Tom McCall Symposium



Oregon’s most colorful, quirky, and accomplished governor, Tom McCall (1913-1983), will be the subject of a two-day symposium in March. The many larger than life facts and fabrications surrounding McCall will be explored by both scholars and acquaintances of Oregon’s most beloved and, at times, controversial governor. McCall, a television journalist and political commentator, served as Oregon’s Governor during the socially and politically turbulent years of 1967-1975.

All sessions are independent of each other and will take place Friday, March 4th and Saturday, March 5th, at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center on Newport’s Bayfront. Parking is available at the top of the hill adjacent to the Maritime Center.

The symposium kicks off Friday evening, March 4th at 6:00 p.m. with a screening of McCall’s landmark 1962 KGW-TV documentary, “Pollution in Paradise” plus an introduction and post-screening Q&A led by William G. Robbins, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History, Oregon State University.

KGW-TV aired McCall’s famous documentary, “Pollution in Paradise,” a sharply critical report of the condition of the Willamette River. “Pollution in Paradise” was a tour de force, pressing home the powerful idea that there was no contradiction between jobs and quality of life in Oregon.

Day two of the symposium will open at noon Saturday. “Frenemies: Tom McCall and Bob Straub” will be the topic for Charles K. Johnson, biographer of former Governor Bob Straub. Although McCall and Straub faced each other for the governorship twice, they often worked together to advance environmental causes. Johnson’s book is “Standing at Water’s Edge: Bob Straub’s Battle for the Soul of Oregon.”

One of Oregon’s most prominent broadcast journalists from the 1970s and 1980s will also be presenting on Saturday. Paul Hanson, who has been a news director of several radio stations and was KATU’s political reporter in the early 1980s, will screen his documentary, “A Nice Place to Visit: The Legacy of Tom McCall.”

Also on the program: Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall, author of the alternate history novel about McCall, “McCallandia,” the product of extensive research and numerous interviews. Hall was a volunteer in McCall’s 1978 comeback campaign and met the former governor several times.

This symposium to be presented on March 4th & 5th is co-sponsored by the Lincoln County Historical Society and the Tom McCall Legacy Project, a non-profit educational group. The Legacy Project organization sponsored the McCall Day bill designating March 22nd as Tom McCall Day, and encourages all Oregonians to learn about McCall’s legacy.

Admission to the symposium is five dollars, and free for Lincoln County Historical Society members.

For more information about the Tom McCall Symposium, call 541-265-7509. For more information about the Tom McCall Legacy Project, visit:



bill-robbinsBill Robbins joined the faculty at Oregon State University in 1971, where he has taught courses in the History of the American West and Environmental History. He has authored and edited several books, including Oregon: This Storied Land (2006); Landscapes of Conflict: The Oregon Story, 1940-2000 (2004). His most recent book, A Man for All Seasons: Monroe Sweetland and the Liberal Paradox, was published in 2015 by Oregon State University Press.


charles-johnsonCharles K. Johnson is a Portland writer, fundraiser, and activist. A native Oregonian, he has been active min environmental politics since childhood. After a decade in national politics, working with Physicians for Social Responsibility and as Executive Director of Nuclear Free America, Johnson returned to Oregon, where he was instrumental in making a home for the Robert W. Straub Archives at Western Oregon University’s Hamersly Library. He is the author of Standing At The Water’s Edge: Bob Straub’s Battle for the Soul of Oregon, published in 2012 by Oregon State University Press.


paul-hansonPaul Hanson has been a broadcast journalist in radio and television for many decades. During most of Paul’s radio career he worked as a news director including his position as the first News Director of KYXI Radio, Portland’s first (and last) 24 hour All-News operation. Paul became the KATU -Television Political Reporter in 1978 and covered the 1979 through 1983 legislative sessions in Salem. In early 1982 Paul and photographer Bill Weaver were assigned to prepare a documentary focusing on the life and achievements of former Governor Tom McCall. While Paul was the Political Reporter at KATU, McCall was the station’s News Analyst and Commentator. The assignment was based on McCall’s health. He was battling cancer. Paul and Bill finalized production and “A Nice Place To Visit…The Legacy of Tom McCall” aired on Thursday, September 9th 1982. Paul Hanson is currently News Director at KFLS Radio in Klamath Falls.


bill-hallLincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall is the author of McCallandia, which is based on 40 years of admiration for Tom McCall and was the product of extensive research and numerous interviews. An Oregon native, Hall spent many years in journalism before making the transition to elective office. He was a volunteer in McCall’s 1978 comeback campaign and met the former governor several times.


Many Thanks Crab Krack Supporters!


The Lincoln County Historical Society sincerely thanks all the 2016 Crab Krack attendees and contributors. About $10,000 was raised for renovations to the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center.

