9:30am to 5pm daily

1792 Marine Drive
Astoria, OR


Past to Present Lecture Series

Tuesdays, January 15 through March 5, 2019
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. followed by 15-minute Q&A

January 15

Shipwreck Archaeology
with Christopher Dewey

Chris Dewey will relate the story of how a group of volunteers are locating and documenting shipwrecks in our area. The talk will include legal and ethical considerations, research techniques, remote sensor operations and field survey results.

Chris is a retired naval officer, the founder and president of the Maritime Archaeological Society, and the anthropology and archaeology adjunct instructor at Clatsop Community College. He holds a master’s degree in maritime archaeology from the University of West Florida and a master’s degree in business management from Troy University. He is listed on the Register of Professional Archaeologists and is a Secretary of the Interior and Oregon State qualified archaeologist. Chris

January 22

Pilotage and the Elements on the Columbia River Bar
with Captain Dan Jordan

Captain Dan Jordan will discuss the environmental elements that make the Columbia River Bar so challenging, and how the Columbia River Bar Pilots deal with those challenges.

Jordan is the administrator of the Columbia River Bar Pilot and has been piloting for fourteen years. He graduated from the California Maritime Academy and spent twenty-four years at sea before joining the pilots. Twelve of those years he sailed as master of freighters in international trade. He has experience carrying containers, break bulk, bulk, military and project cargoes. During this time, he concurrently served as an officer in the Navy Reserve where some of his assignments included service as an instructor at the Navy’s Shiphandling School. Jordan currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Columbia River Maritime Museum and has served as chair of the Lower Columbia Region Harbor Safety Committee and vice-president of the Council of American Master Mariners.

January 29

Oregon's Manila Galleon: Discovering the History
with Cameron La Follette

The earliest American and British fur traders and explorers to the Pacific Northwest learned from Native peoples that a large ship had wrecked on Nehalem Spit prior to Euro-American settlement of the Oregon coast. Archaeologists have now determined the ship was most likely the Santo
Cristo de Burgos
, a Manila galleon that left the Philippines in the summer of 1693 and was never seen again. La Follette’s independent research team then uncovered detailed archival information about the ship’s ill-fated history, including documents naming all members of its officer and crew of Basque,
Spanish and Filipino men, and the passengers on board. La Follette and her team also discovered biographical information about the captain, Don Bernardo Iñiguez del Bayo, and tantalizing glimpses of the ship’s cargo. La Follette's talk will summarize the rich archival findings, and also discuss the aftermath of the galleon wreck: a fevered century-and-a-half of treasure-hunting centered on
Neahkahnie Mountain and the nearby beaches, and its effects on Oregon’s cultural resources protection laws.

Cameron La Follette, M.S., J.D., has a master’s degree in psychology from New York University and a law degree from Columbia University. She is executive director of Oregon Coast Alliance, a coastal conservation organization. Her book Sustainability and the Rights of Nature was published by CRC Press in 2017. A companion book, Sustainability and the Rights of Nature in Practice, is forthcoming in 2019. She is also a traditional poet whose work is archived at the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives. In addition to writing on coastal topics for such venues as Oregon Encyclopedia, her research interests include Oregon land use history and practice, early Pacific Northwest coastal history, and the environmental effects of early commercial resource extraction in the coastal region.

February 5

From the Midwest to the Coast
with Capt. Len Tumbarello

Captain Len R. Tumbarello assumed the duties as the director of seamanship at Tongue Point Job Corps Center in June 2013. He is responsible for developing 18- to 24-year-old men and women into proficient, professional, passionate credentialed merchant mariners for successful careers in the maritime industry. Headquartered in Astoria, Oregon, the Seamanship Program has 3 training vessels (IRONWOOD, IUKA and COLUMBIA), a 1000-foot pier, a 30-person gravity davit lifeboat trainer, several engineering/deck classrooms/workshops and various small boats. He leads 12 instructors toward achieving qualifications for 120 students as able body seaman (limited), qualified member of the engine department-oiler, galley-steward, ratings forming part of a navigational watch, proficiency in survival craft and STCW-95. The Seamanship Program is the only Coast Guard-approved maritime training facility in the nation administered by Job Corps. Due to the overall success of the Seamanship Program, Captain Tumbarello recently led a major expansion of the Seamanship Program by doubling the number of students and staff from 60 to 120.

