Coos Historical and Maritime Museum underway


By Connor Devereux | Sports Editor

After many years of waiting to collect donations, the preparation stage for the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum is finally underway.

Construction workers have been preparing the site located on Highway 101 for months along with piling up fill so the building is above the 100 year flood plain.

According to board member Jennifer Groth, the actual construction of the site could start next summer.

“Construction on the museum starts next summer as long as the engineers clear us to build,” Groth said.

Groth said she is excited for the construction of the new museum and explained the necessity for having it.

“We have a little museum that was built in the 1950s out of cinder blocks. The artifacts can’t be stored in the museum because the conditions of the museum aren’t right, Groth said. “We thought it would be appropriate to build a facility that would help keep the artifacts in good condition along with representing our community well.”

The new museum will have numerous exhibits revolving around agriculture, mining and timber. In addition to exhibits, there will be a research center, an auditorium and an outdoor plaza containing the propeller from the New Carissa.

Over $4.5 million have been raised for the museum to be constructed and the project will cost roughly $5 million. Although this seems like a large amount of money, Steve Greif, the volunteer president of the museum, believes it to be a great cause.

“We’ve had a lot of people pitch in and help out with donations to the museum and it shows how much we want this to happen,” Grief said.

Grief is very proud of the accomplishment of earning this much money because the community has earned it without any government help. According to Greif, many people have helped donate money to the museum including a $1 million donation by Martha Butler, who started the funding for the museum. Other donors have been Kiwanas, the Coquille Indian Tribe, Rotary, Lions Club, Menasha and many more.

“We will be so proud of building the museum because so many buildings have been torn down lately,” Grief said. “It just shows that we have lots of pride for our community.”

According to Grief, the museum will be much like a community center with activities taking place including guest speakers and presentations. He thinks this will attract not just tourists but people in the community as well.

“We think this museum will be a great place for tourists along with citizens of our community to learn more about where they live,” Grief said.

Groth agrees.

“It’s not going to be a museum with old stuff in it. It will be a center for activities that can take place in the community,” Groth said.

MHS history teacher Jeff Eberwein is excited about the museum being built and thinks students at Marshfield need to know local history, and the museum would be a good way for them to learn about it.

“I feel learning Oregon and local history is something that all Marshfield students should be exposed to,” Eberwein said.

Eberwein said he would be interested in taking a field trip there with his students if funding was available.

With the construction of the museum possibly finishing in one to two years, students and adults alike will then be able to enjoy the new museum to learn about the history of Coos County.

“I’ve always felt this area needs a beautiful spot that can show our sense of pride for our community,” Grief said. “I’m really excited about the museum being built and I can’t wait until it is finished.”