CHM Event

First Tuesday Talks: Don Costello “Pocock Racing Shells and the Tree of Life”

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Coos History Museum, Sprague Gallery, Coos Bay


Online bookings are not currently available for this event. Admission, if applicable, is payable at the front desk.

Don Costello will display and share the history of two racing shells that George Pocock built in the 1960’s, and of a third shell, a Pocock Classic, built by Steve Chapin in 2009 in the Pocock tradition. These rare, fragile, row-able boats are constructed primarily from western red cedar, known by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast as the “tree of life”.

The presentation will include a demonstration of rowing technique; a brief history of Costello’s involvement in the sport of rowing as competitor, coach, developer, and historian; and his perspective on why western red cedar is to him, indeed, the “tree of life”.

Don Costello was raised in the wine country of California. He discovered crew (competitive rowing) in fall of 1966 as a freshman at UC Berkeley, raced inter-collegiately for Cal Crew during his undergraduate years, and has been deeply involved in the sport ever since. He has had two stints coaching crew for University of Oregon (1971-1972 and 2015-currently); was the founder of several other collegiate- and private rowing programs; and serves as business manager for several of Norway’s Olympic rowers. The Pocock shells come from the group of wooden singles, doubles and oars he has assembled into one of the largest private collections in the country. He has been an Oregon lawyer since 1977, a judge since 1984, and Chief Judge of the Coquille Indian Tribe since 1997. He lives in Coos Bay with his wife Karen, who is also a lawyer and rower, and his father Howard.

Doors open at 6pm
Museum exhibits and store open until 8:30pm
Free with paid museum admission
CHM Members get in free

First Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Al Peirce Company with additional support from The Mill Casino.

All events subject to change.