However, in July 1,
1985, the county decided to sever its relationship with the museum and
end its funding. In response to the county's decision, the Tillamook
County Pioneer Association and other concerned citizens came together
to find a way to keep the museum open and flourishing. Although the
county no longer wanted to manage and finance the museum, it was
willing to allow a new museum group to continue using the second
courthouse for a nominal fee. With the county's willingness to rent
the courthouse, the museum's champions crafted a levy proposal put to
voters to fund the museum.
In November 1985, voters passed the levy to fund the museum until July 1, 1996. In May 1996 voters again signaled their support by voting to establish a County Historical Fund with $.08 per thousand true cash value of permanent funding for the museum. The 1996 measure passed by a 2 to 1 margin. It is not tied to any particular location in the county but is tied instead to the non-profit museum organization. The history of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum reveals the significance of the organization and collection to the community. In 1935 and again in 1985 and 1996, the people of the county rallied behind the museum and signaled their support in the strongest manner possible. This is the essence of true, although the term is overused, grass-roots activism and support.
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