Author: Coos History Membership

You Might See Something Different

So far 2022 has been exceptionally busy! We were closed for the first half of January. During this time, we had assistance from our wonderful Coos Bay Fire Department to help change our light bulbs. Our gallery is so much brighter now.

We also had the amazing North Bend sector of the United States Coast Guard come and remove the entire A-Z exhibit from the mezzanine, in preparation for a new exhibit.

In addition, we had to have some work done outside and our Coos County inlay map needed to be refinished.

CHM/NBHS Summer Camp

The Coos History Museum paired with North Bend High School for the week of July 12th for a history summer camp. Each day the students learned something new about what we do at the museum, as well as went on a field trip to various parts of the county to learn and explore.  The camp was funding from a North Bend School District summer school grant and was free to the students.


  • Students will learn about the basic concepts and skills related to operating a local history museum through learning activities each day, during the first half of the day.
  • Students will participate in local field trips to learn about significant places and events in Coos County History, during the second half of the day.
  • Students will create a project using information and skills they have learned during the week, and will earn one NBHS social studies elective credit.

Learning Outcome 

  • Using primary and secondary sources, education and museum learning theories, and museum-related skills, knowledge, and resources, students will create a project to be presented to their classmates and family members on Friday from 12:30-3:30 PM.
  • Project options will include:
    • Tour: Students can create a tour that highlight’s Coos County’s geography, history, and sense of place.
    • Exhibit: Students can create a themed exhibit based on Coos County’s history and/or communities
    • Program: Students can create an educational program for a specific audience, topic, and medium

Monday was an introduction to the museum, what the purpose of a museum is and how we go about handling objects in our collection. The students were able to examine actual artifacts and determine which ones had good stories to tell.  After lunch, students went to visit Empire, Coos Head, Cape Arago and Shore Acres to learn local history.


Tuesday was spent learning about Past Perfect, the database we use for objects, photos, archives, library and membership information. Students examined photographs from the museum’s collection to see if they could add descriptive terms to our database. In the afternoon, students traveled by bus to visit Isthmus Slough, Coaledo, Coquille’s Sturdivant Park, Riverton, Parkersburg, and Bullards.


Wednesday featured a presentation about the creation of exhibits including research, design, installation and evaluation.  Students created a mock exhibit from a random sampling of every day objects including, but not limited to: office supplies, art work, Legos, rocks, stuffed animals, dog toys, etc. They also learned about the historic Front Street by analyzing a series of six Sanborn Insurance maps from 1891 to 1945 before taking a walking tour of Front Street and old Marshfield.  Students got a behind the scenes tour of the Sun Printing Museum and the Egyptian Theatre.

Thursday was spent watching a presentation about museum education, ways of learning, developing programs, technology and diversity, equity and inclusion. They created an idea for a mock education program. Their field trip included a tour of the Coquille Plankhouse, the Nasomah Site and the Bandon Historical Museum.

Friday was an overview and discussion of what was learned during the week and a presentation of their individual projects. They did a great job showcasing parts of what they learned during the week to receive their history credit from North Bend High School.

Students Spruce Up CHM Grounds

Fifteen Marshfield High School students involved in Key Club, Z Club, and National Honor Society – and their advisor Stacy Gulseth – volunteered over 40 man-hours of their time to spruce up the exterior of the Coos History Museum in mid-May.  Coos Watershed Association outreach coordinator, Alexa Carlton, and CHM volunteer, Steve Greif, contributed an additional 8 hours to the project.  Together the crew eliminated two pick-up loads of dandelions, horsetail, scotch broom, and other weeds from the museum grounds.  The CHM is grateful for the hard work of these volunteers for the improvements made to the museum landscaping in preparation for the summer tourist season.

Winning Photography On Display at Coos History Museum

In September 2020, 7 photographers were teamed with private landowners in Coos & Curry counties with a goal of creating a friendly competition showcasing the waters, lands, wildlife and plants found on Oregon’s Southern Coast. Images were submitted in a variety of categories and professionally judged. This show represents some of the winning photographs. We hope you enjoy the incredible work and talent.

