Tillamook County is not only rich in farms, forests, coastal waters, and cheese and seafood, our human history is front and center in every town, too. From the Nehalem Valley Historical Society in Manzanita to the Dory Fleet in Pacific City, Tillamook County has kept history alive, thanks to the many professionals and volunteers who work diligently to preserve and share our stories. And the history is broad, covering at least 150 years of Tillamook County experiences: textile and quilt museum, historic railroad, maritime museum, air museum, forest center, lighthouse, quilt trail and much more.
However, the COVID pandemic has had a huge impact on these historical organizations. The majority had to remain closed for most of the year, volunteers were often in the at-risk group, and fundraisers were cancelled. An economic impact report Visit Tillamook Coast did last spring revealed the struggle many were facing, and that was before we knew the pandemic would last as long as it has.
We are fortunate to have people believe in the work of our history centers by accepting positions as executive directors, bringing their expertise and enthusiasm to our area. Jaykob Wood recently took the helm at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, and Serena Fanning is the new leader of the Garibaldi Maritime Museum. And when the International Police Museum lost their building lease in Rockaway Beach, community members invited them to a new home in Wheeler.
Last summer, the Tillamook Coast History Alliance asked Visit Tillamook Coast to help them coordinate their marketing and messaging efforts. As part of that plan, we are working toward developing a Tillamook County Cultural Heritage Trail to include video storytelling, enhanced website, brochure and map, and additional events.
We hope these efforts not only inspire visitors to learn more about our area, but also provide locals with a sense of their own history, and support the efforts of our local historical organizations.
To learn more about the Tillamook Coast History Alliance, go to their current website: https://www.tchistoryalliance.org