AUDIO: This week we talk to Susan Tissot, Executive Director of the Coos History Museum on Coos Bay.
In early 2004, the city secured and offered to the society a significantly larger waterfront parcel which offered significant advantages. In addition to its high visibility and easy accessibility, it provided ample room for parking and future expansion. Unlike the earlier site, it was directly on the waterfront, presenting extraordinary opportunities for waterfront interpretation, encouraging community gathering, pedestrian activity and waterfront redevelopment.
In accepting the new site, the Board of Trustees reconfirmed their commitment to enhancement of contemporary community life and resolved to design a facility that met public needs, and that could be adapted for use by additional groups and for more active programs.
Before moving forward with facility construction, the Board opted to start rebuilding staff capacity and programs, hiring a new Executive Director and the county’s only professionally trained Collections Manager, and launching its new Education program. To emphasize the community-supported nature of the organization, and the breadth of its services, the board adopted the name “Coos History Museum & Maritime Collection” for the new building. Visioning, design, and fundraising began in 2005, and the capital campaign began in earnest the following year. Donations from 550 individuals, businesses and Foundations were received and combined with New Market Tax Credits. The museum opened at its current location Fall of 2015.