Click on the photo and links below to view more information.

Wild Rivers Land Trust 2020 Press Release

Wild Rivers Land Trust 2020 Video

An Interesting Link

I LOVE holidays. If you give me a reason, I will celebrate. For example: I love brownies, so know that I will be celebrating National Brownie Day on December 8th with some fresh out of the oven brownies – with or without frosting, nuts, chocolate chips…you get the idea.

In order to get more into the spirit of the month of April, I did some digging on its holidays. Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? April is also Stress Awareness month. Now here comes the real kicker. These two things go hand in hand. Follow me on this.

According to the British nonprofit Art Fund, 63% of adults surveyed used a visit to a museum or gallery to de-stress. While Harvard Health Publishing, in an article entitled ‘Volunteering may be good for body and mind,’ states that, “A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.”

So here is what my mind is doing after reading these articles: If going to museums reduces stress and volunteering is good for your health, imagine what volunteering at a museum can do for you!

In January of 2016, I walked into the Coos History Museum and signed on to be a volunteer. I needed to do something besides wait around for my 3 children to get home from school. Every Friday I did 4 hours of volunteering at the front desk with a lady named Carol and a fellow named Bruce. At first it was awkward for me. I was much younger than they were and we didn’t seem to have much in common. But after a few weeks we really looked forward to seeing each other during our shift. I looked forward to my volunteer time, even though some days got crazy busy or were super slow. I found I wanted to be here. I wanted to help people who came in to the museum. I wanted to share my love for this place with others.

In April of 2017, I was hired on as the Visitor Services Assistant, which has since morphed into so much more, including Manager on Duty, Volunteer Coordinator and Problem-Solver. Okay, that last title isn’t official at all, but I have been known to fix the elevator or figure out why something isn’t working properly.

One of my titles, Volunteer Coordinator, has proved to be tricky during this last year. Working around Covid-19 guidelines hasn’t been the easiest thing to do. We were closed for much of last year and the beginning of this year. Some of my volunteers, whom I have grown to love and respect, cannot come back and that leaves some of the time spots that need coverage, empty.

I’m reaching out to find those who want to volunteer, especially at the front desk. It’s a 3 hour shift a week. We do have other volunteer opportunities that are available. Please know that we are following state guidelines for personal safety. Hand sanitizer is everywhere and masks are worn. We do our best to stay 6 feet away from each other.

If you are interested, please reach out by either dropping by the museum to ask questions (the volunteers are great at answering!), clicking on this link to get you to the online volunteer form, or email

One last thought on volunteering that is brought to you by the Mayo Clinic Health System, from an article entitled “Helping people, changing lives: The 6 health benefits of volunteering

  1. Volunteering decreases the risk of depression.
  2. Volunteering gives a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills.
  3. Volunteering helps people stay physically and mentally active.
  4. Volunteering may reduce stress levels.
  5. Volunteering may help you live longer.
  6. Volunteering helps you meet others and develop new relationships.

Celebrate National Volunteer Month by finding out how you can volunteer today!

by Becca Hill

Celebrating National Library Week!

In celebration of National Library Week (April 4-10), we decided to tell you a little bit about our libraries. All images can be clicked to read a description.

Lansing Library

Happy National Library Week! Did you know we have two libraries in the museum? The Lansing Library is used for research more than anything else. We have volunteers here Tuesday – Friday that help fulfill research requests that come in to the museum. This library is open to the public by appointment only for the purpose of researching people, places, things and events in Coos County. Bonus – we have got one stellar view.

Lansing Archives

The Lansing Archives is our second library. It is not for public use and it is climate controlled. We store photos (which have been scanned into our database), maps, and books, among other things. Most of the books in our collection can be found in the public libraries (Oregon history starts with number 979.5 in the Dewey Decimal System). The items found in the Lansing Archives are mostly used to help with exhibits or special research requests that come in. On occasion they are used by the public (by appointment only) with the help of volunteers in the Lansing Library, but not without gloves!


