Save Our Cannon
On a fateful afternoon in September 1846, the USS Shark foundered on the Columbia River Bar. The Columbia River Bar was and still is one of the most dangerous river mouths in the world. All crew survived, but a portion of the ship's decking was sheared off and floated south. It came ashore just south of Cannon Beach in what is now Arch Cape.
Shortly after the crew of the Shark was rescued they were tasked with finding the "guns" from the ship. By the time they found the decking that had washed ashore, the tide was coming in. They were only able to remove one cannon. This first cannon was lost once more when the tide changed and wasn't found again until 1898.
The artifact was left exposed to the ravages of Oregon weather for over 100 years before it was moved. In 2005, the cannon found a home at the Cannon Beach History Center & Museum. In 2012, the Museum sent the cannon and the capstan (a capstan was used to raise and lower the anchor of a ship) to Texas A&M University to undergo an extensive conservation process that took over a year to complete. The cannon and capstan returned in 2014, only for the Museum to realize that the current exhibit space would not provide the optimal environment to preserve all of the work that Texas A&M did to salvage the artifacts.
This is why we are reaching out to the public. We need help to create and install a new exhibit space that will control the proper humidity, temperature and light exposure so that generations of Oregonians can again visit this town icon.
While we are aware that this item is considered a "weapon" to some, it has become a symbol of our town as recognized as Haystack Rock, but perhaps not as photographed.
We hope to create an exhibit that not only explores the history of the artifacts, the USS Shark, but the concept of cultural identity through objects and follow the conservation process through a multimedia display.