The Chetco Valley Historical Society Museum (5461 Museum Rd., Brookings, 541/469-6651, 1–5 p.m. Fri.–Sun. Memorial Day–Labor Day, $3 donation suggested), in the red-and-white Blake House, sits on a hill overlooking U.S. 101 two miles south of the Chetco River. The structure dates to 1857 and was used as a stagecoach way station and trading post before Lincoln was president.
Even if you are not one for museums, several exhibits here stand apart from the traditional collections of pioneer wedding dresses, Indian baskets, and spinning wheels. These include a small trunk that came around Cape Horn in 1706 and an Indian dugout canoe.
Should these fail to inspire, a mysterious iron casting of a woman’s face might do the trick, especially in light of the speculation that this relic was left by an early undocumented landing on the Oregon coast, perhaps by Sir Francis Drake. Drake has been commonly suggested because of the mask’s likeness to Elizabeth I.
Oregon ’s largest Monterey cypress tree is located on the hill near the museum. The 99-foot-tall tree has a trunk circumference of more than 27 feet and has been home to a pair of owls for years.