These photos were published on our social media pages as well. We invite you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

New Parking Lot Island Redesigned

Coos Bay Village, the new development on old Central Dock north of museum property, continues to advance.  Several businesses including Starbuck, Face Rock Creamery, and Spectrum opened for business in January.  In February, work began on a new stoplight system on Highway 101 that will allow safe vehicular and pedestrian traffic into both CB Village and the Coos History Museum.

In the process of construction, the north parking lot of the CHM has been slightly redesigned to accommodate the new traffic pattern.  Developers have moved an “island” in the parking lot a bit further north and recently paid to have it freshly landscaped.  Landscape contractor Rex Miller of Agri-Tech Design (Coos Bay) and his crew members recently moved a large stump from the spoils island directly across the bay channel from the museum to the new “island”.  CHM trustee Courtney Krossman provided Miller with a list of native plants used by local tribal members that will be used in the landscaping by ATD.  In this way, the “island” will become another educational feature on the museum grounds.

— Steven Greif

With the large stump in place, Amanda Moore (left) and Rex Miller added rock and plants used by local Native Americans to enhance the landscaping.
Rex Miller (left) and Doug Soules of ATD prepared cables used to float the stump from the spoils island (in the background) to the CHM.

Operation Show the Love

For Immediate Release

Contact: Janice Langlinais, Director
Coos Bay – North Bend VCB
Tel: 541-269-1181 ext 2303


Operation Show the Love Gift Card Program Helps Local Eateries in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston


(Coos Bay, OR – January 13, 2020) After the hugely successful Operation: Holiday Gift Card restaurant gift card blitzed held in December, the organizers are planning Round 2 for January. This time, Operation: Show the Love program will concentrate on assisting those restaurants with inside dining that continue to be affected by the opening and closing orders due to COVID-19.  Once again, the Cities of Coos Bay and North Bend, along with the Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board (SOWIB), the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA), the Travel Southern Oregon Coast (TSOC), the Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), and K-DOCK Radio are working with restaurants in Coos Bay, North Bend & Charleston to give them a boost during this traditionally slow time for business.

“These organizations have pooled funds to purchase gift cards in the total amount of $540 per restaurant participating, which will provide an influx of funds now when restaurants are traditionally in their slowest months, made only worse by the pandemic situation,” said Mayor Joe Benetti, Coos Bay. “Between Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston, we have 71 small locally-owned restaurants who have had to close their dining rooms to seated diners again and again over the past 9 months.”

“We are very excited to have the support of such fine organizations to help us show our love for our small businesses,” said Mayor Jessica Engelke, North Bend. “In December, the gift cards went so fast we knew we had to repeat the program. We also know that when these gift cards are redeemed, diners will purchase more than the face value, so our restaurants will get another boost then.”

The gift cards will be sold for half the face value during a one-day Gift Card Sales Blitz on Saturday, January 23rd at the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center beginning at 9:00am. All gift cards are valued at $20, and will be sold for $10 each. Limit ONE gift card per restaurant per person. Limit 5 total gift cards.

“We know that we had some disappointed citizens in December who were unable to purchase the gift cards because we ran out so fast, within a few hours! We also had requests to hold this event on a weekend when more people could attend,” said Janice Langlinais, Executive Director of the VCB. “This time, we are planning to hold the event on a Saturday, we will have more gift cards available, and will limit the total number of cards that can be purchased to five. This will, hopefully, give us cards to sell throughout the day and to more of our wonderful citizens who want to show their love for our restaurants, too.”

As a reminder, there is a limit to the number of people who can be inside the Coos Bay Visitor Center at a time. The Center staff and volunteers will be monitoring the doors and encouraging purchasers to social distance both outside the center when waiting to enter and once they are in the center waiting for their purchases.

The VCB encourages those who are able to do so to bring cash as these transactions will go much quicker.

Donations will also be welcome. A Donation Box will be set up for those wishing to donate cash or gift cards for local needs.

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