First Tuesday Talks

Please join us for our new lecture series: First Tuesday Talks. Each presentation takes place at the museum in the Sprague Gallery from 6:30 – 7:30 PM; museum store and galleries will be open 6 - 8:30 PM. Tuesday Talks are free with paid Museum Admission, CHM Members get in free. Our 2017 Speaker List is below and you can click here to download and print the lineup.

Tuesday February 7

Catherine Walworth

"The Language of Flowers: Telling the Object of Desire"

Valentine’s Day or any day is a great time to give your loved ones flowers. But do you know the significance of your floral choices? Victorian culture emphasized the meaning behind individual types of flowers and their colors and much of the significance is still used today. Are the flowers you give sending your intended message? Have a little fun and find out at by attending this featured lecture.

Advanced Master Gardener and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian, Catherine Walworth has worked for over 20 years as a writer, in public television, and writing horticultural stories and a garden column for newspapers and magazines. She has even worked as a county fair flower judge. Eight years ago, she found herself retired in Coos Bay.

Tuesday March 7

Fred Leeson

"Andrew Carnegie: The Gospel of Wealth and Public Libraries"

Early in the 20th Century, the world's richest man decided to spend much of his huge fortune building public libraries.  He erected more than 2500, mostly in North America, including Coos Bay and many others in Oregon.  What motivated him?  Why did he choose libraries as the target of his philanthropy? What happened to many of these buildings?  Does his legacy continue?

Fred Leeson is a Portland author and journalist.  He spent 35 years working for the Oregon Journal and Oregonian newspapers in Portland.  He has written or collaborated on three Portland history books, including My-Te- Fine Merchant: Fred Meyer's Retail Revolution. He lives in Portland and is president of the Architectural Heritage Center, a non-profit devoted to architectural education and preservation of vintage neighborhoods and architecture.  He holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a juris doctorate from the Lewis & Clark Law School.

Tuesday April 4

Richard Engeman

"Chop Suey for All: Chinese Cooks in Oregon"

Chop Suey for All tells the story of the many Chinese immigrants to Oregon who eked out a living cooking. From the 1850s they cooked for other Chinese, for railroad workers and hotel kitchens, and eventually in family-operated restaurants serving Chinese-American foods. From Portland’s Chinatown, to a resort town like Seaside, to remote communities like Huntington and Canyon City, Chinese cooks and their families became part of the state’s social and cultural fabric.

Richard Engeman is an Oregon historian, archivist, and the author of The Oregon Companion: an Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane, and Eating It Up in Eden: the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Cookbook. He lives in an 1889 house in the Monteith historic district of Albany with a spouse and four cats.

Tuesday May 2

John Doyle

"Architecture 101: Emphasis on Styles & Terminology including Coos Bay's Built Environment"

An introduction to American architectural styles and terminology illustrated with examples from the built environment in and around Coos Bay.

John Doyle has lived in Portland since 1997. Prior to that he lived in Seoul, South Korea, New York City, Boston and a NYC suburb named Long Beach, NY where he grew up. He received my B.A. in History and Art History from Stony Brook University in New York in 1986. In 1992 he earned his M.A. in Art History from Tufts University in Medford, MA. From 1990 until 1996 he a gallery lecturer for the Education Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art/The Cloisters. In South Korea he taught English to a variety of students ranging in age from six to sixty. Since 2012 he has lectured at the Architectural Heritage Center in Portland leading walking tours on Portland architecture and history and presenting AHC education programs. He also serves on the Education Committee for AHC. In 2015 he began teaching course for P.U.G.S., the Portland Underground Graduate School focusing on Portland architectural history and the history of Western Art. He currently works for the Oregon Military Dept. managing a national guard armory in NE Portland.

Tuesday June 6

Dr. Brian Tissot 

"Ocean Conservation for Surfers: Riding the Waves of Climate Change"

Everyone and everything on the planet is connected and we are all related. It may not seem like it when you are sliding down the face of a wave but the ocean is much, much more than a source of swells. In this talk I will discuss why surfers and citizens should care about a healthy ocean using key lessons from marine conservation. These lessons include promoting clean water, natural habitats, and intact ecosystems. Under these conditions, marine ecosystems naturally resist change and recover quickly from human and natural disturbances. Because surfers spent much of their lives in the sea, they understand its patterns and rhythm and represent an important and potentially influential group of individuals. Together surfing and marine biology can create significant synergy and help develop a focus on unique issues facing marine life, ocean health, marine conservation, and coastal issues.

Professor Tissot is a surfer and a marine ecologist with three decades of experience conducting research on temperate and tropical marine ecosystems. He received his Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University and has held positions at the University of Hawaii and Washington State University. He currently serves as the Director of the Marine Laboratory at Humboldt State University and lives in Trinidad, CA. He has published over 70 papers in scientific journals and has been awarded over $8 million in research grants in his career and serves on multiple scientific advisory boards. Brian’s work has been featured in Scientific American, Smithsonian magazine, the Washington Post and several films. His research focused on scientific research that improves the understanding, management and conservation of marine ecosystems. In addition to his scientific research Tissot (aka “Dr. Abalone”) also produces surfing videos on YouTube and blogs about surfing, marine biology and environmental issues on his site


Tuesday August 8

Thomas Hines

"The Lighthouses of the Southern Oregon Coast and the US Coast Guard in Coos Bay"

Chief Tom Hines will discuss the history of the Coast Guard in the Coos Bay area with an emphasis on the lighthouses of the southern Oregon coast. From the 1866 establishment of the first lighthouse at Cape Arago to the modern automated system currently in use at Cape Blanco and Yaquina Head lighthouses, Chief Hines will outline and discuss the role of the Coast Guard and its predecessor services have had on the Oregon coast. He will also give a brief history of the lifesaving units of the Coast Guard that are still very prominent in the area today.

