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Sea Lion Caves' Financial Gift to Another Central Oregon Coast Attraction

Published 08/24/22 at 4:28 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sea Lion Caves Gives Financial Gift to Another Central Oregon Coast Attraction

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(Florence, Oregon) – With a big party already scheduled, one Oregon coast attraction suddenly has cause to celebrate even more. In Florence, at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum, August 26 is a day of whooping it up in honor of Sea Lion Caves' 90th anniversary, with a big bash starting there at 5 p.m. (Photo above courtesy Sea Lion Caves)

However, the museum recently learned of a substantial financial gift – the amount of which will be disclosed at Friday's shindig. Co-owners of Sea Lion Caves will present the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum with the gift on that day.

One historic Oregon coast attraction celebrates another – and it, in return, celebrates right back. It's a kind of tourism synergy that's a unique moment out here.


Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection

“The festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. with champagne and wine for those of age, juice, cookies, and other party snacks,” said museum board president Del Phelps. “We’ll have a special historic exhibit dedicated to Sea Lion Caves and presentations by local dignitaries. It will be a grand occasion for all.”

For Sea Lion Caves, the connection is personal.

“We thank the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum for their support in hosting historic exhibits, not just of Sea Lion Caves but of the entire region’s history from first-nations people through the settlers’ and into fairly modern times. They have a true community treasure that everyone should see,” said Steve Saubert, one of Sea Lion Caves’ co-owners. “And, we hope the whole community will come out for the Sea Lion Caves’ anniversary party at the museum.”

Saubert and Phelps also said that attendees who contribute a financial gift to the museum’s operations will receive a family admission pass to Sea Lion Caves, good for one use during the next 12 months.


Photo courtesy Oregon State Archives: Gov. Atiyeh celebrating the 50th anniversay of Sea Lion Caves in 1982

Since 1932, visitors to the area have been able to descend, first by wooden stairway, nowadays by elevator, about 200 feet from the clifftop above America’s largest sea cave down into the cavernous environs of multiplied hundreds of frolicking pinnipeds including Steller and California sea lions. The entire site is designated as a national wildlife refuge for the animals and birds that live there.

Some on the Oregon coast claim largest this or smallest that – but Sea Lion Caves has lived up to the claim. Oregon Coast Beach Connection checked with the Guinness Book of World Records organization and it indeed has listed the Sea Lion Caves under that category.

Visitors to the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum are transported through time by a diversity of exhibits showing slices of life from before white settlers made their way to the Siuslaw Region and up to life in the 1950s.

On display are two floors of displays featuring items from an authentic dug-out canoe, and first-people’s tools and apparel, to household items of pioneer homesteaders; from early logging and fishing implements to the control panel once used by the Siuslaw River drawbridge operator; and one of the first telephone switchboards.

Visitors will learn about the hardscrabble life of those who started the logging and fishing industries around Florence in the mid- to late-1800s and see examples of the delicate side of life through the place settings and handiwork of talented lace and quiltmakers.

278 Maple Street in Florence. It will be free-to-the-public.

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