Burrows Exhibits

Cars: Motoring the Coast

The beach was still the main road and many coastal towns didn’t exist yet when cars first came to Lincoln County. “Cars: Motoring the Coast,” an exhibit at the Burrows House Museum of the Lincoln County Historical Society, takes visitors on a trip through those early days. With objects from old auto accessories to license plates to road signs and engaging and humorous photographs, the exhibit appeals to people of all ages.

The exhibit also features a section on the first automobile trip from Newport’s Bayfront to Siletz Bay in north Lincoln County. Four men, called the Pathfinders, took the 46-mile round-trip, which required about 23 hours plus ingenuity and numerous tools. The goal of the trip was to promote the need for better roads to increase business and tourism.


Coastal Curiosities: The Strange, Unfamiliar
and Seldom Seen

curiosity-machineAs early as the 15th Century, curiosity cabinets, displays of rare objects and oddities, became fashionable. Some curiosity cabinet collections grew to become museums, perhaps most notably the British Museum, which began with Sir Hans Sloan’s “Wonder Room” collections.

Lincoln County Historical Society Curator, Sachiko Otsuki, selected artifacts from our collections that seemed curious for different reasons: Commonplace objects that are now unidentifiable curiosities; Natural oddities found on our local beaches; Weird – what else can we say?

These odd objects are more than just curiosities, they also shed some light on the history of the Central Oregon Coast, the evolution of technology, as well as human nature and the fascination we all have for the out-of-the ordinary.


Yaquina Bay Bridge: Newport Icon Since 1936


Proclaimed “The Last Link of the Oregon Coast Highway,” the Yaquina Bay Bridge opened on September 6, 1936.

This Burrows House exhibit celebrating Newport’s famous icon features the world’s largest toothpick model of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Built from highway department blueprints in the 1950s, its builders used an estimated 4000 plus toothpicks to construct the 8-foot long likeness. Yes, eight feet, that is not a typo. Also on display are historic photos and other bridge imagery.


Other displays include a traditional Victorian parlor, Kenneth Litchfield’s law office, and hand-crafted objects from the Society’s Collection.

For more information, call the Historical Society at 541-265-7509. The Lincoln County Historical Society is located at 545 SW Ninth Street in Newport. Admission to the museum is by donation. The Burrows House Museum is open Thursday through Sunday 11 am to 4 pm.