The museum was again blessed with volunteer labor in October in the form of seven students from the Destinations Stewards program at Marshfield and three adults from the Coos Watershed Association. The crew, along with CHM board member Steve Greif, removed sand from the front parking lot, removed invasive species from our east bioswale and parking lot islands, and trimmed blackberry vines near the south plaza. Thanks in particular to Alexa Carleton from Coos Watershed Association for arranging this annual cleanup event.
A big thank you to nine North Bend High School sophomores and their advisor, history teacher Dustin Hood, and CHM volunteer Steve Greif, who pulled a truck load of weeds from the berm in front of the Coos History Museum on a wet Wednesday in May. Over 27 man-hours of volunteer labor was contributed by the group to get the museum landscape ready for summer visitors.
Program: these students are in the Coos Watershed Association’s Watershed Conservation Stewardship Corps program, which is a partnership between the Coos Watershed Association, Destinations Academy (part of the Harding Learning Center), and the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps (funder). The program aims to get high school students out of the classroom and into the community on a weekly basis to work on visible, meaningful projects that improve the health of our watershed (and students are rewarded with academic credit and tuition vouchers to help pay for college/trade school). Two years ago, the 2016 cohort of students were involved in the design and installation of the “ecological landscaping” at the museum, primarily the native dunes, which were previously gravel islands, and the wetland-rain garden, which collects runoff from the museum roof and parking lot and filters it before it enters the bay. The recently-installed interpretive signs lead museum visitors on a walking tour of the parking lot, explaining the reasoning and the function of each patch of native plant landscaping. The signs were designed by the Coos Watershed Association and the Coos History Museum, printed by BNT Promotional Products, and installed by the Coos Watershed Association and youth crew. Take the full tour to understand this “unconventional” type of landscaping and learn about all the community partners that helped this project come together!
Students in the Watershed program:
- Kamara Mill
- Tyler Warner
- Breahna Head
- Kody Cochell
- Nick Baker
- James McGraw
- Gavin Burch
- Kayla Coleman
- Jessy Garcia (wasn’t present today for sign installation)
Crew Leader: Dave Nelson
Program Leaders: Alexa Carleton (Education Program Leader), Kaedra Emmons (CoosWA AmeriCorps member)
These signs are two of four that will be installed on the property.
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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A huge thank you to the Charleston United States Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team who helped empty out one of our workrooms earlier this week. The items were moved upstairs to help facilitate greater collections storage and organization in the museum.