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  • May 22, 2015 12:59 PM | Anonymous

    The May/June edition of the Oregon Coast Magazine has an article, with photos, of the artifact move from the historical society's old museum in North Bend to its new Coos History Museum in Coos Bay.  You can also see it online at

  • May 22, 2015 12:53 PM | Anonymous

    Small wooden boats are built for the water conditions they will be used in. Comparing the 100+ year-old Millicoma Family Boat used on Coos Bay, now in the Coos History Museum, with a Deer Isle peapod, designed originally as a lobster fishing boat for the coastal waters of Maine, will show how both boats are suitable for where they were used.

    Both boats, though used in waters 3000 miles apart, are very similar. They are shallow draft row boats that could be sailed, mostly downwind. They were used mainly in inland waters with a safe maximum capacity of four people.

    Their differences are also significant. One has a carvel planked hull; the other is lapstrake. One is double-ended; the other has a wine-glass stern. One was never intended to be used with a motor. The other was converted later for an outboard. One has a centerboard and uses a sprit sail rig. The other used a light-weight mast that hoisted a small lug or gaff sail.

    Ralph Mohr, the owner of the peapod, will compare and contrast both boats at the new Coos History Museum, Saturday, June 6, 1 PM. Mohr will use photos, boat plans, and the boats themselves to show how and why the builders of the original designs made their boats. He will explain what he has learned sailing and rowing the peapod on the lakes, rivers, bays and estuaries of the Coos Bay area and apply that knowledge to the Millicoma Family Boat, of which little information is known.

    The Millicoma boat was donated to the Coos History Museum by Jerry Alvey, and it had been sitting upside down on trestles next to his shop in Eastside for many years. As far as anyone knows, it is the sole surviving example of personal craft in use on Coos Bay before 1900. Mohr hopes that a comparison with the peapod, a design about which much is known, will help to understand why the Millicoma boat was built and used.

    Admission is free but donations are welcome.

  • February 02, 2015 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    Watch the video here:

    COOS BAY, Ore. -- Wednesday was a big day for the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum as the workers received their certificate of occupancy and the keys to the new building.

    The museum received its first donation toward the new building back in 1999, so the new space has been a long time coming.

    From the road, the public has been able to see it built from the ground up, but this week KCBY News got a sneak peek inside.

    “Pretty, but gritty” was the architect’s idea for the new space.

    "It's a beautiful building as it sits, but now it's going to be full of people and things and stories," said Frank Smoot, the museum’s executive director.

    The main exhibit hall will be in a constant state of flux, telling 15 coastal stories at a time.

    "As the visitors come back over and over again they'll see new stories told but on the same themes of survival and tough rugged, gritty people and fun and the outdoors and all of those things," Smoot said.

    Exhibits will include pictures, artifacts, written word, and possibly interactive touch screens.

    Smoot added, "We hope that different people will sit down with us and help us tell stories so Thayer can tell the stories of the Coos River men or the Coos Bay bar pilots."

    The location also has a loft for a featured exhibit, conference rooms, and a library.

    Organizers hope the museum doubles as a community space, which can be used for meetings and special events.

    Smoot says the museum will be up and running by Memorial Day. There will be an admission fee, but Coos County residents will get a special discount.

  • August 12, 2014 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    We have begun packing the research library!

    Research Requests will be temporarily suspended starting August 15th, 2014. We will begin accepting new requests as soon as we are able after the new facility is open, date TBA. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.   

  • July 03, 2014 1:55 PM | Anonymous
    After nearly a year of construction, crews are getting closer to finishing the new Coos Historical and Maritime Center in Coos Bay.

    Work started last August on the new museum now called the Coos History Museum and Maritime Collection.
    The museum’s rotating exhibits will be based on input from the community.

    "It's been a long slog for a lot of people. They've been raising funds for 15 years for this project, and it's just heroic really,” said Frank Smoot, the museum’s executive director.

    Smoot said the staff have photographed and cataloged every piece in the old museum to ensure they preserve the existing collections when the new space is completed.

    Tours are already lined up for the new Coos History Museum and Maritime Collection, expected to open in December.

    Click the picture below to see the video.

    New Coos Bay Historical and Maritime Center (4)

  • May 26, 2014 11:06 AM | Anonymous
    Calling all active duty military! If you are looking for family vacation ideas this summer, you can visit the Coos Historical & Maritime Museum for free through the Blue Star Museums program. Memorial Day, May 26, 2014 through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.
    The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173‐1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military ‐ Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps ‐ and up
    to five family members.
  • March 29, 2014 1:00 PM | Anonymous
    If you want to feel like a local or a logger, you’ll want to know the difference between a busheler and a hasher, and what to do if you hear a gut hammer. You’ll have no better teacher than Glen Olson.

    Please join us Saturday, March 29th, at 1pm to hear Glen Olson share stories from his new book Reminiscing - One Man’s Recollection of Logging in the Golden Years.
    Glen’s decades-long tenure as columnist for the Myrtle Point Herald and the Coquille Valley Sentinel fed and inspired this book. Jean, his bride of more than 70 years, added her reminiscences of Oregon. Seasoned with gentle humor, Glen’s stories are full of historical information, eyewitness reportage, and wisdom. Historic photographs help bring the pages to life. 

    Please join the Logging Museum in thanking Olson for the publication of this book. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the logging museum. For additional information please call Vicki Wiese at the Coos Historical & Maritime Museum at 541-756-6320.

  • January 27, 2014 10:30 AM | Anonymous
    To read our article in The World Newspaper about our new building, Click Here.
  • January 25, 2014 9:45 AM | Anonymous
    Hiking for Health
    with the
    South Coast Striders
    Walk begins at the
    Coos Historical & Maritime Museum

    Explore some of the many paths and trails commonly used by the folks in North Bend along with the recently completed Sawmill & Tribal Trail.  

    You can join local authors and historians Dick and Judy Wagner on an easy to moderate 2 mile loop under the McCullough Bridge and through the woods to Ferry Park then along Bayview Ave and back up into town before returning to the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum.  This hike should last about 2 hours.


    Kim Griffin will lead a 5 mile loop at a little faster pace on the North Bend loop portion of the new Sawmill & Tribal Trail.  This walk will head out along the Sawmill & Tribal Trail to post #12 on Pony Creek Rd then up the stairs at Lombard and along McPherson to the North Bend Boardwalk then on to Ferry Road Park before returning to the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum.  This hike is rated difficult and should last 3 - 3.5 hours              

    We will stop for a half hour lunch/snack break at Ferry Road Park.  
  • December 08, 2013 3:43 PM | Anonymous
    Thank you to Dick and Judy Wagner for their wonderful discussion of their latest book Lies, Sex, and Radio! More than 40 attendees were tantalized with stories of M.S. Taylor's escapades!

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1210 N. Front St.
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Phone: 541-756-6320

 The Coos County Historical Society is a registered
501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tax ID 93-0446513

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