Memorial Day provides us with a time to reflect on the past and remember those who have come before us. If you find yourself on the Oregon Coast this weekend, take an afternoon to explore the past at the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum.
The center hosts several permanent and temporary exhibits related to Cannon Beach and its history. The Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes helped design a Native American longhouse, complete with replica artifacts created by regional Native American artisans. Another permanent exhibit, “Cannon Beach: A Place By the Sea,” describes the history of the area, from the time of the Tillamook Indians, through Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the logging boom, and two world wars, to the modern-day town with its significance in the arts and tourism.
The Memorial Day Weekend gives you the chance to see two temporary exhibits. If you’ve ever wondered how Cannon Beach got its name, the exhibit “Who Put The Cannon In Cannon Beach?” will put your questions to rest. Hear the troubled story of the USS Schooner Shark and how one of its cannons was lost and rediscovered — and how another two cannons lay buried in the tidal sands until only a few years ago. You can even see the original cannon on display.
A second temporary exhibit, “Beach Hop,” presents quilts from the Oregon Coast Shop Hop. Local artists and quilters created these quilts using panels from designated shops along the Oregon Coast. Themes of nostalgia and a love of Oregon are woven through this collection.
If you enjoy mixing modern context with your history lessons, take the historic walking tour of downtown Cannon Beach. Compare the town’s eighteenth-century landscape to today’s city. Much has changed in the last hundred years — but not everything.
The Cannon Beach History Center and Museum is open five days a week (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) fro 1 – 5pm, and admission is free.