Launching through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City
"Launching Through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City" Traveling Exhibit
The “Launching Through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City” traveling exhibit returns to Pacific City’s Kiawanda Community Center for the 63rd annual Dory Days celebration on Saturday, July 15, 2023. The display is a collaborative presentation by Linfield University and the Pacific City Dorymen’s Association.
The exhibit, one component of the larger “Launching through the Surf” oral history and archival project, focuses on the historical and contemporary role of dory fishers and dories in the life of Pacific City. Through the collection of oral histories and artifacts, Linfield faculty and students, in collaboration with the Pacific City Dorymen’s Association, began documenting this unique group in the summer of 2011. The collection of narratives tells the story of the dory fleet in the words of those who know it best—the anglers and their wives, mothers, husbands, fathers, children, and friends as well as fish buyers and dory builders. More than 15,000 photos, 300 hours of audio and video recordings, and more than 1,500 artifacts have been collected. More than 100 dory fishers have been interviewed to date.
The exhibit features 20 panels exploring the following topics: historical highlights covering more than a century of dory activity in Pacific City, building a dory, fiberglassing a dory, turning oars, the evolution of the Pacific City dories, the Dory Derbies, Dory Days, the Memorial Wall and Blessing of the Fleet, Yamhill County connections, the building of the Memorial Wall, and launching and landing a dory. The panels are comprised of vintage photographs and historical documents from the dory fishers, contemporary photographs, and comments from the oral history interviews.
The 2023 exhibit features a special display of photographs from the collection of Sandy Weedman, aka the PC Photo Lady. Also known as the official photographer of the Dory Fleet, Sandy has been part of the dory landscape on the beach at Cape Kiwanda for more than two decades. She can be found there most weekends and holidays with camera in hand, documenting the dories as they launch west into the often-breathtaking waves and return with thrilling slides onto the beach.