The April 12 annual membership meeting of the Seaside Museum and Historical Society was devoted to honoring Helen Gaston for her many years of devotion to the museum.
The proclamation was presented by Mayor Don Larson on behalf of the city.
Museum Board President Steve Wright said he was “very impressed by Gaston’s dedication and the variety of ways that she was involved, not just the museum but many other local organizations.”
In a proclamation from the city, Gaston was recognized for her preservation efforts and presentation of local history.
As a museum board member, Gaston served on the board for 27 years, writing grants to obtain funding, researching, planning and designing many of the museum’s exhibits.
Among achievements was the restoration of Butterfield Cottage, one of the original Seaside homes built in 1889 which was given to the museum in 1984 and subsequently developed to depict a beach cottage circa 1912.
Her contributions include writing grants, locating appropriate era windows, light fixtures and hardware as well as participating in all aspects of the restoration, from working with contractors to personally scraping, sanding and wallpapering.
Butterfield Cottage was opened in 1991.
Diane Collier, chairwoman of the Clatsop-Nehalem tribe presented Helen with gifts honoring her for her work on preserving the tribe’s culture and history. These efforts included design and creation of a curriculum to teach Native American history to fourth-graders, including supplies for experiential activities which the Seaside Museum provides to local schools at no cost.
Gaston was the instigator of the “Daddy Train” mural on the museum’s outer wall, obtaining funding through grants and contributions.