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South Oregon Coast Museum Looks at Myrtlewood, Immigrant History

Published 04/27/22 at 4:55 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

South Oregon Coast Museum Looks at Myrtlewood, Immigrant History

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – The wonders of myrtlewood from the south Oregon coast and some deep history from the area will be on display, with a new exhibit on myrtlewood and a talk given on May 3 about one immigrant family's journey to the area. The Coos History Museum in Coos Bay brings to life the popular tree that has transformed the region in some ways through the feature that started this week, while the First Tuesday Talk program boasts the story of one family from Japan decades ago and their role in regional and national history. (Above: drone photo of Cape Arago, Coos Bay,  courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

The Coos History Museum recently began its new exhibit, Myrtlewood: Treasure of the Southern Oregon Coast. It takes a good look at the story of the myrtlewood tree. Coos County is often known for its connection to the timber industry, but the use of myrtlewood for handcrafted gifts, furniture, and works of art, is what makes it unique. Not only cherished for its beauty, it was also used as a local form of currency during the Great Depression. View handcrafted myrtlewood creations and learn about the importance of this incredible tree on the southern Oregon coast.

The museum also plays host to a special event where the public can attend a live woodworking demonstration by the South Coast Woodturners on Saturday, May 7. There, you'll get some free handmade gifts while supplies last. There will also be opportunities to purchase handcrafted wooden creations during the event.

The exhibit is located in the Welcome Gallery of the museum and will be displayed through April 2023. You can check out the exhibit during museum opening hours, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. included with museum admission.

For the Coos History Museum's First Tuesday Talk, it's a mixed medium affair that is both live and online, starting at 6 p.m. Mitzi Loftus, retired teacher, public speaker, and author will provide a talk titled, “Far East Beginnings to Present Days.” Doors are open at 5:30 p.m.

Once a local Coos Bay resident, Loftus will speak about her family’s history and journey from Japan to Oregon and the southern coast. Mitzi will also provide insight into her personal story growing up in Oregon, and what it was like for her and her family during an important time in U.S. and Oregon history, and beyond.

Registration for this presentation is free for CHM Members, $7 for non-members attending in person, and $5 for non-members attending online. To register for this program please visit the CHM website ( or register at the Coos History Museum’s front desk. You may also contact the museum via email at [email protected] or by phone at 541-756-6320 x216.


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Photos above courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

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