Events & Exhibits

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Upcoming Events:

Archaeology & Science at Paisley Caves :- Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

Each year the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum partners with the Archaeological Institute of America to bring archaeology to our community. Over the past few years we’ve talked about everything from early settlements in the Americas to pyramid construction in ancient Egypt.

This year, we welcome Dr. Dennis Jenkins on Saturday, October 26 at 4:00 p.m. Jenkins was a huge part of the ground-breaking work at Paisley Caves. The archaeological work conducted there changed how archaeologists world-wide looked at settlement of the Americas, even pushing dates back further than ever expected!

Dennis Jenkins is a Senior Research Archaeologist for the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon where he received his PhD in 1991. He has taught and directed the UO’s Northern Great Basic archaeological field school in the Fort Rock, Chewaucan, and Harney basins of Oregon, and the Snake River Plain in Idaho since 1989. Jenkins’ research focuses on the first colonization of the Americas. When did people arrive and by what method and direction? He has also investigated obsidian sourcing and hydration, prehistoric shell bead trade, and prehistoric settlement-substance patterns of the Northern Great Basin. He has conducted more than 100 site investigations throughout his career, authored and co-authored 11 books, 80 chapters, articles, reviews, professional reports, and contributions to reports, and given 70 papers at professional meetings. Most recently, he has been involved in the internationally recognized recovery of ancient human DNA from coprolites (dried feces) dating to 14,500 years and established the contemporaneity of Western Stemmed projectile points at the Paisley Caves with Clovis technology, co-authoring 5 articles in the World’s most prestigious scientific journals Science and Nature, made appearances in 11 TV documentaries, and had his work profiled in more than 50 newspaper and magazine articles including Parade magazine and New Yorker.

Jenkins will focus on Luther Cressman’s 1938-1940 excavations at the Paisley Caves in south central Oregon that discovered exciting evidence suggesting that people may have lived there as early as the Late Pleistocene (Ice Age), some 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. However, it was not until more recent developments in radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA analysis that he was proven correct. This presentation explains the scientific processes and results of archaeological and paleogenetic investigations at the Paisley Caves, bringing the audience and the most up-to-date information about the evidence for the association of humans and Pleistocene animals in Oregon’s high desert country more than 14,000 years ago. Dating of camel and horse bones, artifacts, twigs, and dried human feces containing Native American DNA between 12,900 and 14,500 years ago indicates that people lived in the caves and apparently hunted mammoth or mastodons, camels, horses, and other animals at the end of the Pleistocene (Ice Age) period. This colorful slide show takes the audience through the scientific processes involved in proving the case for pre-Clovis (>13,500 years) human occupations at the world famous Paisley Caves in south-central Oregon.

Seating and parking is limited for this presentation, so arrive early. The doors will close at 4:15 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

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This event has been sponsored by The Inn at Arch Cape!  

Spooky Museum – Thursday, October 31, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.








Join us for some Halloween fun on Thursday, October 31. It’s a haunted museum experience. Bring the kids! We will have candy. From 1-4. This event is free and open to the public.

How Did the Corps of Discovery Survive the North Coast Winter? :- Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

Join us for our annual membership meeting on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum welcomes interpreter and historian, Tom Wilson.

Tom Wilson, a retired elementary school teacher (30 years), began working at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park seasonally more than 20 years ago. After a great deal of research on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, he began giving talks, demonstrations, and presenting programs to students and visitors. Tom recently retired from the Park Service. During his time with the park, he participated in the park’s living history programs and has portrayed Corps members at events such as The Salt Makers Return, Clark’s Camp and Wintering Over. Tom portrayed William Clark in documentaries such as OPB’s Searching for York, as well as having been featured on Oregon Field Guide and Grant’s Getaways, and A Clatsop Winter Story produced by the National Park Service. Tom has conducted and/or helped with many tours along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Among these were tours with Dr. Gary Moulton (editor of the Lewis and Clark Journals), Shore Excursions of America, and Road Scholar groups, as well as numerous talks and presentations throughout the Northwest.

Join Lewis and Clark historian Tom Wilson, and discover how the Expedition survived the harsh North Coast winter. Learn how they established winter quarters, found food, made their clothing, how they were able to obtain salt to preserve meat for their homeward trek, and made the treacherous journey to present day Cannon Beach to obtain whale blubber and oil to add to their lean elk diet.

Dangerously low on food, provisions and trade goods, their leather leather clothing rotten from continuous rain, the Lewis and Clark Expedition had a number of critical decisions to make once they arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River. Not finding enough game to feed the 33 members and finding that the trade goods they had left was not sufficient to trade with the local natives for food, the Corps needed to find appropriate quarters as winter was approaching all too quickly.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating for this event is limited, so arrive early. The doors will close at 4:15 p.m.