Named for Chief Nahcati, the small community of Nahcotta (nuh-caught-uh) was the terminus for the Clamshell Railroad, the only railroad that ran with the tides, which carried passengers and shipments of oysters from Willapa Bay to steamers headed for San Francisco during the late 1800s.
At Nahcotta, the propeller steamers Shamrock and Reliable would met the train at the end of the Nahcotta dock, and pick up passengers bound for South Bend across Willapa Bay. In 1896, another steamer employed on the Willapa Bay run was the Edgar.
Razor clams were canned here and the original canneries can still be seen. Interpretive sites describe the history of this native crop as well as other fishing interests.
Nahcotta is home to a busy fishing port and also benefits from the presence of highly sought-after oysters in the clean waters of Willapa Bay, still the largest clean water estuary in the United States. Visit the Willapa Bay Interpretive Center for a fascinating walk through this important industry.
The area is dotted with restaurants and bed & breakfasts with a fierce local following. Despite popular rumor, there is no bridge or passenger ferry passage across Willapa Bay. Unless, that is, you want to go to work for one of the fine oyster farms.