Events & Exhibits

Concerts | Lectures | Exhibits | Field Trips | Tours & Special Events

Upcoming Events:

 International Archaeology Day: Earliest Settlements of the Americas:- Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Archaeological work in the Americas has been causing a lot of controversy. It seems that the Americas may have been settled a lot earlier than hypothesized – a lot earlier! Most recently a site in California appears to push human activity back to between 120,000 and 140,00 years go. This is more than a hundred thousand years before humans were thought by archaeologists to be here. This site is among a few other recent discoveries, which include Paisley Caves that are rewriting the human history of the Americas.

On Saturday, October 20 at 4:00 p.m. the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum welcomes Dr. Cameron M. Smith to discuss this very topic. Dr. Smith is an Anthropology Professor at Portland State University and is a highly recognized scholar on human history, archaeology and evolution.

Dr. Smith will be discussing the old and new theories about the earliest dispersals of humans into the Americas. Whether by land or sea, these new archaeological sites bring about new questions. His talk, “By Land, Se and Shore: New Evidence and Theories on the Earliest Human Dispersals into the Americas,” will be free and open to the public.

Dr. Smith has a PhD in Archaeology from Canada’s Simon Fraser University and is a respected scholar, who has published scientific works in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, as well as Scientific American, Scientific American MIND, Discover Magazine, Archaeology Magazine, South American Explorer, Spaceflight, Skeptical Inquirer, The Next Step, and The Bulletin of Primitive Technology.

Dr. Smith has also appeared PBS, The History Channel, and on the National Geographic channel. Smith was even a guest on Theoretical Physicist Michio Kaku’s radio show Science Fantastic.

For those who have not attended a lecture by Dr. Smith, you are in for a treat! He is an engaging lecturer who keeps attendees on the edge of their seats. You won’t want the lecture to end! Seating is limited for this presentation, so arrive early. This event is free and open to the public.

This event has been sponsored by Sea Sprite Guest Lodgings!

The Wreck of the Beeswax with Archaeologist Scott Williams :- Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.





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.

Starting with 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 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.

The presentation will begin at 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Seating for the museum’s lectures is limited and it is recommended to arrive early. Doors will be closed at 4:15 p.m.

The series will continue with lectures on the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and the importance of lighthouses on the Oregon coast, the wreck of the Emily Reed, U.S.S. Shark, and more. Attend one or all to better your chances at a shipwreck trivia contest on Saturday, November 10. The contest is free to active CBHCM members, but $5 for everyone else.

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse with Brian Ratty :- Friday, November 9, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.







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?

And who better to talk about the lighthouse than Oregon author Brian Ratty? 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.

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!

The presentation will begin at 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Seating for the museum’s lectures is limited and it is recommended to arrive early. Doors will be closed at 4:15 p.m.

Holiday Party :- Saturday, December 22, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.







Looking for an escape over the holiday weekend? Join the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum’s board of directors and staff for an all-day event for both kids and adults on Saturday, December 22.

The museum will host an all-day hot chocolate bar. We’re talking whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate nibs and more! The no-host treat bar will also have hot apple cider, Sleepy Monk coffee, and sparkling cider. Arts and crafts will run from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. The museum will also offer a children’s story time at 3:00 p.m. and face painting from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. We’ll even have a Santa stop by for pictures. This event is free and open to the public.

The museum will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 22. You can purchase that special last minute something for the person who loves history or local gifts.

Learn Grant Writing with Oregon State Parks Kuri Gill :- Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.








Grant writing. It’s just one of those skills that seems insurmountable, especially for the small non-profit or museum. You can search around online, but sometimes a face-to-face workshop is the best way to gain a new skill.

Kuri Gill of Oregon State Parks Grants and Outreach Coordinator will be coming to Cannon Beach on January 10 to lead you through the process in her very popular grant writing workshop. A successful grant is all about having the project well thought out and organized. Learn tips to plan your project and translate it to a well written grant. RSVP required.

Kuri Gill is the coordinator for the State Historic Cemeteries Program, supporting individuals and organizations in the preservation and interpretation of Oregon’s historic cemeteries. Kuri earned her BA at the University of Oregon in Art History and MA at California State University, Chico in Museum Studies. She was formerly Curator and Education Coordinator at Mission Mill Museum and worked at the Linn County Historical Museum in Brownsville. Kuri strongly believes that heritage and the arts make for stronger communities. She lives in Springfield with her wonderful son and husband.

