more.
Each of our owners have happened upon their Cottages in their own perfect time, and have imparted an old-fashioned warmth and individual charm to each unit that make our customers feel right at home.
Of course, we’ve had to keep a little with the times—all of our rooms have fully modern appliances, including DVD players and Wi-Fi—and a few things around us have changed (our water view has been replaced with a protected young-growth pine forest—home to deer and a variety of coastal birds). But the heart of the property remains the same. We continue to greet our customers with the same friendly, old-fashioned service of years ago; in fact, we still welcome some of the same guests who have been staying at the Anchorage since the days of Max and Marie. This, more than anything, tells us that our accommodations aren’t just comfortable—they’re comforting.
Please call us today and join the generations of people who always find just what they’re looking for at The Anchorage: friendly service, cozy fireside chats, impeccably clean and inviting cottages, and…that sense of bygone simplicity we thought we’d all forgotten.
Oh, and did we mention the 28 mile stretch of pristine beach that’s still just steps away? Take the path to the water’s edge—it leads to the same incredible ocean it always did, but while you’re walking with us toward the beach, you’ll also be stepping back in time.
Take a walk with us around the Anchorage grounds--through our perennial garden beds and grass picnic areas--and explore some of what this unique property has to offer.