Beach Combing Museum now open
John’s Beach Combing Museum is now open in Andersonville near the North entrance of Forks. Just driving down the short gravel road, at 5 mph please, you start to see the amazing collection John Anderson has amassed.
The collection starts outside the building with the tower of floats and gigantic rusty metal floats that line the driveway. Once inside the found items go floor to ceiling.
Many of the items also have interesting and sometimes funny stories. Like Mr. McClosky’s slippers.
While Anderson was doing a plumbing job one day at Leon Applebaum’s cabin, Applebaum showed Anderson a slipper he had found on the beach. The slipper had a name tag on it, Mr. McClosky. Applebaum told Anderson he was sorry that Mr. McClosky only had one slipper now.
About a year later Anderson was beach combing at Yellow Banks and found Mr. McClosky’s other slipper. When Anderson told Applebaum about the find Applebaum gave him the other slipper and now Mr. McClosky’s slipper are together again on the wall of Anderson’s museum along with the story.
Besides the assortments of shoes, camera bags and other lost at sea items is a row of Raggedy Ann heads, they are a bit unnerving.
Anderson jokes that if you are ever stranded on the beach and need to brush your teeth it is likely a tooth brush will wash up on shore, yes he even has a container full of used tooth brushes.
A special room off the back of the main museum area features display cases with Anderson’s most prized glass floats and his mammoth tooth, which is his oldest beach combing item.
The room also has seating and a television and Anderson hopes to create some beach combing and beach clean-up videos in the future.
One of the most compelling items on display is probably an unused survival suit. The suit came from a vessel that sank off the mouth of the Columbia River, it sank so fast the crew didn’t have time to take advantage of their survival suits, all hands lost.
When visitors are done admiring Anderson’s collection they can make a stop at the “Gift Shop” where museum-goers can buy some beach memorabilia or one of John’s weather prediction rocks that hang from a rope. Anderson says these are his best seller so far. (If the rock is wet, it is raining.)
The cost to tour the museum is $5.
It is truly an amazing collection. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or for group tours by appointment, for more information or questions call 360-640-0320.