Cannon Beach History

The company known today as Coaster Construction began in 1973 under the vision, leadership, and dedication of Maurie Clark, Ray Watkins, and Nick Nelson. It was Maurie’s dream to create the look and feel of a small coastal village and arts community. With Ray as the designer and Nick as construction foreman, the company built Sandpiper Square, Coaster Theatre, Mariner Market, U.S. Bank, and other storied landmarks of Cannon Beach.In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Maurie and Nick formed Coaster Properties, which managed downtown properties, and began a new series of construction projects, including homes. John Nelson came to work in 1982 and took over in 1985 when his father Nick retired. Though retired, Nick remained involved in the company and father and son worked on several projects together, such as the Local Scoop and Sandpiper remodel. Also at this time, the company worked with Steve Martin to develop low income housing to suit the needs of the entire Cannon Beach community.

As Maurie’s health declined, John took on outside work to keep his crew of five busy, including new construction and remodels. This eventually led to the creation of the present-day Coaster Construction. Mike Clark came on in 2001 as owner, and as Coaster expanded, it relocated and built a new shop on Elk Creek Road in 2005. Today, Coaster has evolved into a full-service construction company, specializing in large custom homes, commercial projects and remodels, while still maintaining its downtown properties. Its crew has grown significantly in the past ten years, up to fifteen full-time employees and numerous subcontractors. The company also specializes in custom cabinets and is a dealer of DeWils Cabinets.

Today, the dream continues on. John’s goal was to build on the reputation and foundation of Maurie, Ray, and Nick and ensure that Coaster remained dedicated to both high-quality construction and serving the people of Cannon Beach. Committed to keeping it local, for years the company has used all local subcontractors. Through its devotion to excellent construction and to community, Coaster has continued to shape the character of Cannon Beach and the Oregon Coast.

Nick Nelson & Maurie Clark 1988 Original sketch of Coaster Theatre by Ray Watkins 1972 Downtown Cannon Beach 1970s Sand Piper Square, Downtown Cannon Beach, 1970s