This tiny museum is home to thousands of artifacts, each with their own unique history. From the Vault showcases nearly twenty different objects and photographs from the depths of the Museum’s archives. These artifacts have been explicitly chosen for their uniqueness and pertinence to the history of Cannon Beach. Visitors will discover the stories behind these unseen treasures. One of the iconic artifacts featured is the saddle used by Mary Gerritse while riding her horse Prince to deliver the mail along the coastline. The saddle is accompanied by entries from her journal sharing her harrowing story of nearly falling from a cliff side, to coming face to face with both a mountain lion and a bear, at different times. Gerritse took over the mail route when her husband was unable. She acted as the area’s mail carrier from 1897 until 1902.
The exhibit will also feature an artifact with a slightly more macabre origin, the head of Cannon Beach’s own headless horseman. In 1964, the community of Cannon Beach was inundated with a tsunami. The tsunami was caused by a Megathrust quake with an epicenter at the head of glacier-ringed College Fiord, 75 miles from the town of Chenega. It also severely damaged Cannon Beach’s flow of summer tourists. The following year in 1965, locals Betty Dueber and Bill Steidel, along with other merchants, devised a plan to create some positive publicity for Cannon Beach. The Swigert family loaned a solid black horse each weekend and promptly at noon the bells in the Presbyterian Church would ring, and the headless horseman would enter the downtown area and gallop down the main street. The horseman, whose identity was never publicly disclosed, would gallop down the street with the human head covered with a blanket, and with all the children chasing the horse trying to determine who the actual rider was.
The exhibit also features recently donated images taken by Frank Woodfield and the Warren Family of the Warren Hotel. These images have never-been-seen by the public and share not only the tale of the old hotel, but show the humor of the photographers and the Warren family.
Discover tidbits of Cannon Beach history that you won’t find anywhere else! On display now through December of 2016.