Pacific County Historical Society History

The Pacific County Historical Society History began when it was organized by members of the Pacific County Pioneer Association 1949. The Society was incorporated in 1966 under the name of The Pacific County Historical Society and Museum Foundation. At that time the Museum Committee was appointed to raise funds for a museum.   In 1970 the Society had temporary quarters for a museum in South Bend’s Lumber Exchange Building. On August 2, 1980 the present Pacific County Museum had a Grand Opening.

February 9, 1949 

Verna Jacobson, County Auditor, wrote Washington State Historical Society,

Tacoma, asking for advice and assistance in organizing a county historical society.

April 28, 1949 

Chapin D. Foster, Director of Washington State Historical Society, speaking

at a meeting at the Pacific County Courthouse, encourages the county

commissioners and members of the public to establish a society.

June 8, 1949  

At a meeting of interested citizens, the historical society is founded. They

chose the name – Pacific County Historical Society. Annual dues $2.50. There

were 75 members. John L. Wiegardt, was chosen temporary president, Verna

Jacobson, temporary secretary treasurer. The Constitution and By-laws of the

Society were unanimously adopted.

February 1952    The Historical Society requests a courthouse room for a museum.
November 19, 1952  

Charles Nelson presents the President’s gavel to the Historical Society. It

Is made from black walnut newel post from the old Stevens Hotel in

Oysterville. Nelson said it was the first boarding house in Pacific County.

When the hotel was torn down he salvaged the newel post and had the

gavel made. He presented it in the name of The Pioneers of Pacific County. The

silver band and inscription say who made it. Fred Eichner paid for the band and inscription.

Summer 1957   

The D.A.R. House basement at Fort Columbia is offered as a museum for the

Historical Society. The offer was accepted. Display cases and artifacts in

Storage at the Courthouse are moved to Fort Columbia, Chinook.

May 15, 1960  

The Board orders that all articles in the Courthouse belonging to the Historical

Society be placed in the D.A.R. House at Fort Columbia.

February 3, 1966                         

Archy Gillies, South Bend lawyer, recommends to the Society that they

Incorporate under the provisions off Washington State Code.  This would make

it possible to be a non-profit organization.  The move was recommended before            

collecting money for and building a museum.  The name of the Society was

changed to The Pacific County Historical Society and Museum Foundation.

The Constitution and By-laws of 1949 are written as the Articles of Incorporation

and filed with Washington Secretary of State.  The Museum Committee was appointed.

March 6, 1966

The Society and the County Commissioners worked together to have the

Museum built at Bruceport County Park.  On April 20, 1969 it was evident that

 the land provided would not meet the needs of the Society’s Museum.

April 24, 1966   

Ruth Dixon, Raymond, reports that a quarterly magazine of history is possible.

With the help of Mr. Laughlin, of THE SOUTH BEND JOURNAL, a 20 page

Magazine with pictures will cost $250 for 1000 copies.  The quarterly would be

Patterned after the UMPQUA TRAPPER.  The Board appointed Ruth Dixon

Chairman of the magazine committee and instructed her to select others to

assist her.  The name SOU’WESTER was accepted by the membership for

the new magazine.


The Society’s temporary quarters were in South Bend’s Lumber Exchange Building. 

December 5, 1979

Due to the sale of The Lumber Exchange Building, the Society’s lease would end June 1, 1980.

January 8, 1980

McDonald Construction of Frances started work on our new museum Building (the site of the present Pacific County Historical Society’s Museum).

August 2, 1980

The Grand Opening of Pacific County Museum, August 2, 1 p.m.  A souvenir

 of the opening, “Museum Oyster Money” was given to each adult who signs the

visitor’s register.  Refreshments were provided by the Board.  The Museum

closed its doors at the Lumber Exchange Building on Aril 30 and opened in the

new building the same afternoon.