705 Maple Street
Myrtle Point, OR 97701
P.O. Box 325
Myrtle Point, OR 97458
Free ; Any donations are gratefully accepted.
Mrs. Judy Baker, Board Member/Office Manager
The pictures, carvings and artifacts in the Museum have been either donated or are on loan. The large, unique Myrtlewood carvings on permanent display are a particular highlight of any visit. They were carved by Mr. Ben Warnock, a diesel mechanic who lived in the Portland area. Mr. Warnock died before he finished the carving of the lumber schooner (displayed at the back of the building near the hallway opening). His family was very generous in donating the carvings to the Coos County Logging Museum.
The unusual appearance of the Museum's dome-shaped building, now owned by the City of Myrtle Point, has made it a landmark in Myrtle Point from the time it was erected on the corner of Maple and 7th Streets. Actually designed and built by members of the congregation of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints as their sanctuary, the men did the framing and shingling, and the women did the lathing. The structure was formally dedicated July 31, 1910.
The form of the church was conceived by Samuel Giles, the son of Daniel Giles who arrived in Coos County in 1853 when he was sixteen years old. Samuel, who operated a brick yard with his father, had been in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he believed he could pattern the structure after the Mormon Tabernacle with its extraordinary acoustical properties.
Unfortunately, the change in proportions and radical reduction in size to an auditorium about forty-five feet in diameter and twenty-four feet in height up to the center skylight, resulted in acoustical chaos. Reverberations from the walls caused a speaker's voice to be unheard from the front seats while it would come in loud and clear from the back seats. Quiet comments from the room were, and still are, readily heard on the opposite side. False ceilings installed at varying heights by subsequent owners modified but never corrected the problem.
Despite the difficulty with acoustics, the congregation continued to use the building until November 1927 when the Four Square Gospel Church, which had been organized the previous summer, purchased the property with the announced intention of using the church "until the end of the world." Mrs. A. T. Train, the leader of the group, expected that to be in a few short years. Mrs. Train ordered that the first false ceiling, made of burlap, be hung about sixteen feet from the floor but made no more alterations to the building.
The Four Square Gospel congregation was never large and in time ceased to function. Then various organizations--the American Legion among others-began to use the building for meetings. Shortly before World War II, when C. J. (Jop) Morgan was Commander, the Legion Post bought and remodeled the property for their own purposes. A kitchen wing was added at the rear without disrupting the lines of the original building. A continuous bench was built around the wall of the auditorium and the platform floor was lowered slightly. In the summer of 1961, the Legion Post put in a permanent ceiling at the ten-foot height and completely resurfaced the building with composition shingles in as near the color of the original weathered cedar shingles as possible. The work was done to bring the building up to standards required by the Fire Marshal for the fire zone in which it is located.
Of structural interest is the framing system. The ribs or staves, continuous from floor to cupola, are laminated of three 1 x 4's nailed up in forms to the proper curvature. Set to sixteen inches on center at the floor, the ribs form a solid wall in the upper part of the ceiling. The ceiling was sprung around the ribs for a smooth surface.
In the spring of 1976, Mr. Jesse Laird, Mr. Ken Dietz and Mr. Curt Beckham appeared on television and radio asking for donations of artifacts from the olden
days of logging. The Coos County Fair Board let the committee use a building at the Fairgrounds and the Logging Museum was opened July 4, 1976. After eleven years, the opportunity came to move the museum into the dome-shaped building-the old
American Legion Hall-which had been given to the City of Myrtle Point.
On September 26, 1987, the Coos County Logging Museum was again opened to the public. Ongoing projects have been completed to improve the building and museum. During the winter of 1988-1989 the ten-foot ceiling was removed, the original dome-shaped ceiling was plastered, and a track-lighting system was installed. Floors were sanded and sealed, and a bathroom was added. The
composition shingles were replaced by cedar shingles and, in October 1991, were stained with 70 gallons of semi-transparent driftwood gray stain for preservation and to give it the weathered look of the original. Much of the money for renovating the
building came from logging companies, individuals, McKays Groceries and their suppliers.
The Coos County Logging Museum building was listed on the National Register of Historical Buildings on October 18, 1979.
Mr. Melvin Zumwalt also helped orgainize the timber museum in the 70's. The people who built the original building were: Samuel Giles, Charles McCracken, Thomas Dickson, Albert Hampton, Frank Daggert, Ed Britton, Miss Zella Hall, Mrs. Harry Hunt, Miss Ann Giles, Mrs. Charles-Rosella Maude Buell McCracken. The men did the framing and shingling and the woman did the lathing.
A large assortment of antique logging equipment: chain saws, spring boards, rigging equipment, axes, adzes and other hand tools relating to logging, railroad items as they pertain to the hauling of logs, old photographs, myrtlewood carvings, etc.
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