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Shipwreck Exhibit and Gilnetting History Featured on N. Oregon Coast

Published 05/09/2019 at 4:53 AM PDT - UPdated 05/10/2019 at 12:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Shipwreck Exhibit and Gilnetting History Featured on N. Oregon Coast

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Two fascinating events of a historical nature take over parts of Cannon Beach and Seaside this month. (Above: wreck of the Glenesslin at Manzanita).

In Seaside, the subject turns to historical fishing methods on the Oregon coast.

In the mid-19th century, men in boats powered only by sail or oar, fished with nets at the mouth of the Columbia River. Facing great danger, the gillnetters had to contend with fish traps, horse seiners and numerous adverse conditions. During 1880, more than 200 fishermen drowned. By the 1950’s, dams, pollution and negative effects of fish hatcheries severely reduced returning salmon runs in the Columbia River. As the fishing industry declined, many fishermen left for Alaska and some left the industry, altogether.

Former Seaside municipal judge, Robert Moberg, will share some of the 150-year history of gillnet fishing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 during Seaside Museum’s History & Hops series held at the Seaside Brewing Co. He will discuss the work, that was their joy but is now “A Way of Life - All but Gone.”

Robert Moberg was born and raised in Astoria. He started gillnet fishing with his father on the Columbia River at age 10 and continued for some years in Bristol Bay, ultimately putting himself through college and law school by fishing.

History & Hops is a series of local history discussions hosted by the Seaside Museum on the last Thursday of each month, September through May, at Seaside Brewing Co., 851 Broadway.

Preserving Seaside’s History since 1974, the Seaside Museum and Historical Society is a non-profit educational institution with the mission to collect, preserve and interpret materials illustrative of the history of Seaside and the surrounding area. The museum is located at 570 Necanicum Drive, Seaside and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information can be found at www.seasideoregonuseum.com.

Down the road a tad is the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum, and this it opens up its latest exhibit: “Shipwrecks of the Oregon Coast.”

There isn’t one part of Oregon’s rugged coastline that doesn’t have a story about a shipwreck, forced landing, or daring rescue. A popular waterway for centuries, the Oregon coast has many shipwreck stories to share.

Indeed, the museum does just that: shares more of these adventurous tales. The exhibit will feature artifacts, photos, stories, and information related to the Glenesslin, USS Shark, The Mimi, The Struan, The Gem, The Emily Reed, Peter Iredale, and even the latest archaeological work related to the “Beeswax Wreck Project.” The exhibit will be on display through September of 2019. This exhibit was supported by the Kinsman Foundation and by Clatsop County.


The Cannon Beach History Center & Museum hosts a series of off-season lectures on various topics from astrophysics to Sir Francis Drake - even the occasional concert. It is also home to the cannon that Cannon Beach is named for, as well as a longhouse replica, and tide pool exhibit. The museum features the history of Arch Cape, Cannon Beach, the Tillamook Rock lighthouse, and more.

Admission to the museum is donation based because they believe history should be accessible to all, no matter financial status. During the summer the museum is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., seven days a week. www.cbhistory.org. 503-436-9301. Lodging in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours





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