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.
The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum’s latest art exhibit features the work of local artists Scott Johnson, Debra Carnes with a homage to Cannon Beach’s Steve McLeod.
Scott Johnson’s love of nature and background in plein air is evident in his beautiful and intricate watercolors. Johnson developed the soft washes of the Japanese tradition, as well as the refined line work of the Persian miniature. Johnson’s love of nature, refreshed by frequent trips and hikes, is evident in his work, but its mood, often portrayed by impending weather, dominates the objects in the landscape. There are subtle references to change in the clouds and stronger references to death and loneliness in the leafless trees of his latest work, yet the mood is never hopeless, but lets us know that the next season, bringing the tiny leaves of spring, is just beyond and approaching.
For more than thirty years self-taught basket artist Debra Carnes has been handcrafting woven works of art from ever changing materials. Her pieces have been displayed in juried shows and galleries in Michigan, Florida, and Oregon. Her baskets and sculptures are currently inspired by her concern to create express sustainability in art making. Carnes won the Steve McLeod Earth Day Award two years in a row for creating pieces from recycled marine debris.
The work that Carnes and Johnson will be displaying in this exhibit is in part inspired by the late work of Cannon Beach artist Steve McLeod.
Cannon Beach artist and devoted beachcomber passed away just over two years ago. An evolving artist known for his seascapes and abstract sculptures were greatly inspired by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. McLeod didn’t like being pigeonholed to one thing. He experimented with beach detritus, wine boxes, watercolor, and more. McLeod had a vision that wasn’t lost on the community he left behind. Steve McLeod was a huge part of Cannon Beach’s art movement during the 1960’s. He along with Evelyn Georges had an idea to open a gallery that showcased the work of local artists, crafters, and professional artists in the same space. The White Bird Gallery was one of the first of its kind. This idea has formed the artistic identity of Cannon Beach, and some might argue, the community as a whole.
This exhibit was made possible with funding from Clatsop County and will be on display through December 23, 2017.
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 June 2018.
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.
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 CBHS, 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 childrens 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 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.