A Historical Look at Promoting Oregon's Scenic South Coast
Published: 03/05/2015 Updated: 08/09/2019
Racing the waves near Brookings, Oregon.
Photo by Ralph Gifford
Photographic imagery was and still is an important way to communicate Oregon's coastal landscape, people, culture and history.
Photographer Ralph Gifford captured this shot, "Racing the Waves," near Brookings between 1930-1939. Gifford worked in his father's photography studio as a boy and accompanied his father on many photography trips around Oregon. In 1936, he became the first photographer of the newly established Travel and Information Department of the Oregon State Highway Commission. His landscape views of Oregon's natural beauty were used for many years to promote tourism and educate travelers about Oregon's scenic vacation possibilities.