The research for this article came about entirely by accident. I didn’t set out trying to find the winner for this category, but as I drive along the coast, sometimes things just catch my attention. I am offering no proof that I’m correct. A degree of personal opinion is definitely involved.
In my view, the most remote homesites on the Oregon Coast are found along Seven Devils Road between Bandon and Charleston. I should make it clear that I’m not talking about the “Oregon Coast” in the broad sense of everything west of the Coast Range. There are definitely more remote places if that’s your definition. In fact, there’s a community that’s so remote, they named themselves Remote. Since it’s on Highway 42, I don’t see how it can be all that remote, but there you have it.
No, I’m talking about the immediate coast, close enough to the Pacific that you can hear the surf. There isn’t a lot left that isn’t at least a little crowded. Or so I thought until I picked the wrong road coming back from Bandon.
It wasn’t my fault. A guy can only keep so many names in his head and I knew the road from Charleston to Hwy 101 was Seven Devils Road, so when I saw the sign as I headed north from Bandon, I figured this was the road from Hwy 101 to Charleston. In fact, a few miles east of Charleston, the road named Seven Devils morphs into Beaver Hill–Seven Devils Road, which is its name when it reaches Hwy 101 several miles north of where I was. That’s what I was really looking for. An easy mistake to make.
New construction takes place on a house with no neighbors in sight.
At the time, I was sure this was the right road, so I headed down it. A doubt entered my head when I saw the sign that said, “Not recommended for campers or RVs.” This definitely didn’t sound right. When the pavement ended and I found myself on a single-lane gravel road, I knew. However, since I hadn’t seen any “Dead End” signs and there was really nowhere to go except to Charleston, I stuck it out.
Eventually, I did get back to pavement, and not much farther, Charleston, but as I was going through the steepest, most winding section of the road, I spotted some new houses under construction and several “for sale” signs. I was intrigued by the idea that someone would settle here intentionally, and not just because they were lost like me, so I decided to return later.
When I came back with my camera on another fine, sunny coastal afternoon, I paid closer attention. I noticed that there were no other minivans once the pavement changed to gravel. There weren’t a lot of other vehicles, period, but the few I saw were pickups. Four-wheel drive wouldn’t be a bad idea if you plan to settle out here.
The standards of crowding also changed. I spotted a “congestion” sign not far from Seven Devils State Wayside. Congestion is definitely in the eye of the beholder. There were no other cars on the road. Or pedestrians. Or animals, for that matter. What prompted the warning seems to be the fact that there are two houses, 100 yards ahead, close enough to see one another.
Surprisingly, there has been a subdivision here for almost 40 years. It was opened in 1968 by Chesterfield Land, Inc. Jack Chesterfield, the sole owner of the corporation, died in a 1969 plane crash and his widow sold the property to another corporation known as Sansaria. Most of the land was later purchased by Georges St. Laurent, then president of Western Bank in Coos Bay.
Recently, construction has begun to pick up. After decades in obscurity, builders are constructing new homes in both Sansaria and a nearby parcel that has been subdivided into the Sochi Estates. Steve Stalcup has been involved for the past decade, so if you’re interested in getting about as far from the city as the Oregon Coast will allow, give him a call at Sea Winds Realty in North Bend.