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.
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.
We thank everyone who has helped us this year, whether it was in the form of a donation, purchasing a membership or volunteering time. You are what helps keep our museum possible!
If you donated or paid for a membership this last year and you do not see your name on this list, we haven’t forgotten about you! Our database will occasionally hiccup when it extracts data. We apologize for this error.
The Coos History Museum participated in the BACC Education and Workforce Committee fundraiser “Pie in the Face” event. Thanks to Ariel E. Peasley, Education and CommunityEngagement Coordinator, for nominating her co-workers to be potential “victims.” Becca Hill, Membership and Visitor Services, became the “victim” to receive a pie in the face because she received the most donations in her jar from co-workers and visitor coming into the museum. Even though the person getting pied knows it’s coming, it is always a shocking experience.
The World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville recently closed and dispersed its assets to museums in the PNW. Our museum obtained (free) six nice display cases and other museum-related items.
In mid-November, Marcia Hart and Steve Greif (left) loaded donated cases and other items from the World of Speed Museum at Wilsonville into a U-Haul. A big thanks to volunteers Bill Mast (center) and Coos Bay firemen Lt. Luke Taylor (left) and Engineer Caleb Owens (right) who helped unload the truck upon return to the Coos History Museum.
The Coos History Museum and the League of Women Voters of Coos County are sponsoring this fun, easy-to-socially-distance activity during the week of August 24-29. We will continue to chalk our walks until it starts raining!
August 26 is the centennial of the 19th Amendment (aka Women’s Equality Day). Create your own tribute to our precious right to vote! Use your own space, a business space (Ask first please!) or contact the Coos History Museum about decorating our walk way. We have 75-5’x6′ squares on our sidewalk available! Local artists, families and individuals can call to arrange to decorate during the week.
Coos History Museum Works with National Memorial for Peace and Justice
By Steven Greif, Board Member, and Marcia Hart, Executive Director, Coos History Museum
On Saturday, February 29, 2020, the Coos History Museum and the City of Coos Bay joined with the Taylor Stewart, a volunteer with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and Bre Lamkin, from the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama to retell the story of a racially driven and violent tragedy that occurred on September 8, 1902, the lynching of Alonzo Tucker. This ceremony was an effort to begin the reconciliation of one dark and difficult event in the historical record with our present day point of view of race relations in Coos County.
Citizens who attended the February 2020 event placed soil, collected from Front Street and 7th Street Bridge sites, in two decorative jars inscribed with the name of Alonzo Tucker. One jar was sent to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama for display along with the hundreds of others that commemorate lynching sites in America. The second jar is now in the Coos History Museum collection and will be used in a future exhibit about racial injustice in the history in Oregon and the South Coast. In the meantime, the City of Coos Bay has agreed to pay for, and install, a commemorative plaque at the Front Street site. The Coos History Museum will provide information from the historical record for the plaque. There will be public notification of the placement of the plaque when preparations are completed.
The non-profit Equal Justice Initiative was founded in 1989. The EJI educates citizens about civil rights and provides research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in the critically important work of criminal justice reform.
The mission of the Coos History Museum is to create a better understanding of life in Coos County and Oregon’s South Coast, past and present, and our place in that life. Over the last five years, the Coos History Museum has held over a dozen events connected with the theme of diversity by working with the Oregon Humanities Commission, LGBTQ+ organizations, and homeless advocates.
Museums are a vital part of how we tell the stories of who we are, who we’ve been, and how we will live together. They maintain our cultural heritage and teach us about all the ways we are different and the same. Reflecting the diversity of that heritage is a critical part of the Coos County Historical Society and The Coos History Museums’ work. We work towards highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion as a key focus area in our strategic priorities and educational programming. Inclusion is how we move toward our equity goal, and diversity describes the breadth of our experiences and perspectives.
The Society acknowledges the acute trauma and pain experienced by African American/Black people over the past weeks, months, and years and throughout our history as a country. We support local, state and national voices of peaceful protest and change. We also acknowledge the even larger picture of oppression of all people of color, from the Native People who lived on this land before the white settlers, to the immigrants of all races who were brought to this area in the early 19th century.
We encourages citizen to learn more about state and local history regarding civil rights. The following books may be helpful in understanding regional civil rights issues:
Law on the Bay: Marshfield, Oregon 1874-1944 by Andie E. Jensen (2010). The author shares extensive newspaper research about the crimes and law enforcement officers in old Coos Bay and includes newspaper accounts of the Alonzo Tucker lynching.
The Coos Bay Region 1890-1944: Life on a Coastal Frontier by Nathan Douthit (2nd edition, 2005) is a book about the pioneer era. The author relied on many oral history interviews as well as historical documents and photographs. Some discussion of minority issues, including the Alonzo Tucker event, are covered.
Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon (1990) by Mitzi Asai Loftus, formerly of Coos Bay, describes a first-hand account of the Japanese relocation camps of the WWII era.
Paper Fight: The Coos Bay Times and the Ku Klux Klan by Jon Littlefield (2014). Discusses the competition of the two leading newspapers in Marshfield in the 1920s and the influence that KKK activities had on local and state politics. Good biographies of the Maloney brothers (who ran the Times), Charles Hall (businessman who ran for governor).
Between Two Worlds: Chinese of Marshfield, Oregon (3rd edition) by Jon Littlefield (2016). Chinese immigrants came to Coos County to build the railroads, work in the mines and canneries, serve as cooks in lumber camps, and operate stores. The story of several Chinese families, especially the family of Gow Why, from about 1880 to 1940.
Stars in the Dark: Coal Mines of Southwestern Oregon by Dow Beckham (1995). Discussion of the minority workers at the mines, markets and competition, coal transportation and mining industry changes.
Uncertain Encounters: Indians and Whites at Peace and War in Southern Oregon 1820s-1860s by Nathan Douthit (2002). Investigates the Hudson’s Bay fur trading company and its relations with Indians on the South Coast, white exploration, conflicts with settlers, the removal of Indians to reservations, and the culture afterwards.
She’s Tricky Like Coyote: Annie Miner Peterson, An Oregon Coast Indian Woman by Lionel Youst (1997) is the story of the last native Coos language speaker who lived on the Coastal Reservation in the late 1800s and later served as an informant to anthropologists in the 1930s.
Click here to read about coverage from this historical event.