From Diane Disse
The Log Cabin Museum of the Lincoln County Historical Society will temporarily close at the end of the day on Saturday, May 4 in preparation for changes to convert it to a publicly accessible library and research facility.
“The research library has outgrown its space and needs room to grow, which the Log Cabin can provide,” Steve Wyatt, executive director of the Society, said. “Each day the current library is open we have researchers and interested visitors using the facility.”
The change also makes sense with the opening June 28 of the Society’s Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center on Newport’s Bayfront. The Cabin’s most popular exhibits, Hands-On History and the Siletz Reservation story, will be moved to the Burrows House Museum and the Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center.
The history of the Log Cabin goes back to 1958 when the Lincoln County Historical Society took steps toward building a new museum. “It has long been the wish of the historical group to have a suitable museum . . .. Items of historical interest are now scattered over the county in private homes and public buildings where most of them are not accessible by the interested public,” a Dec. 18, 1958 article reported.
To promote the work of the Historical Society, members planned several events including a tea and special exhibits held in City Hall on the weekend of the annual meeting, in February 1959. “The multi-interest entertainment will provide an extensive exhibit of antiques and Indian and pioneer artifacts, giving the visitor a taste of what will be prepared for him when the Lincoln County museum is built,” reported the Newport News on Feb. 12, 1959.
By May an agreement with the city made land behind Newport’s City Hall (then located in the Pig ‘n’ Pancake building) available. Ralph Bone offered to bulldoze the land and prepare it for a building. Bill Brubaker of Waldport had obtained enough trees from the forest service to construct the log cabin museum. Ervin Bahlburg of Cascadia Lumber volunteered to slice the sides off the logs. A little over $5,000 was spent for the construction. A contractor had the walls in place by late 1961. Most of the rest of the labor was done by volunteers. The first meeting was held at the Log Cabin in September of 1963. When the building opened to the public complete with exhibits in 1964, Newport’s Ninth Street was a narrow gravel road.