Thomas Hines is a Chief Boatswain’s mate in the US Coast Guard and is currently assigned as the Officer in Charge of Aids to Navigation Team Coos Bay, Oregon. Part of his duties is the maintenance of the navigational lanterns at the Cape Blanco and Yaquina Head lighthouses on the Southern Oregon coast. He is working on a Bachelor’s degree in History at Thomas Edison State University and co-authored a Historical Summary of Aids to Navigation in Coos Bay.

Tuesday September 5

Dr. Roberta Hall

"Portraits of the Coquille People"

The talk will focus on Coquille people, particularly those of the twentieth century.

Roberta Hall, born in 1939 in Indiana, completed a doctorate at the University of Oregon in 1970, then moved to Vancouver Island to teach at the University of Victoria where she began to learn about the Pacific coast's many cultural traditions. Her family returned to Oregon in 1974. In 1976, Coquille members invited Oregon State University anthropologists to help them salvage an eroding archeological site near the Coquille River. This project grew over the years to involve more Coquilles and community volunteers who did oral histories and gathered information from museums, archives, and archaeology. Hall retired from the OSU faculty in 2003; her other anthropological work is in human evolution and past and present human health.

Tuesday October 3

Dr. Candice Goucher

"Sea Biscuits and Flying Fish: The Surprising History of Maritime Foods. A Lecture with Recipes"

This lecture will explore the globalization of food ways that emerged with the era of sailing ships. Foods at sea were both monotonous and surprising…Come find out about Sir Francis Drake’s salted cod fritters, NW Pacific salmon on tropical isles, and the long and hard legacy of the Royal Navy’s sea biscuits!

Candice Goucher is a professor of history at Washington State University, Vancouver. She studied Chemistry and Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego (BA, 1975), Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University (MA, 1978), and African History at the University of California at Los Angeles (PhD 1984). As an undergraduate, she pioneered the use of lead isotope analysis to identify ancient sources of metals, research published in Nature. Trained as an archaeologist, Candice Goucher has conducted archaeological and historical research in the Caribbean, Mauritius, and West Africa, where she worked with Merrick Posnansky at the site of Begho in Brong Ahafo, Ghana, and in the Bassari region of Togo. Her research interests have continued to forge interdisciplinary and global links in the areas of food studies, technology, culture and gender. With Linda Walton, she published several world history textbooks, including the 2nd edition of World History: Journeys from Past to Present (Routledge, 2013), translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Korean, and was co-lead scholar on the Annenberg/Corporation for Public Broadcasting multimedia project Bridging World History consisting of 26 videos. She recently co-edited (with Graeme Barker, Cambridge University) vol.2 of The Cambridge World History: A World with Agriculture (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Her book Congotay! Congotay! A Global History of Caribbean Food (M.E. Sharpe, 2014) examined Caribbean history, culture and cuisine from ancient to modern times. It won the 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Award (Cook Books and Food Studies, Caribbean category). Her current research is on African iron technology in the Atlantic world. She was the 2015 recipient of the World History Association’s Pioneer in World History award for lifetime achievement.

Tuesday November 7

Panel Discussion

Forestry: A Historical Perspective and a Look Forward

Tuesday December 5 - NO SPEAKER - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

John Whitty

WWII: Its Effects in Coos County

World War II began in Europe in September 1939, when Hitler made an unprovoked attack on Poland.  The United States became involved on December 7, 1941, when Japanese carrier planes bombed U.S. ships and installations at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.  The Coos Bay area saw many military units arrive in the area.  Coast Guard vessels and some Navy vessels came to the Port.  The North Bend airport was developed as a training base for carrier planes.  Local shipbuilders built small Navy vessels, and many of Coos County’s industries turned to war production.  Food and gasoline were rationed.  Housewives and retired people served as air raid wardens.  The talk will cover the war years, both locally and around the world, and will also cover the post-war effects on Coos County.

John Whitty was born in North Bend, and was almost 9 years old when the U.S. entered the war.  Seven of his uncles served in the military, in both the European and Pacific theaters.  John has lived in the Bay Area since birth, except for two years in the U.S. Air Force.  John became a lawyer in 1956 and has practiced in Coos Bay for more than 60 years.  He has also had a lasting interest in World War II and has a large library of books about the war (more than 32 lineal feet).  John is also a student of local history, with one book “Coos County Bench, Bar & Beyond” and a shorter booklet “The Coos Bay Area from 1940 until now” for sale in the museum’s gift store.  John is working on two more books about the history of the Coos Bay area.

First Tuesday Talks are generously sponsored by

with in-kind support from

1210 N. Front St.
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Phone: 541-756-6320

 The Coos County Historical Society is a registered
501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tax ID 93-0446513

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