The History of the North Lincoln County Historical Museum
Interest in forming a museum in north Lincoln County came about in the mid 1980s through a group of friends interested in antiques and local history. Early in 1987, they formally incorporated as a public non-profit organization, The Friends of North Lincoln County Museum, Inc. (now the North Lincoln County Historical Museum). Soon after a search began for a permanent site to house the growing collection of artifacts and documents.
In 1987 the museum opened at 5021 SW Highway 101, in the Taft area. A year later the museum moved to the old Groth-Gates metal shop at 11512 SE Highway 101 in the Delake area. Soon even this large building was not large enough to house the growing collection of objects donated by local citizens.
The museum acquired its current building in the Taft area at 4907 SW Highway 101 in 1994. This building, in addition to offering the museum its largest and most secure site yet, is an historical site itself. Originally the Taft/Nelscott/Delake Fire Station, it was built in 1941 on land donated by Fred Robison with donated materials and volunteer labor. Later it became Lincoln City’s City Hall building. When City Hall was moved to larger quarters, the city donated the building to the museum.
By 2003, the museum needed more space, and began construction on a major addition to this building. Completed in 2004, the new museum now offers a beautiful new space for its exhibits including new and larger displays and an improved research library.
The museum continues to be a popular stop for tourists and residents alike. The North Lincoln County Pioneer and Historical Association’s three volumes of Pioneer History of North Lincoln County, Oregon, available in the museum store, continue to sell well. Galleries start with the Native American exhibits and then give visitors and residents a good picture of what life was like as a pioneer and homesteader in North Lincoln County from the late 1800s to the mid 1920s. Exhibits in our upstairs gallery depict the 1920s through the incorporation of Lincoln City in 1965.