History of the dory fleet sails to Nicholson Library

Elizabeth Stoeger, Staff writer

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What began with a stroll down the beach has evolved into a multimedia history of the dory fleet of Pacific City, Oregon.
“I was walking on the beach one day and saw the dories coming in and it was sort of this, ‘Duh! This is the home of the dory fleet,’” said Linfield professor, and project director for the exhibit, Brenda DeVore Marshall on the genesis of “Launching through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City.”
The rich history of this unique fishing community is uncovered in a new traveling exhibit on display in Nicholson Library.
What began in the summer of 2011, the exhibit is the result of a partnership between the Linfield College Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, the Linfield Center for the Northwest, and the Nicholson Library.

It was a collaborative effort with a total of 13 student researchers and five Linfield faculty members contributing to the piece.
Interviewing and communicating with the community of Pacific City was also an integral part of the research process. Marshall said, “It’s been a really great working relationship between the Dorymen’s Association and Linfield”

Local organizations participated in this project; The Pacific City Arts Association and the Pacific City Dorymen’s Association were also involved.

The display features 18 panels, all telling the story of Pacific City spanning from the 18th century to present.
Each panel showcases a different facet of life for the community. Some of the panel topics include building a dory, the process of fiberglassing, and the construction of the Memorial Wall in remembrance of the deceased of the community.

A new play inspired by the stories of the dorymen was written and produced, “Kickin’ Sand and Tellin Lies.”
The exhibition also features a collection of artifacts gathered from the locals.
In addition to the physical exhibit, there is an extensive online archive of audio and filmed  interviews, photos, and story transcripts available through Digital Commons.

A total of 15,000 photos, 200 hours of audio and video and more than 1,500 artifacts have been collected over the course of this project and more than 100 dory fishers have been interviewed, according to the press release.

For professor Marshall, this was one of the major struggles she encountered when putting together this exhibit. She discussed the issue of consolidating the data, “We have so much material … there’s a lot of data.”

She was in charge of constructing the exhibit along with Linfield Professor Tyrone Marshall. This process began in May and was finally finished at the end of August.

On the importance of the exhibit, professor Marshall said, “While each dory fisher has his or her own story, there’s never been a collection of them brought together.”

“While the exhibit is only the tip of the iceberg, I think it does at last provide the idea that there are a lot of facets and that there is a great deal of information here and I hope that it helps people understand that this is an important part of Oregon history.”