Saturday, April 4, 2020


As per the governor’s orders, our PIONEER/INDIAN MUSEUM is closed until further notice due to the CoronaVirus Crisis.  Of course, just because the museum is closed does not mean that expenses stop.  Monthly bills for water and sewer, electricity, and natural gas for heat must be paid.

What closure stops is revenue to pay the bills.   We depend on visitor donations, sales of books and other merchandise to help pay operating costs.  Donations, large or small, would be greatly appreciated.  The museum will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so.  Thank you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Echo, Winter 2017

South Umpqua Historical Society
Winter 2017                                                                   Volume 13    No. 1
The South Umpqua Historical Society had its quarterly meeting on November 6, at the Heaven on Earth Restaurant in Azalea.
After a great dinner, Roy Brogden started the meeting with a welcome, minutes and the Treasurer’s report.
We discussed ‘money’.  We are still trying to get a grant for the solar system and we want to thank Huffman and Wright for their donation of $500. We have received a grant of $3700 from Pacific Connector for the gas heater in the Pickett Building. The much needed heater was installed by Custom Heating of Myrtle Creek.
Three flag poles will be worked on during the winter break. We will have the American, Oregon and Cow Creek tribal flags. Thank you Cow Creeks for the beautiful flag.
It is so good people are willing to help us pay our bills. To those who responded to our appeal last quarter, THANK YOU. This will help us pay our 2017 utilities, which are about $8000. We have received $6050, the Cow Creeks gave $4000 and $2050 from many of you. Thank you all again. We could not do it without YOU .
We will be going ahead with a second proposal for a grant to fund the solar project.
And, surprise, surprise,  it is now time to pay dues. Please note the enclosure.
So What Else Is New
Donna Witt is again checking thinks out to refresh and change displays. I think Susie Waddle is helping. Thanks, Donna and Susie.
We had a grandma with her grandchildren visit and 7 year-old Travis seemed to be interested in many things.  I told him we were trying to finish the Pickett building. He let me know we had better have it finished when he returned or there would be consequences. He didn’t think olden times were so good, no u-tube.
She flies with her own wings
Oregon, land of the Empire Builders, Land of the Golden West. Oregon was given a few names, but the one that stuck was “The Beaver State”. Oregon was honored with a quarter in 2005, but unlike other states, it had 2 other coins, “The Beaver Coins”.
New Oregonians were bringing back gold dust from California and people were going from rags to riches. Not only miners, but suppliers as well. Gold dust currency was a struggle. Merchants were not always given the amount the dust was worth.
So, in February, 1849, $2,000,000 in gold dust was ready to be minted. A bill was passed and a $5 and $10 coin would be minted. The first coined $50,000 of coins before Gov. Joseph Lane closed the mint.
He didn’t close “Oregon Exchange Co.”, and this company coined #55,000, $5 and $10 gold pieces. This was our “Beaver Money”.
On one side the name of the company and words, native gold. The other side, a beaver with partner’s initials, T.O., Oregon Territory and 1849. The coins didn’t last too long thanks to the U.S. Mint in San Francisco. They say, there are about 30 to 50 of the $5 coins existing, less of the $10.
In 2006, a $5 Beaver coin sold here for $250,000. David Nelkins of Eugene Coin and Jewelry bought a Beaver coin for more than$250,000. He didn’t tell how much, but the person he bought it from paid $257,000. David is an Oregonian and bought it for the `art’ of the coin.
Keep your eyes open, maybe you’ll find a Beaver coin.
Happy Birthday Oregon
And I thought I was getting old!
Last time it was the Statue of Liberty getting older and now it’s Oregon. Oregon will be 158 years old on February 14, what a sweetheart. How many of you were born in Oregon and know the Oregon song. Oregon, My Oregon, the state song was written as a poem for a contest back in 1920. In a contest sponsored by the Society of Oregon Composers, 5 judges chose John A. Buchanan’s poem from 212 entries. John was a teacher and went back to school for a law degree. He started his practice in Roseburg in 1898. He was also a State Legislator and a Judge. His home is in the Pine District of Roseburg. After having his poem chosen, the Society Vice President, Henry B. Murtagh, set the poem to music, thus, in 1927, the Oregon legislature officially designated, Oregon, My Oregon, as the state song.
Henry Murtagh was a well-known silent-film theater organist as was Frank Alexander, member Joan Alexander Barnes’ father. Joan has original sheet music of “Oregon, My Oregon”, printed in 1920.
The South Umpqua Historical Society’s next meeting will be
Sunday, February 5 at 1:00 pm at the Pioneer/Indian Museum in Canyonville.
(You will still get home in time to watch the super bowl)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Solar Power

We would like to thank Roger Wright for helping us to continue our application process for solar energy at our museum. His donation of $500 will allow us to apply for the second grant in the process. A solar installation would help us reduce our electrical operating expenses at the museum and become a visitor attraction to see and learn about solar power. Thanks, Roger, for helping us to keep going forward with our museum.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Thanks to Jordan Cove

We have just received wonderful news! We have been awarded a grant from the Jordan Cove-Grant Program for $3700. With cold weather hitting us now, we greatly need a furnace for our new building to protect the vehicles we have and to allow us to utilize our space for exhibits. We wish to thank the people from the Jordan Cove Grant Program for these funds which will enable us to purchase a hanging gas heater for our building. This grant could not have come at a better time!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Canyonville Echo Fall 2016

South Umpqua Historical Society

Fall 2016                                                                        Volume 12 No. 4
The South Umpqua Historical Society had its quarterly meeting on August 7, at the Museum in the Pickett building. I heard it was very hot.It was reported that our general meeting  will be held on November 6 in Azalea at the Heaven On Earth Restaurant at Quines Creek.The owner, Christine Jackson, said she will provide meals, from the menu, at a discounted price. This would normally be a potluck in Glendale, but there isn’t a place to hold the meeting. We will begin at 1:00.
The electrical wiring is being worked on in the Pickett building. But, our grant for the solar project from the Pacific Power Blue Sky was not funded, boo hoo!
We all need to support our museum. Think about an ‘end of the year’ or maybe a ‘beginning of the year ’donation or a pledge of so much a month or year. The Cow Creeks  just awarded us with $4000 for our 2017 utilities, but we need another $4000 to pay the bill. We really could use the help.
The Cow Creeks are also helping us with the funding for our wonderful receptionist, Ruth Ann Shuman. She’s great and we wouldn’t be open without her. They built for us, from scratch, the Plank House, which is one of the favorite displays at the museum, especially with the younger set. THANK YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCH, Cow Creeks. We really appreciate your help.
Let’s Take a Journey
Our book of pictures, games and info about Oregon are for sale at $5 with a box of crayons. So far we have sold about 20.
So, What Else is New!
The new exhibit of old’ switchboards’ is on the main floor. These original telephone switchboards were used by the City of Myrtle Creek. Marvin Cornutt was the early operator. The switchboards were donated by Jim St. Onge. There is also a picture of our member Joan Barnes when she was a switchboard operator in Portland about 1953, along with some instructions on how it worked.
Another new item is the ‘Flour Dresser’ in the Matthews building. It is a mechanical device used in grain mills for bolting. Bolting is the process of separating the finished flour from bran and dust after milling , using a centrifugal reel or flour dresser.
The fiftieth Pioneer Days has come and gone, but it was great. Our princesses looked so good riding on Lonnie Nichols’ old hay wagon. Our royal court for 2016 along with our Pioneer Mother, Sue Shaffer, was Tracy Briggs, Kathy Ronan Brown, Diana Dailey Denton and Christine Deaton Morgan. What a great looking court!
We have the Pioneer Days book at the museum for this year and next year will by The Book’s 50th Year. If any of you have a good idea for an article, just let us know. This will be a special edition.
The South Umpqua Historical Society’s next membership meeting will be SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 at 1:00 pm in AZALEA at the HEAVEN ON EARTH RESTAURANT. We will chose from the menu, it will NOT be a potluck.
Happy Birthday Old Girl
And I thought I was getting old!
This newsletter will be mailed on October 28, 2016 which is the 130th birthday of our own Statue of Liberty, Liberty Enlightening the World. Is that possible? Yes, on October 28, 1886 as many as one million people went to Lower Manhattan in New York harbor to be there at the unveiling of the statue, with Pres. Grover Cleveland presiding. This copper statue was designed by Frederic Bartholdi, a French sculptor and built by Gustave Eiffel. It was a gift to the United States by the people of France. Fundraising was difficult, some work had to stop. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer started a drive for donations and there were more than 120,000 contributions, most giving less than a dollar. The work was completed and it would have cost $10 million today. Boston and Philadelphia really wanted the statue and would have paid for the whole thing. She stands 305 feet, had 354 stairs to the crown with 25 windows. She wears a size 879 shoe and has a 35 foot waistline. She functioned as a lighthouse from 1886-1902 and in 1944 the lights in the crown flashed dot-dot-dot-dash, which is Morse Code for V. Victory in Europe…..cries with silent lips “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kudos to Heaven On Earth Restaurant

We wish to thank Heaven On Earth Restaurant at the Quines Creek exit, near Azalea, for hosting our annual fall general meeting on November 6, 2016. We met in their spacious meeting room and enjoyed a wonderful meal and dessert before having our meeting.  Good food preceded a good meeting enjoyed by all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Kudos to the Tribe

The Pioneer Indian Museum has much to be thankful for this November. Funding for the operation of our facility is becoming difficult to acquire.  The Cow Creek Tribal Board answered our appeal for help by contributing $4,000 which will pay half the cost of museum utilities for the year 2017.  We are so grateful for this help and for the tribe’s continued funding of our docent payroll.   The plank house, constructed by the tribe has become one of our more popular exhibits.
One of our goals for this fall is the construction of three flag poles which will fly the United States National flag, the Oregon flag and the Tribal flag of the Cow Creek Indians. The Indians have provided us with a beautifully colored 4’x6’ flag to display.  Thank you.