Newport Maritime Museum

The weather prohibited our Dock Walk that had been scheduled for the REALOregon group while we were in Newport and plans were changed at last minute to accompany our large number while we were enjoying our fantastic lunch at the Local Ocean eatery.

It just so happens that our hostess for the lunch, Laura Anderson, is one of those people that is very committed to her community and is connected to many businesses and venues across the area with her outside interests. Because of her work with the Maritime Museum in town, she went out of her way to get the museum opened up just for our group to have an area out of the elements to learn some of the history of the once home, now museum. Laura gave us a personal tour of just some of the exhibits with history of the fishing fleet that run the economy of this coastal town. The exhibits around the coastal fleet, the economy of the area, and the different fisheries were extensive and informative.

We were given run of the museum and time to absorb bits and facts while gazing out to the marina while the storm raged around us. Many of our group wandered downstairs to a beautiful theater and watched several archived videos about the area (warning, the videos are so interesting you may want to plan a second visit so you have enough time to watch each of the clips each one is fascinating and beautifully produced.

Even learning about the structure itself was interesting and I have been going back over their website to review some of the history:

The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is a major museum and interactive center that incorporates the working wharf, educational programs, and local maritime uses. The center features maritime-related exhibits and art. It has been designed to attract, educate, and entertain all ages, instilling in local residents and visitors a sense of place and community, a place they will want to visit again and again.

Located in an impressive building on Newport’s historic Bayfront, the building and site were purchased by the Lincoln County Historical Society in 2004.

The site was first graced with a home built in the 1880s for Dr. James Bayley and his wife, Elizabeth. That building burned in 1923, leaving only the foundation and chimney. A new home was built in 1925 by World War I hero General Ulysses Grant McAlexander on the site. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the structure underwent extensive remodeling and expansion and reopened as Smuggler’s Cove, a restaurant and nightclub. Up until 1999 it housed Gracie’s at Smuggler’s Cove, a popular restaurant.

Those that had been in the area around the 1990’s remarked that as Smuggler’s Cove, the nightclub was the rockin’ spot to be and was a big draw with tourists and the locals alike.

Our time at the Maritime Museum was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend a stop in if you find yourself in this area. Since the walk to the Museum is only a short walk from Local Ocean, the visit would round out your marina experience rain or shine.

Maritime Center

333 SE Bay Blvd, Newport, OR 97365

Thursday thru Sunday, 11am to 4pm

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