Nicholson Library hosts exhibit on Pacific City Dory Fleet

Dory exhibit at Nicholson LibraryA traveling exhibit showcasing the historical and contemporary role of the dory fleet in the coastal village of Pacific City is on display at the Linfield College Nicholson Library.

“Launching through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City” will run through Monday, Nov. 10. A reception will be held Sunday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m. in Nicholson Library.

Exhibit hours are Sunday, noon-9 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The exhibit is the result of the collaboration between Linfield College and the Pacific City community. In 2011, Linfield students and faculty began documenting the history of the Pacific City dory fleet to preserve a part of Oregon history. The collection of narratives tells the story of the fleet in the words of those who know it best – the anglers and the wives, mothers, husbands, fathers, fish buyers and boat builders. An astounding 15,000 photos, 200 hours of audio and video and more than 1,500 artifacts have been collected. More than 100 dory fishers have been interviewed.

Pacific City is home to one of the most unusual fishing fleets in the world, and one of the last of its kind. A dory fleet has been in the small coastal town for a century, with dory fishermen and women once numbering in the hundreds. Now the old-timers are passing on and the commercial industry is in decline. Newcomers, however, are joining seasoned anglers in maintaining a robust sports fishing community.

Designed by Linfield Professors Tyrone Marshall and Brenda DeVore Marshall, the exhibit features 18 panels exploring the following topics: historical highlights, building a dory, fiberglassing and painting a dory, turning oars, Pacific City dories, dory derbies, Dory Days, the Memorial Wall and Blessing of the Fleet, Yamhill County connections, launching and landing a dory and “The Launching through the Surf” project. The panels are comprised of vintage photographs and historical documents from the dory fishers, contemporary photographs and comments from the oral history stories. The exhibit also includes a small collection of artifacts.

The research project included an original production, “Kickin’ Sand and Tellin Lies,” scholarly papers, book chapters, poster sessions and the visual art exhibit “Smooth Beaches and Flat-Bottomed Boats.” Material will continue to be added to the ongoing project.

The exhibit also contributes to the Theatre and Communication Arts Department’s investigation of Linfield’s 2014-15 PLACE theme by exploring the question of “How Do We Know?” through storytelling.

The exhibit was made possible through two grants from the Keck Community Engaged Research to Classroom Program from the Linfield Center for the Northwest, five Linfield College Summer Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grants, an Arts Build Communities grant from the Oregon Arts Commission, a Yamhill County Cultural Coalition grant and a Cultural Development grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust. It is also sponsored by Nicholson Library, the Linfield College Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, the Linfield Center for the Northwest, the Pacific City Arts Association and the Pacific City Dorymen’s Association.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-883-2802.