East Linn Museum seeks funds for new roof

Sean C. Morgan

The East Linn Museum Society replaced part of the museum roof this year in response to an emergency, but it needs to replace the rest of the roof.

The museum board must raise some $14,000 to complete the project.

“Last year, we discovered a slight leak back here,” said Gail Gregory, a member of the board, pointing to water damage in the corner of the ceiling.

“Then, when we had the week of strong thunderstorms, it really did a lot damage in here,” she said. ELMS contacted East Linn Roofing to replace the front part of the roof and “the valley.”

Museum volunteers quickly moved artifacts away from the affected area, Gregory said.

The cost of the repair was $3,600, and the contractor inspected the roof with Scott Weld, a board member, Gregory said. They discovered the roof was worn all the way around the building.

“It had been roofed about 15 years ago,” Gregory said. “It was a shock to us.”

The museum has a lot of roof, she said, and it will cost about $14,000 to replace it.

“We are working on trying to get grants,” she said. Some grants require matching funds.

“Anything would help,” Gregory said.

She said a “blurb” in the museum’s newsletter generated some donations, but so far, that’s all the museum has raised.

It has applied for a heritage grant from Oregon Parks and Recreation, she said, and the museum will apply for grants from the Sweet Home Community Foundation and the Siletz Tribe along with a couple of other possible sources.

The museum, located at the junction of highways 20 and 228, is operated on donations, dues and memorial funds, which have been decreasing, Gregory said. It also has a nest egg left by the Sam Cairns estate.

Cairns was principal at Foster School, a member of the School Board and a Scout master. He left funds for the Boys and Girls Club, East Linn Museum and at least one other community organization.

Cascade Timber Consulting, Willamette Industries and Lester Sales have contributed to projects in the past. The museum also recently used a $1,000 grant from the Sweet Home Active Revitalization Effort’s Commercial Exterior Improvement Program to partially pay for replacing siding.

The museum’s resources are not enough to handle the roofing job, Gregory said.

The board plans to replace the roof next year when the weather is better, Gregory said. It’s not an emergency, but the rest of the roof needs to be replaced soon.

The East Linn Museum Society was established in 1976, Gregory said. “We want to keep it going and preserve the artifacts people have given to us. They’ve entrusted them to us. We’re actually very lucky the leak didn’t hurt any artifacts.”

The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. It is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. It is entirely operated by volunteers. The museum also provides resources to people researching Sweet Home area history and gives tours.

For information or to donate, call the museum at (541) 367-4580 or Gregory at (541) 367-2953.