Experience Our Current

Our exhibits are designed to entertain the history buff, natural scientist, artist, and lover of all things Cannon Beach. We have two rotating exhibits (one a quilt/fabric arts/arts showcase), and several permanent features of the museum.

Art Exhibit:

Random Sampling: Fabric, Wood, Metal summer art exhibit featuring Cannon Beach artists Bonny & Richard Gorsuch

This June, the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum welcomes Cannon Beach artist, free thinker and color guru to exhibit her latest work.

Local artist, Bonny Gorsuch will showcase Random Sampling: Fabric, Wood, Metal.  This exhibit is just as described, an exhibit of found objects and recycled materials brought together in an interesting and a unique way. Bonny works in three distinct mediums of fabric, wood and metal, all of which are represented in the exhibit. Bonny’s husband, Richard Gorsuch also features some of his paintings throughout the exhibit.

Bonny Gorsuch began creating Assemblage Art 25 years ago when her and her husband Richard lived in Coburn, Oregon. The roof from their 1909 bungalow was being replaced, and Bonny scooped up the Sears and Roebuck shingles, putting them in the basement to dry. She then transformed the wooden shingles into tiny 3D collages.

Now, as a certified “Master Recycler” through Tillamook County’s Solid Waste, Bonny uses cast-off items for her art, and she was most recently selected as Artist in Residence for the Coastal Oregon Artist Residency sponsored by Astoria Visual Arts and Recology Western Oregon. The project was called JUNK, ELEVATED, and the material used for the project were scavenged materials from the local Transfer Station. Bonny’s work has also been featured in Altered Couture, Art Quilt Studio, Belle Armoire, Coastal Living, Our Coast to name a few.

Bonny, Richard, and their two sons made the transition to Cannon Beach in the fall of 1999 and continue to reside in Cannon Beach where they find a sense of community in this little village by the sea.

Richard is both a fine arts painter in oils and has experience in mixed-media graphic illustration. He writes, “I love being in the right-brain mode creating with intense energy six days a week. I seek to create art that is realistic, so the image and message will clearly communicate what is happening; this relates to my background in the advertising business. I also employ the power of the imagination to play with the concept.” Richard’s interests in painting are varied – for example, to express a sense of immediacy and the feelings of our humanity, and to be accurate in reporting the past. He also does stop-action figurative art expressing the momentum of life. Presently, Richard is involved in creating “contemplative art” – art that invites one to ponder the meaning of life.

This exhibit will be on display through September 2018.

Current Temporary Exhibit:

The Long Road Home

The Cannon Beach History Center and Museum’s latest temporary exhibit explores how travelers arrived in Cannon Beach and what it took to get here. Learn more about the history of the “Daddy Train” that was built in 1890 and was used between Astoria and Seaside. The railroad only operated during the summertime, and was somewhat erratic, but made traveling a bit easier. The first passenger train from Portland to Seaside arrived in May of 1898. The trains leaving Portland every Saturday morning were known as “daddy trains” or “daddy specials” because it joined fathers with their vacationing families on Sunday. The Astoria and Columbia River Railroad Company owned the railroad, and later in 1907, the Great Northern Railroad acquired the line and became part of the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway Company, commonly known as the S.P. & S. Also learn how travelers used Hug Point as a roadway, and with the completion of the Arch Cape Tunnel, Cannon Beach would no longer be “the end of the road” but rather a place people would pass through but where, it was hoped, they would pause and spend some money, perhaps even stay a night or two.

This exhibit will be on display through September 2018.

Native American Longhouse

The Native American Longhouse is a hands-on exhibit for visitors of all ages. Children are invited to touch the cedar-bark cape, bowls, and skins furnishing the exhibit, and to use the space to pretend with our toys. The exhibit was designed in cooperation with the Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes, and the longhouse is furnished with replica artifacts crafted by Native American artisans around the Northwest.

Native American villages of the Northwest Coast consisted of several of these longhouses, which were built in clearings between forest and tidewater. Each longhouse served as a home, workshop, and ceremonial space and housed an entire extended family, with 20 or more people sometimes living in a single home.

The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum’s longhouse exhibit shows a small-scale longhouse’s interior, typical of a small home or a seasonal fishing hut. Today, Natives living on the Oregon Coast live in European style homes, but often still use longhouses for festivals and celebrations of their traditional ways.

Permanent Interpretive Exhibit

The permanent exhibit, Cannon Beach: A Place by the Sea was based on the book of the same name authored by Terence O’Donnell. The exhibit is rich in visual material, telling the story about what attracted people to Cannon Beach throughout time. Drawing from the archives of CBHCM, photos reveal the town’s past and the arduous journey it was to get here.

The story of the Tillamook Indians, Lewis and Clark, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, historic hotels and buildings, recreation, the Great Depression, World War II, and Cannon Beach today are all told through this interactive exhibit, which is also translated in Spanish.

The interactive children’s exhibit features tide pool life, and children will love learning more about sea stars, coastal forests, and bird life on the Coast!

All in all, the view from Tillamook Head, the rising sentinels of Haystack Rock and the Needles, and the seven miles of “singing sands” and sparkling surf are like magnets drawing people back year after year to Cannon Beach, a special “place by the sea.”

Spanish Audio Translation of Permanent Exhibit
Visitors to the museum can hear the text of the permanent exhibit read in Spanish, on hear-sets located at each major display panel around the museum. Financial support for the Cannon Beach History Center’s Audio Spanish Translation Project was provided by the Bloomfield Family Foundation, Oregon Council for the Humanities, and the City of Cannon Beach. Several Cannon Beach volunteers also contributed translation, recording, and installation services.

The Cannon
The Cannon Beach History Center and Museum is home to the original Cannon Beach cannon. This artifact has always been a subject of interest. Also learn more about recent findings of two more cannons on an Arch Cape beach.