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Cultural History | Oral History | Speech and Rhetorical Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies


The Turning Oars collection features a series of photographs depicting the process of creating oars for Cape Kiwanda Wood Products of Pacific City by partners Paul Hanneman and Terry Learned. To look at the process chronologically, view the images in numerical order (Turning Oars 001 — Turning Oars 072). Terry Learned provided the description for this image.

This photo features the cutter head or the “business end” of the machine used to shape the paddle end of the oar. A motor sits on the center left side. It has three blades in it and operates the cutter head. It is a 3/4-horse motor that requires 220 electrical power. It has a big flat end on it and weighs about 100 pounds.

The headstock is visible in the center of the photo. It holds the blade end of the oar blank. The headstock is made from a piece of ship channel with a pin in the middle that helps secure the blank in place. Overhead, belts can be seen. A leather belt runs up around a wood pulley. That wood pulley on a shaft has four other wood pulleys, each of which runs a belt down to four opposite sides of wood pulleys at the bottom. This four-speed system runs the headstock. It also runs a spine shaft underneath the bed that will drive the carriage once the carriage is locked to the shaft. A gearbox right behind the head contains eleven pairs of Model T Ford gears. Basically, there are forty-four speeds on the machine. By flipping a lever, the machine can run forward or in reverse.

A wheel is also visible. This is the counterweight with a cable on it that runs to a pulley, then goes up to the carriage that holds it out. The patterns fit down the middle of the bed. The pattern indicates the shape and dictates where the oar machine is going to run. Learned explains, “You can make handles with it and everything else.”

Related Resource

For a related exhibit panel from the Launching through the Surf Traveling Exhibit, refer to Launching through the Surf Traveling Exhibit Panel 11: Turning Oars for a Dory.


Launching through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City is a collaborative project involving the Linfield College Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, the Jereld R. Nicholson Library, the Linfield Center for the Northwest, the Pacific City Arts Association, and the Pacific City Dorymen’s Association. The collaborators and project partners thank Dave Larkins of Pacific City, who has served as the Dorymen’s Association liaison for the project, their Linfield colleagues who have provided assistance, and the individuals who graciously shared their stories and memorabilia for inclusion in this historical collection.

Support for the project has been provided in part by the following: 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, grants from the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition and the Tillamook County Cultural Coalition, a Cultural Development Grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, and generous gifts from Nancy Whelan and an anonymous individual donor. Rhianna Bennett, Mary Beth Jones, Gabrielle Leif, and Alicia Schnell have assisted with preparation of materials for the archives.


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Image Location


Project Director/Collaborator

Marshall, Brenda DeVore

Project Collaborator(s)

Gupton, Janet
Marshall, Tyrone
Miller, Jackson B.
Spring, Kathleen
Clark, Casee
Davis, Cassidy
Dossett, Daphne
Forrer, Chris
Layton, Jennifer
Olson, Caitlyn
Raso, Stephanie
Snyder, Andrea
Weber, Whitney