Heart of the Museum: Seeing Local History through Scrapbooks


February 29, 2024    
10:00 am - 4:00 pm


Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum
115 SE Lake St., Ilwaco, WA, 98640, Pacific County

Event Type

New Special Exhibit opening at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum
Heart of the Museum: Seeing Local History through Scrapbooks
January 5 – March 9, 2024

The idea of saving information in an orderly way to revisit, share and remember can be traced back to the Middle Ages when noblemen and women kept journals to record activities and events. While the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum does not have items from the Medieval era, we do have excellent examples of how scrapbooks were used by local residents.
This exhibition will present hundreds of scrapbooks from the permanent collection of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. From family bibles that are an early form of scrapbook, to modern collections of photographs and keepsakes, the scrapbook has served as an aid to memory and each one tells a story.

Presented will be a variety of scrapbooks including institutional examples from The American Legion Don R. Grable Post 48, Modern Travelers, Long Beach Peninsula Business and Professional Women’s Club, and the Sandpipers Square Dance Club among others.
Personal Scrapbooks are a fascinating look into the lives of their creators. Many scrapbooks represent a slice of time. Several examples of High School scrapbooks will be on view from the 1930s to the 1960s. Some individuals kept extensive scrapbooks that document decades of time. Jay Hardin kept meticulously detailed scrapbooks of the night skies that he photographed and painted from his home on Baker Bay. Theresa Potter was a local historian who kept information about all aspects of Peninsula history in dozens of scrapbooks. Sydney Stevens, another well-known local, documented years of her life in Oysterville through her photo scrapbooks. One of the largest collections of scrapbooks was made by Gordon Schoewe, who after a successful career as a graphic designer for Boeing, relocated to the Long Beach Peninsula with his partner Roy Gustafson. Together they renovated the Gull Motel (now Boardwalk Cottages), owned and operated the Book Vendor and were active members of the local community.

Heart of the Museum: Seeing History through Scrapbooks will open January 5th and will be on view until March 9, 2024.