Nahcotta was first settled in 1890 by J.A. Morehead and named for a local Indian chief. Nahcotta was once the northern terminal of the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company, a narrow gauge railroad which ran from Ilwaco, and later from Megler, in southwestern Pacific County, up the Long Beach Peninsula to Nahcotta and back, once a day. The railroad was in operation from 1889 to 1930.