James L. Watson Foundation Donation

Left to right: Diana Watson, Christopher Melton, and Nick Simpson, holding one of the largest pieces in the collection.

North Lincoln County Historical Museum is proud to have one of the largest glass fishing float collections on the Oregon coast. You can read more about our collection and the history of fishing floats HERE.

We are very excited to announce a most generous donation from the James L. Watson Fishing Float Foundation. This summer we received the last remaining floats and memorabilia from Jim’s personal collection, which have not been seen for over 20 years. The Foundation had been storing these privately, and to continue James Watson’s legacy, decided to gift the remaining collection and funds to NLCHM. These resources will be used to care for and preserve glass fishing floats, keep the museum operating its permanent float exhibits, and create new educational resources to ensure that his collections will be available for generations to appreciate and study.

We are working hard to inventory all of these unique, rare, and important artifacts. We anticipate a spring exhibit and event to celebrate this amazing collection, and to honor James Watson and all that he has done for educating and preserving the history of glass fishing floats.

We are eternally grateful to all of our donors. Be assured we would never sell, discard, or remove items from the our collections without the donor’s signed agreement. We are planning a fishing float sale in the spring of items specifically donated for the purpose of raising funds for the museum. We have not finalized details, watch our page for an announcement in 2024.

We want to give special thanks to Diana Watson for making this generous contribution. Additional thanks to our previous Executive Director, Jeff Syrop, for helping make this possible; and to our volunteers: Nick Simpson for all the work he has done with the foundation and inventorying the floats; and Richard Townsend for helping with the transportation of the artifacts to the museum.