To RSVP, email or call 503-436-9301. Seating for this presentation will be very limited.

The Wreck of the Emily Reed :- Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.


The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum opens the second part of “Oregon Coast Shipwrecks” on Thursday, February 7 at 4:00 p.m. with a special presentation by Oregon historian Don Best. Best’s family is from Rockaway, Oregon and he has spent a lifetime researching and understanding the history of the area and has become a known authority on the wreck of the Emily Reed. The wreck has played peak-a-boo with area residents since it ran aground on Valentine’s Day in 1908. Best first saw the wreck as an 18-month old child and then again when he was eight (with a harrowing story of digging into and exploring the innards of the buried ship), and many times thereafter. He will share the enthralling history of this ship and its mysteries, not to mention his extensive collection of pictures. This event is free and open to the public. Seating for Best’s presentation is very limited so please arrive a little early to get a seat, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and peruse the museum before the lecture starts at 4:00 p.m. Doors are closed at 4:15 p.m.

The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum is a private non-profit located in mid-town Cannon Beach (1387 South Spruce Street.) Admission to the museum is donation based. The museum is open Wednesday through Monday 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., closed on Tuesday. The Oregon Coast Shipwrecks exhibit will be on display November 8 through November 2019. The exhibit features artifacts, documents, photos, artwork, and history related to the Emily Reed, the Mimi, the Glenesslin, the USS Shark, and the new archaeological work related to the wreck of the Beeswax ship. The exhibit will open in several phases and will include interactive exhibits that will allow visitors to learn navigation techniques of the 19th century, as well as have some fun!

Looking Beyond the Temples and Beyond the Capital: Exploring the residences of the ancient Angkorians :- Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum’s March lecture will focus on household archaeology with Assistant Professor Alison Carter on Thursday, March 29 at 4:00 p.m. Carter has done extensive archaeological work in Cambodia and will share her discovery with the community of Cannon Beach.

Angkor, centered in the modern nation of Cambodia, was one of the largest preindustrial settlements in the world and has been the focus of more than a century of epigraphic, art historical, and architectural research. However, few scholars have examined the lives of the people who built the temples, kept the shrines running, produced the food, and managed the water. This presentation will discuss two recent excavations that examined Angkorian residential occupation. First, she will discuss excavations on a house mound within the enclosure of the state temple of Angkor Wat. Then she will discuss the 2018 excavations on occupation mounds near the small provincial temple of Prasat Basaet, across the Tonle Sap lake from the Angkorian capital in the province of Battambang. Through this multidisciplinary research they aim to better understand the nature and timing of occupation at these sites, the types of activities taking place within an Angkorian household, and compare life in the capital with life in the provinces.

Alison Carter is Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Oregon. She holds her degrees from the University of Wisconsion, Madison (M.S. and Ph.D.) and Oberlin College. Professor Carter is an anthropological archaeologist with interests in the political economy and evolution of complex societies in Southeast Asia, the archaeology of East and South Asia, materials analysis and LA‐ICP­‐MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), craft technology and specialization, household archaeology, ritual and religion, trade and exchange, and bead studies.household archaeology in Angkor, Cambodia. She is also an Archaeology Institute of America featured speaker. And she lives right here in the Pacific Northwest!

This event is free and open to the public. Seating for Professor Carter’s presentation is very limited so please arrive a little early to get a seat, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and peruse the museum before the lecture starts at 4:00 p.m. Doors are closed at 4:15 p.m.

D.B. Cooper & the Exploding Whale: Folk Heroes of the Northwest :- Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

The 2018 Cottage & Garden Tour’s luncheon and lecture was sold out over a week in advance thanks to our phenomenal speaker, Oregon author Bill Sullivan. Sullivan is an acclaimed author, historian and adventurer who has an uncanny way of discovering history that even the experts didn’t know.

Is it hard to believe that the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum has invited him back for their 2019 lecture series? Don’t miss his return this April 25 at 4:00 p.m.