Captain Tumbarello retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in May 2013 after 28 years of distinguished service. His last assignment was the deputy commander, Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, Oregon, where he was responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the Sector, including safety, security, environmental protection and maintaining the flow of commerce in all navigable waterways in the area. Sector Columbia River spanned the southern half of Washington, all of Oregon and most of Idaho and included 465 miles of navigable rivers, 420 miles of coastline, 33 ports and 12 river bars. He led nine sub-units with 1050 active duty, civilian, reserve and auxiliary personnel and served as alternate captain of the port, officer in charge of marine inspections, search and rescue mission coordinator and federal maritime security coordinator.

February 12

Navigating the Great Rivers of the West: How the Columbia River Pilots Safely and Efficiently Move Commercial Traffic on the Columbia River System
with Captain Jeremy Nielsen

Captain Jeremy Nielsen was born and raised in Montana before studying at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York. Upon graduation in 1999 he simultaneously received his bachelor’s degree in marine transportation and technology, U.S. Coast Guard unlimited tonnage ocean’s third mate license, and a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After a brief shore-side logistics stint his professional maritime career was launched as a steamship agent. He has since worked as a cargo stevedore, tugboat operator and then a Columbia River pilot. As vice-president of the Columbia River Pilots, Captain Nielsen serves the pilot membership in running the business and working with maritime interests to strengthen the Columbia River maritime industry while still occasionally moving ships. Captain Nielsen enjoys numerous outdoor activities, vintage car restoration, as well as spending time with his family.

February 19

Farm to Table to the World—Tugs and Barges, the Workhorses of the Columbia River
with Rob Rich

Outlining the Columbia River inland barging system, from the Longview area to Lewiston Idaho, through the eight Columbia and Snake River locks, Rob will discuss commodities, how and where they are loaded and discharged, as well as the different types of tugs on the river.

Rob Rich, originally from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, started on the river as a deckhand with the former Knappton Towboat Company in 1979. Rob has been at Shaver Transportation Company since 1986 in the operations and administration departments. He is currently vice-president of marine services. Rob is immediate past president of the Columbia River Towboat Association (CRTA), president of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA), and vice-chair of Columbia River Steamship Operators Association (CRSOA), as well as serving on the OMM (Steamer Portland) board of directors.

February 26

Healing the Columbia River: Transforming River Operations in a Changing World
with Eileen Delehanty Pearkes

In 1964, the U.S. and Canada entered into a 60-year agreement to manage the Columbia River for hydro power efficiency and flood control, through the construction of storage reservoirs in Canada near the river's headwaters. As both countries discuss re-negotiation of the treaty, what are the lessons of history? Are there opportunities for the future?

Born in the United States, educated at Stanford University (B.A., English) and the University of British Columbia (M.A., English), Eileen has been a resident of Canada since 1985. Her biography, education and academic interests, as well as her perspective on landscape, water and culture, are all uniquely bi-national and firmly grounded in place.

In 2014, Eileen guest-curated an extensive exhibit on the history of the Upper Columbia River system for Touchstones Nelson and Columbia Basin Trust, with specific reference to dramatic ecological changes as a result of water storage dams required by the Columbia River Treaty (1961-64). The exhibit won a 2015 Canadian Museum Association award of excellence. She writes two popular columns on Canadian landscape, water policy and indigenous history for The North Columbia Monthly and the online news website, The Nelson Daily. In 2017, she was appointed the City of Nelson Cultural Ambassador.

March 5

Ways of Learning: An Apprentice Boat Builder in Japan
with Douglas Brooks

When people think about Japan, they usually have in their minds images of manga and anime, busy urban centers, and an economy based on innovations in electronics. Most people do not know that there is also a “second Japan” wherein lies a rich history of traditional arts and crafts, many of which are fast disappearing. Douglas Brooks has apprenticed with seven boatbuilders in Japan since 1996, building over a dozen types of traditional boats. In this slide talk he will share his experiences with traditional crafts drawn from twenty-two trips to Japan since 1990. Brooks’ research in Japan focuses on the techniques and design secrets of the craft. These techniques have been passed from master to apprentice with almost no written record. His most recent book, Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding (Floating World Editions, 2015) is the first comprehensive survey of the craft, spanning his first five apprenticeships and including a chapter on Japan’s last traditional shipwright. Brooks will sell and sign copies of his book after the talk.