These donors and volunteers made the dinner and auction possible:
Agate Beach Inn Best Western; Amundson, Jean, Animal Medical Care of Newport; Baker, John & Carol; Bank of the West; Barrelhead Supply; Bassingthwaite, James & Victoria;  Bayscapes Gallery & Coffeehouse; Bigfoot Beverages; Brodie, Toni; Café Mundo; Café Stephanie; Carpet One/America’s Mattress; Chalet Restaurant & Bakery; Chinook Winds Casino Resort; Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach; Chuck Forinash Gallery; Clark, Lindsay; Cline, Jim & Amy; Cohen & Park; Conway, Thomas Kenneth; David Miller/The Oregon Coast Broadcast Center; Dillon, Brian – F/V Azalea; Eder, Bob & Michele – F/V Timmy Boy; Elizabeth Street Inn; Englund Marine Supply; Fishpeople Seafood; Gertula, Chuck; Grove Veterinary Clinic; Hallmark Resort; Hanshumaker, Bill & Teresa; Harmsen, Mary; Hilton, Nancy; Jovi; Lazerquick; LCHS Board of Directors; Local Ocean Seafoods; Made In Oregon; Marine Discovery Tours; Marion Moir Watercolors; McAdams, JoAn; McAvoy, Miller, Becky;  Nathan – F/V Two Saints; Morrison, Doug & Christina – F/V Tempo; Mo’s Enterprises, Inc.; Nana’s Irish Pub; Newport Candy’s Ice Cream Parlour; Newport Processing Plants; Old River Coffee Roaster Company; Pacific Shrimp; Past Forward; Pavitt Land Use Consulting, LLC; Pettis, Mike & Karen – F/V Patriot; Pettis, Tony & Maria – F/V Heidi Sue; Pig Feathers BBQ/Twisted Snout Brewery; Port of Toledo; Quilters Cottage; Retherford, Mike & Kelly – F/V Excalibur, F/V Winona J; Richardson, Mark & Shyla – F/V Norska; Roby’s Furniture; Rogue Ales & Spirits; Terry & Dawn Pavitt-Ryan; Saffron Salmon; Stangeland, Paul & Anne; Sheldon, E. Douglas; Sunwest Motors/Mike Schulz; Sylvia Beach Hotel; The Whaler Motel; Toledo Clayworks; Toujours Boutique; Turner, Bill; tu-tu-tu; Umpqua Bank; Webster, Janet; Willamette Valley Vineyards; Yager, Justin & Sarah – F/V Eddie & Rod

8th Annual Crab Krack


8th Annual Crab Krack Scheduled for January 17

The Eighth Annual Crab Krack will be held at 4pm, Sunday, January 17th at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport. This crustacean commemoration and feast raises funds for renovations at the Lincoln County Historical Society’s Pacific Maritime Heritage Center.

Local Dungeness crab will be provided by Newport’s seafood processing plants, fishermen, and Pacific Shrimp. Dinner will include a whole crab, various side dishes and an array of desserts, along with no-host bar, music by Past Forward, and both a silent and oral auction. In short, something for everyone!

This year’s fundraising focus is Phase II lower floor renovations of the Maritime Center. Phase II incorporates the majority of the lower floor (some 8000 square-feet), as well as exterior renovations.

phaseII_theatre2When renovations are complete, the main attraction will be the Doerfler Family Theatre, a 140-seat media/event space made possible in large part by a grant from the Doerfler Family Trust. This multi-purpose venue will accommodate small performances, film festivals, presentations and special events of all kinds. In addition, the lower level will boast a conference room/exhibit gallery, catering area, and restrooms. Outdoor additions include a children’s discovery area and terrace. Contractors are currently working on funded components of this pay-as-you-go community resource.

The Agate Beach Inn is offering a special rate for guests attending the festivities, and reservations can be made by calling 541-265-9411, or 800-547-3310 and mentioning “Crab Krack” to get the special rate.

Tickets for the Crab Krack are available for purchase at the Burrows House and Pacific Maritime Heritage Museums. Cost for members is $45 per person, for non-members $55. Memberships start as low as $20 a year. For more information, to purchase tickets, or reserve your table for 8, call the Historical Society at 541-265-7509.

Annual Holiday Gathering

Annual Holiday Gathering

The Annual Holiday Gathering for the Lincoln County Historical Society, a fun, casual and music-filled holiday mixer, will be held on Saturday, December 5th, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

Festivities will take place around the cheery warmth of the fireplace in the Maritime Center’s Great Room, and will include refreshments and live musical entertainment.

The celebration coincides with the annual Bayfront Lighted Boat Parade, which can be viewed from the comfort of the Maritime Center. Attendees to this long-standing community tradition can also check out the museum’s exhibits and experience the thrill of free elevator rides!

For those looking to do a little holiday shopping, the gift shop will be offering a Special Holiday Discount only available during this event. The Maritime Center gift shop has an outstanding selection of maritime and history publications, as well as locally produced items.

Admission to the Holiday Gathering is free for members and kids under 12, and $5.00 for non-members. The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is located at 333 SE Bay Blvd on Newport’s Historic Bayfront. For more information, call 541-265-7509.

Lincoln County Historical Society Annual Meeting

Yaquina Bay Shipwrecks

Tami Whittlesey as “The Captain’s Wife” will be the featured speaker at the Annual Meeting of the Lincoln County Historical Society on Sunday, September 20. The meeting will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center.

Tami Whittlesey, of the Lincoln County Historical Society, works not only as a host in the Society’s two museums, but also volunteers by reaching out to audiences with “history-telling.” Dressed as her shipwreck-appropriate persona “The Captain’s Wife,” Whittlesey will present Rescue, Recovery and Loss: Yaquina Bay Shipwrecks.

During the business portion of the meeting, Historical Society Director Steve Wyatt will be sharing a Phase II and Grant Award update. The Society will also hold elections for its board of directors. Up for election are Robert Olson, James Bassingthwaite, Bud Shoemake, John Baker, Sara Skamser, Dolores Wagner, Melody Schones, Dawn Pavitt, and Bill Hanshumaker. While open to the public, only society members may vote.

Admission to the Annual Meeting is free for Historical Society members, and $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call (541) 265-7509.