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.

Photo Exhibit:

Favorites from the Archives by Kelly Mauer

The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum’s latest photo exhibit features a collection of photos from the archives selected by the Museum’s very own Collections Manager, Kelly Mauer.

If you have checked out the Museum’s social media pages, you’ve seen the wonderful collection of photos and history that have been posted. The Museum’s own Collection Manager, Kelly Mauer is the face behind all the Museum’s social media accounts and has selected a collection of her favorite photos from the archives that have also been featured on social media.

Mauer has had a love of history for as long as she can remember. “History is the only subject that completely fascinates me and never gets boring,” Mauer stated. Mauer began working at the Museum several years ago as the Registrar, but with her enthusiasm, knowledge and love of Cannon Beach history, and experience in the archives, she was quickly promoted to Collections Manager. During her time at the Museum, she has made quick work of organizing the archives and has also taken on the Museum’s social media accounts.

The photos selected in this exhibit range from Haystack Rock to Hug Point, and even PR photos from the 1940’s.

This exhibit will be on display through May 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.