Author William L. Sullivan takes us on a slide show tour of legendary Northwest folk heroes from Sacajawea and D.B. Cooper to Bigfoot. Expect entertaining and educational tales about the historical figures that helped define the spirit of the Pacific Northwest — as told by the author of the thriller, “The Case of D.B. Cooper’s Parachute”.

Sullivan has written four novels and a dozen nonfiction books about the Northwest, including “Hiking Oregon’s History” and “Oregon Favorites.” His journal of a 1000-mile hike he took across Oregon, “Listening for Coyote,” was chosen by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission as one of Oregon’s “100 Books,” the 100 most significant books in the state’s history.

Sullivan is an engaging lecturer who keeps attendees on the edge of their seats. You won’t want the lecture to end! This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited for this presentation, so arrive early and get a cup of coffee or tea. The doors will close at 4:15 p.m.

Did Francis Drake and the Golden Hind Land at Whale Cove in 1579? :- Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.







We don’t always talk about Sir Francis Drake, but when we do, we like to talk about his connections to Oregon. May is all things ships, wrecks, and lore. Who better to clear things up than Melissa Darby, M.A.

Melissa is an anthropologist and an archaeologist with over thirty years experience in the field. She can speak on the enthnobiology of the people of the Lower Columbia, theory relating to Sir Francis Drake landing in Oregon, architecture of the Northwest Coast People including Kalapuya, Oregon Coast and Chinookan peoples, and on a skillet possibly from the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Her power point presentations incorporate old photographs, maps, drawings and splendid animation.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating for this presentation is limited, so arrive early to get your seat. Doors close at 4:15 p.m.

This event has been sponsored by Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals!






Sofia Talvik Folk Concert :- Thursday, June 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Cannon Beach is a long way from Sweden, but that won’t stop Sofia Talvik from making a special stop in Cannon Beach during her world tour on Thursday, June 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Talvik is promoting her latest album, Big Sky Country. An album inspired by her travels through America. Her grasp of Americana and folk music is inspiring for someone from Sweden.

“Even though this young lady is from Sweden, I’d place her at the forefront of the American vanguard. One listen will tell you why and how.” wrote PopDose’s Rob Ross about Sofia Talvik’s new album. And it’s no wonder since this Swedish singer/songwriter now toured through 47 states in her little 1989 tour RV otherwise known as Lil’Chief. She’s seen more states, and more places in the USA than the average American, and she seems to love it. Her latest album ”Big Sky Country” (named one of the 5 best Americana albums of the year by British newspaper The Telegraph) celebrates her love for the vast plains, big mountains and sandy coastlines in the states that she toured through, as well as the warm and quirky people she met on the road.

She’s played the big festivals like Lollapalooza and SxSW, opened for artists like Maria McKee and David Duchovny (X-files, Californication) but the intimate setting of a smaller stage where she can casually joke and communicate with the audience is really where her strength as a performer shines the most. After all she’s in it for the music, not the fame and fortune.

“A singer/songwriter who is able to evoke the essence of Laurel Canyon circa the ’60s.” writes Lee Zimmerman on NoDepression, and continues to compare her to giants like Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. ”In many ways, Talvik seems destined to become their heir apparent, given that her songs are striking in an effervescent and incandescent sort of way.” he continues.

Tickets to this concert are $15 each and include complimentary refreshments. Seating is limited and it is believed that this concert will sell out quickly. You may purchase tickets online at or by phone at 503-436-9301. Tickets include complimentary refreshments. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for this event and the doors close at 7:15 p.m.

Haystack Rock: A Marine Reserve :- Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.








Haystack Rock. It’s that beautiful monolith surrounded by beautiful tide pools and home to many sea birds. We’ve asked Haystack Rock Awareness Program director Melissa Keyser to come give us a talk on all things Haystack Rock.

The Haystack Rock Awareness Program was started in the 1980’s and has continued to protect the intertidal and bird ecology of Haystack Rock’s marine garden and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Keyser has truly found her passion with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program. A love of the environment and our beautiful shores shine through in everything she does. You won’t want to miss this talk as Keyser explores what it means to be a marine garden and wildlife refuge.

Seating for this presentation is limited. Arrive early to get a up of tea or coffee. Doors close at 4:15 p.m.