TerHar’s, founded by Bud and Jean TerHar, May 25, 1951, celebrated its 70th birthday this week. A little history of how it all started.

The TerHar name became known in Seaside in 1951, when Bud and Jean moved from Seattle Washington and bought the Merriman Hotel at 27 Broadway. In addition running the three-story hotel, the TerHars also operated a gift store located on the ground floor of the hotel. Prior to moving to Seaside, Bud and Jean had been in the gift business working as traveling salesmen for a gift company in Seattle by the name John A Peterson Company.

The first seven years they lived in the back of the building raising their two boys Peter and Jeff. While Jean rented rooms in the hotel and operated the gift shop, Bud worked two other jobs selling cars at a local Ford dealership and selling furnaces for an oil distributor to help pay the bills.

A few years later the TerHars began adding clothing to the gift shop, soon after that, the store became predominately clothing. Because the back room apartment that was, according to Bud “too valuable of possible additional retail space to be living in,” the TerHars moved in 1958 to a house in Gearhart, where Jean still lives today. Bud passed away in 2009.

The Original Store known for the black and white awnings was torn down when the Trendwest Resort was built in 2001. But the TerHars retained ownership of the first floor of the building on the Broadway side and continue to operate the store there, along with renting out the other storefronts to several other businesses.

In addition to the Seaside store, through the years there have been TerHar’s stores in Astoria and Long Beach Washington. In 1991, TerHars opened their Cannon Beach Store, which continues to operate today in the center of downtown Cannon Beach.

TerHar’s has always been operated by family. So far there have been three generations and looking forward to the possible fourth generation growing old enough soon. As Bud and Jean worked toward retiring in the mid 80s, their two sons Peter and Jeff along with their wives took over operation of the stores. All of Bud and Jean’s grandchildren have worked in the stores over the years. Today, TerHar’s is owned and operated by Jeff and Paivi TerHar along with the help of their daughter Tessa.

As we celebrate 70 years of business in Seaside We would like to let all of our many employees over the years, past and present know we couldn’t have done it without their dedicated contribution to our business. And last but not least, a “big thank you” to all the many customers and friends that have been there supporting us through 70 great years.

Thanks again,

The TerHar Family

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