Curry County Historical Museum
At the Curry County Historical Museum (920 S. Ellensburg Ave., 541/247-6113, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., closed Jan., $2), the local historical society has assembled a small collection of exhibits on Indian and pioneer life, mining in the region’s golden age, logging, fishing, and agriculture. It’s located at the county fairgrounds at the south edge of Gold Beach. Particularly interesting are a realistic reconstruction of a miner’s cabin, vintage photos, and Indian petroglyphs.
Rogue River Museum
In the harbor area on the west side of U.S. 101, Jerry’s Jetboats has assembled the best regional museum on the south coast, the Rogue River Museum (541/247-4571, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. summer, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. fall–spring, free). Centuries of natural and human history are depicted. In addition to geologic history, the museum contains photos of pioneer families, arrowheads and other native artifacts, and a taxidermy collage of local critters to round out your introduction to the Rogue Valley.
Jerry’s river tour clientele will find that perspectives from the museum on the local salmon industry in the 1920s and on early river travel are expanded upon in their jet-boat guide’s commentary. Museum photos of early river runs—hauling freight, passengers, and mail—can impart a sense of history to your trip upriver or up the road.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel