Trinidad Tidings: Antique oil painting donated to museum

BIG LAGOON An oil painting by Charles Henry Harmon (1859-1936), showing Big Lagoon circa the early 1900s, was donated to Trinidad Museum by Bruce and Elena Pettit. Submitted photo

A stunning, calming oil painting of Big Lagoon, circa early 1900s, by landscape artist Charles Henry Harmon (1859-1936) was donated to Trinidad Museum by Bruce and Elena Pettit of McKinleyville. 

It will be on view at the museum as soon as COVID-19 advisories from the county are lifted. 

Trinidad Museum received permission from the county to open, with appropriate safety precautions, in early July. 

The Clarke Historical Museum opened on July 8, and Trinidad Museum was going to follow suit the following week, however, Governor Newsom’s advisories caused museums and other venues to pause in re-opening. The Clarke had to close again on July 14.

Meantime, Trinidad Museum is preparing new exhibits for the happy day when visitors may be welcomed once more. 

An exhibit on the Northwestern Pacific railroad in Trinidad in the Photography Room will include some rare maps and photographs. The new Harmon painting will be on view as well along with some other surprises in the Natural History, Heritage and Native American Rooms. 

Bruce Pettit originated the idea of forming Trinidad Museum Society in 1980. 

He planned with charter members Axel Lindgren Jr., Charles Fleschner and Raymond Davis on steps forward and the museum began operations in February 1983. 

It was housed in the old gear shed which is now Moonstone Crossing Winery on Trinity Street until 2009, when Trinidad Museum opened in the rehabilitated Sangster-Watkins-Underwood home at 400 Janis Court. 

Until March 2020, when the COVID-19 restrictions were applied to everyone, the museum, whose mission it is to enhance appreciation for the cultural, economic, social and natural history of Trinidad’s rich heritage, was open to all. 

It will be open again, but in the meantime, visitors can stroll through the beautiful Native Plant Garden in the fresh air at their leisure.

Rest in Peace Debbie Dew

Debbie Dew, familiar to the community from her frequent children’s arts and crafts workshops and her barbecues, dinners, parties, music and art events at Westhaven Center for the Arts, died last week. 

She was the everlastingly cheerful presence who capably brought out the best in fellow volunteers and colleagues. 

Most of the area’s children who attended her many creative sessions have a souvenir of a puppet, holiday decoration, collage, drawing or sculpture which they made under her encouraging eye. 

Her beloved Steve Spoelman and her many admirers, friends and colleagues will miss her greatly.

Email Patti at [email protected].



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