Some are still with us and some are just memories, good memories….

In reminisce, I think back of Eileen Huntington, a city girl who married Judd Huntington, a North Fork rancher. At some point Eileen realized that the Siuslaw Pioneer Association had a lot of artifacts stored in barns all over this valley. She kept telling her friends about all of this stuff and the idea of a museum building blossomed. One of the groups she approached were the past presidents of the former Jaycee club here in Florence.

This group pledged $5,000.00 to her effort if she could secure a building within 5 years. Near the end of the fifth year, she managed to secure the Old New Life Lutheran Church building South of the bridge on 101. Not long after that the pioneers of the Siuslaw Valley had their first Museum building fully operational. Only one problem plagued them and that was even with great support from the community and the volunteers, visitorship was lacking. Just some of those hard-working volunteers are pictured here. By the year 2002, the Museum board was thinking hard about trying to get a location in Old Town. Pictured here are some of the great volunteers who carried the Museum through those early years are why we have the Museum we have today.

Siuslaw Pioneer Museum volunteers

Left to right top row: Marvin Tipler, Greg Burbaugh, Del Phelps, Bud Miles, Wess Straughm, Bottom row: Blair Sneddon, Hal Hylton, Frank Suniga

In the next Newsletter I will be paying tribute to several more. They have all contributed in so many different ways to help us get to what we have today. Some are still with us and some have passed on. I want them and their families to know they are not forgotten, and that they will be remembered in the annals of time. What a debt of gratitude we who are working with the Museum today, owe to those who came before us. We owe it to them to promote the memories and history of the Siuslaw region. We owe it to them to work hard to preserve what they started. I urge all who read this article to do just one simple thing. If you are not a member, please become a supporting member, or more if you can. When you are having a conversation with others, insert something about the Museum and what it offers. It would help our Museum so much if the membership dues each year would cover the operational expenses each year. If we could find just 200 more people who could believe that a family membership at only $25.00/year in our Museum was a good thing, we could be truly self-sustaining. Please help us meet that goal for the Pioneer Museum.

I will be back next Newsletter with the rest of this story 2005 forward to present.

Yours Truly,

Del Phelps,

SPM Board President, 2021