Watson Exhibit Opening & Float ID Day

Jim Watson was one of the world’s leading collectors of Japanese glass fishing floats. He traveled throughout the world meeting fishermen, artisans, and collectors, seeking out the most unique pieces he could find. He taught many people about the history and beauty of these unparalleled working objects.

North Lincoln County Historical Museum (NLCHM) has had one of the largest collections of Japanese glass fishing floats on the Oregon coast, largely due to Jim Watson’s contributions throughout the years. With the aim of continuing his mission, the James L. Watson Fishing Float Foundation donated the last remaining pieces from Jim’s personal collection to NLCHM in 2023.This exhibit will show a selection of his rarest pieces, which have not been seen for over twenty years.

This new exhibit, in honor of Jim Watson’s legacy, will be available to see in the main hall at NLCHM through 2024. There will be a selection of floats, photo slide shows on our iPad kiosk, historical information about the floats, and clips from a presentation he gave at the museum in 2000. The opening reception will take place on February 17th, from 1PM – 3:30PM. We will play the full video of his presentation, starting at 2PM (Total running time: 1 hour 34 min).

The following weekend, February 24th, 2024, 12PM – 3PM, in tandem with Lincoln City’s Antique Week, NLCHM will be hosting our very popular Float ID Day! Community members are invited to bring in their own glass fishing floats to talk with experts, and learn how to identify these special treasures. Dr. Nicklis Simpson, DMD, and other well known float collectors and aficionados will be in attendance to help visitors learn the history of their floats. We’re very excited to see what you bring in!