Events & Exhibits

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

Upcoming Events:

Sea Otters of Oregon: A Missing Keystone Species:- Monday, April 22, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

Celebrate Earth Day at the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum with a talk about sea otters.  Who wouldn’t want to talk about sea otters?  Sea otters of Oregon are a missing keystone species and expert Robert Bailey will talk about how the history of why Oregon is where it is and how we can make some changes.  The presentation will be on Monday, April 22 at 4:00 p.m.

Once common on the Oregon coast, sea otters were hunted nearly to extinction for their rich fur in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Their loss was a significant blow to coastal native people and to the marine environment. Although sea otters have returned elsewhere, they remain missing in Oregon. What will it take to help them return?

This talk will explore the history of sea otters in Oregon, their ecological and cultural importance, and the prospects for their return and recovery. It will touch on the mission of the Elakha Alliance, an Oregon non-profit organization devoted to sea otter conservation.

The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum hosts a series of off-season lectures on various topics from astrophysics to Sir Francis Drake.  The museum is located in mid-town Cannon Beach and is a private non-profit that doesn’t receive city, federal or state funding.  Admission to the museum is donation based because they believe history should be accessible to tall, no matter financial status.  The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum is open Wednesday through Monday, from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Seating and parking for this event is limited, so arrive early.  Take advantage of this opportunity to visit the museum and check out their latest exhibits.  The museum currently has an art exhibit featuring local artist Stirling Gorsuch and an historic exhibit on the shipwrecks on the Oregon coast. There will be complimentary coffee, tea, and sweet treats at this event. This is part of the 12 Days of Earth event series.
Martin North (Surfsand Resort, Public Coast Brewing, Stephanie Inn, Stephanie Inn Dining Room, Wayfarer Restaurant & Lounge, Haystack Gardens) has sponsored this event.  Steve and Jan Martin established Martin North in 1979. The Martin family brought hospitality in Cannon Beach to a whole new level. Each of their properties has grown and changed with the families who live and visit here.


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

On Thursday, April 25 explore the history and legends that make Oregon unique.  Acclaimed Oregon author and historian William L. Sullivan will take you on a journey through 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. Sullivan’s presentation will start at 4:00 p.m.  Seating and parking 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. While you’re at the museum, check out the latest exhibits on display there.  On display in the event space is Language of Time the latest exhibit from local artist Stirling Gorsuch, in the temporary exhibit space is an exhibit about Oregon coast shipwrecks focusing on The USS Shark, The Glenesslin, The Peter Iredale, and the latest archaeological work related to the Beeswax Project.

The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum hosts a series of off-season lectures on various topics from astrophysics to Sir Francis Drake.  The museum is located in mid-town Cannon Beach and is a private non-profit they doesn’t receive city, federal or state funding.  Admission to the museum is donation based because they believe history should be accessible to tall, no matter financial status.  The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum is open Wednesday through Monday, from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The Ocean Lodge has sponsored this event! If you haven’t checked out their property, you should. It’s beautifully located right on the beach in Tolovana with an epic view of Haystack Rock. Their lobby fireplace, cookies at check in, and friendly service, make this a great spot for a getaway. Check them out at



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







Don’t miss an engaging and intriguing talk on Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind at the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum on Thursday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m.  There are many questions about Sir Francis Drake and how far north he really came.  Melissa Darby will endeavor to unravel the mysteries and misinformation surrounding Sir Francis Drake and his famous circumnavigation of the world.

Darby’s talk will focus on their forced landing in the summer of 1579 and information she has gathered while writing her book, “Thunder Go North, The Hunt for Sir Francis Drake Fair and Good Bay.” The Golden Hind was leaking, and Sir Francis Drake and his crew were in peril. They searched the coast and found what they called ‘Fair and Good Bay’ with a protected beach so they could lay the ship completely on her sides to get to the leak. Was it in Oregon?  Darby will share compelling information about why she thinks this bay may have been in Oregon.

Darby is an anthropologist and an archaeologist with over thirty years experience in the field. She can speak on the ethnobiology of the people of the Lower Columbia, the 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 presentations incorporate old photographs, maps, drawings and splendid animation.

Seating and parking for this event is limited, so arrive early.  Take advantage of this opportunity to visit the museum and check out their latest exhibits – including an engaging exhibit on the shipwrecks of the Oregon coast.

This event has been sponsored by Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals!  Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals is a locally owned and operated property management company located just a block away from the museum. They manage over fifty beautiful homes in Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, and surrounding areas.






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 photogenic monolith surrounded by beautiful tide pools and home to many sea birds.  With the popularity of drones growing, the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum has asked Haystack Rock Awareness Program Director, Melissa Keyser, to come talk about all things Haystack Rock.  What is a marine reserve?  How did this all get started?  Keyser will walk us through what we need to know and all the fun facts related to Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock on Thursday, June 20 at 4:00 p.m.

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

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.

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

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.