Just when the forty days and nights of rain begins, so does the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum’s Oregon Coast Shipwreck exhibit. The exhibit will focus on several prominent shipwrecks and several not-so-well-known wrecks along the Oregon coast. Things will start off with a series of lectures.
The first in a series of events related to the Oregon Coast Shipwreck exhibit is a presentation on the wreck of the Beeswax with lead investigator Scott Williams on Thursday, November 8 at 4:00 p.m.
Since the earliest days of American exploration and settlement on the Oregon Coast, stories have been told of an ancient shipwreck exposed on the Nehalem Spit. The wreck, laden with Chinese porcelain and large beeswax blocks and candles, predated American settlement of the area and was a mystery to the first settlers. Where had the vessel come from, and where was it going? Why was it carrying so much beeswax, and why did the beeswax blocks have strange symbols and carved into them? Recent archaeological and historical research confirms that the Beeswax Wreck was a Spanish galleon from Manila, lost on the Oregon coast on its voyage to Mexico. Scott Williams, Principal Investigator for the Beeswax Wreck Project, will present the story of the Beeswax Wreck and the research to identify which ship it was and where the wreck is located.
Our second event is on Friday, November 9th at 4:00 p.m.. The museum will welcome Oregon author Brian Ratty to speak about the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Ratty has strong ties to the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, his grandfather almost died on the rock in 1934. His family also grew up at the coast while the lighthouse was still in operation.
The Tillamook Rock lighthouse lies just a mile and a quarter off shore, just off of Tillamook Head. It’s the lead in many tales of shipwrecks and ghost stories. What better topic to accompany the shipwreck lecture series?
Ratty has collected historic photos, documents, and history of shipwrecks, ships, and even engineering sketches. Ratty really did his research and that’s not an easy task! The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1957 and a lot of documentation was left behind. Come learn some new things about our favorite coastal lighthouse – shipwrecks and all!