Brooks will also talk about the nature of craft education in Japan; an ethic that is largely at odds with our notions of teaching in the West. The apprentice system produced craftspeople with incomparable skills, yet it required an intense devotion and seriousness from participants. Brooks has experienced first-hand what it is like to learn when the apprentice is forbidden from speaking. At the core of this process is the belief that one learns by observation and perseverance.

Douglas Brooks is a boat builder, writer and researcher who specializes in the construction of traditional wooden boats for museums and private clients. He worked in the Small Boat Shop at the National Maritime Museum in San Francisco from 1985-1990 and has since built boats at museums in Japan and across the United States. He teaches classes in boat building and has written regularly for magazines like WoodenBoat, Classic Boat (UK), and KAZI (Japan). Brooks attended the Williams Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime History, and he is a 1982 graduate of Trinity College (B.A., philosophy) and a 2002 graduate of the Middlebury College Language School (Japanese). In 2014 he was awarded the American Craft Council’s Rare Craft Fellowship Award. He lives with his wife Catherine in Vergennes, Vermont.

Japanese Boatbuilding Demonstration 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM in the BMC Shop
There are two major differences between boatbuilding in the west and in Japan. The first is the use of a series of saws to fit the seams between planks, which are fastened without any caulking. The second is the use of edge-nailing to fasten planks together into wide strakes. Japanese boat nails are hand-made of flat steel stock.

In this demonstration Douglas Brooks will fit two planks in the Japanese fashion, working on the shop floor. Then he will use a special set of chisels to cut pilot holes for the nails and edge-nail the planks together. Brooks will discuss the tools and techniques specific to boatbuilding in Japan as well as answer questions.

Columbia River Shipwreck Conference

Saturday, February 9, 2019
9:00 a.m.

The Maritime Archaeological Society and the Columbia River Maritime Museum are pleased to announce the 2019 Columbia River Shipwreck Conference. A variety of speakers will present topics on shipwreck research and discoveries from the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The keynote speaker is Oregon State Archaeologist Dr. Dennis Griffin, who will discuss the challenges of finding shipwrecks in Oregon including their legal, regulatory, and ethical implications.

The afternoon session will include a panel discussion of the Beeswax wreck. The panel line-up includes Cameron Lafollette, researcher and co-author of the Oregon Historical Quarterly special issue on Oregon’s Manila Galleon as well as Director of the Beeswax Wreck Project Scott Williams, Maritime Archaeological Society President Chris Dewey, and Dr. Griffin.

The event is free and open to the public. First presentation begins at 9:00 am.

The Maritime Archaeological Society is a non-profit organization of trained volunteers and professional maritime archaeologists who research, document, and share maritime history with the public.  The group investigates shipwrecks and other local submerged archaeological sites around the Pacific Northwest.

If you would like more information, visit the Maritime Archaeological Society or email info@maritimearchaeological.org.

River Monsters, Sea Monsters and the Search for “Hidden” Animals

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Cryptozoology, the systematic study of so-called “hidden animals,” owes its origins to freethinking Bernard Heuvelmans, a French-Belgian zoologist in the late 1950s. Since then, Heuvelmeans’ followers and peers have studied numerous unexplained creatures including Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, the Abominable Snowman–or Yeti–of Tibet, and Mbolel Mkembe, a miniature long-necked dinosaur reportedly from the central African swamps. This presentation describes the state of our understanding of these strange entities and more, including Colosssal Claude, a purported inhabitant of the Columbia River and reports of sea monsters off the Washington coast.

Guest speaker David George Gordon is the author of The Sasquatch Seeker’s Field Manual and 19 other titles on wildlife and wild places. He has given programs at the Smithsonian Institution, American Museum of Natural History, Yale University and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums in San Francisco, Hollywood, and Times Square. He has appeared in Time magazine and as a guest on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Late Late Show With James Corden and The View.  

  • Activities 12:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Guest speaker David George Gordon 11:00 a.m.
  • Education talks on local sea monsters Marvin and Claude 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Reciprocal admission privileges with your membership

Members of the Columbia River Maritime Museum enjoy free admission for up to four individuals at different regional attractions each month. Members must present a valid CRMM membership card to receive free admission.