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Rotary Supports Coos History Museum

Executive Director, Susan Tissot was presented a check from President Steve Schneiderman of the Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary on behalf of the Coos Foundation.

The $2500 donation will partially support the fabrication of an exhibit that will open later this year entitled, Vet Ink: Military Inspired Tattoos.  We are excited to work closely with community members on this large project.

Additional sponsors are needed to complete this project. If you or your corporation or organization are able to help, please contact Susan at or call (541) 756-6320 x213.

Watch our website, Facebook, and weekly eblast posts to follow our progress. Not getting our weekly eblast posts? Contact Becca Hill at and she will be happy to add your email address to the mailing list.


Steam Donkey Exhibit Improved

Some significant progress has been made this winter on one of the Coos History Museum’s premier outdoor exhibits. Several volunteers were led by Lionel Youst, a local historian from Allegany, who grew up around logging operations in Oregon and Washington.  Under Youst’s directions, volunteers have installed a short “skid road” behind the Dolbeer spool steam donkey on the museum’s south plaza and laid in-place a 12-ft. long, 3000 lb. log partially on those skids.  The log was placed in a dramatic way that makes it look like it is being dragged in from the museum’s western bioswale.

Youst purchased new cable and hooked it up the proper way onto the spool of the donkey so that visitors will have a better understanding of how the system worked.  Unbelievably, Youst also found and purchased a set of never-before-used “log dogs” on Ebay, that were made in 1925, in their original packaging, which were hammered into the log and chained up to the bridle of the donkey’s cable.

The machine owned by Coos History Museum was built in 1902 by Marschutz & Cantrell of San Francisco under a Dolbeer patent and shipped to Simpson Logging Company in North Bend.  It was first used at their camp on Blue Ridge and subsequently at various Simpson camps on Coos River and Daniels Creek. In 1905 Pierce sold it to Jack McDonald who formed a partnership with William Vaughn under the name of McDonald and Vaughn Logging Company.  It remained in use by Vaughn and the Coos Bay Logging Company until 1950.  It was the last such spool donkey in use in the state and perhaps in the nation.

In 1950, William Vaughan donated the steam donkey to the Coos County Historical Society. A new log sled was then built and donated by the Menasha Corporation of North Bend in 1994. The exhibit stood outside at the museum in North Bend until moved to its current location in Coos Bay in 2015.

In the spring, hundreds of 5th grade students annually visit the Coos History Museum through the education program under the guidance of CHS Education Director Amy Pollicino.  The students will enjoy counting the rings of the log to determine its age and more fully understand the physics and vocabulary of old-time logging.

-Steve Greif and Lionel Youst


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South East Asia Photos

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Angel Tree

Include the museum in your holiday gift giving. Help fulfill museum staff wishes for donations to pay for needed program supplies and equipment. Come into the museum and select paper ornaments from the tree, then go to our admissions counter to make your donation. Each paper ornament features a suggested donation amount to cover the needed expense.

Your generous support is greatly appreciated and needed.

Happy Holidays!

Since the museum is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible to the highest extent of the law.

Registration Opens for Local History Class

CHM board member Steve Greif will again teach a local history class this winter term with a new curriculum twist. “South Coast Biography: Local History From Lives of the Past” will be held at the Coos History Museum on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 from January 10th through March 21st.  Each session will feature slide-show biographies of three or more local people from our past who illustrate a theme of South Coast history. The fee for the Southwestern Oregon Community College community education class is $60. As this is a non-credit course, there is no textbook, assignments, or tests.

Interested participants must register for the class through the community college. Visit the Student First Stop Center in Dellwood Hall across from the SWOCC book store between the hours of 7:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Thursday, between November 20th and December 20th or January 2nd thru January 10th.  Space is limited for the class held in the Sprague Room of the museum.  You can also register online at by following the directions on the Community Education link. The course number is HST 0215-65.

For questions or further information you can contact Steve Greif by calling the museum at 541.756.6320.

SE Asia Trip

Our SE Asia Museum Tour Group has returned safely after a wonderful trip through SE Asia.  They visited museums, Cultural and UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as galleries and textile studios. Want to see more pictures of their adventures? Check it out on Facebook by clicking here.

Pictured here is the group with their guide in front of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park site, Angkor Wat.