The Cranberry Museum in Grayland reopened on July 3 with a new addition.
The museum, which is now under the guidance of the Westport South Beach Historical Society, added a gift shop called the CranZberry.
“I am happy to share … that the Society, in keeping with its mission to preserve and interpret the history of the South Beach and advocate for preservation of our local historic structures, is taking on the operation of the Grayland Cranberry Museum,” said Westport South Beach Historical Society Director John Shaw on Facebook July 2.
The museum and the Furford Picker business — manufacturers of a piece of cranberry harvesting equipment invented in 1957 that picks the berries and prunes the vine and is still widely used today — had been operated by Gwen and Chuck Tjernberg since 2010. Shaw said Holly Marshall of Holamar LLC purchased the museum and picker business recently “with an agreement that continues the Cranberry Museum under the guidance of the Westport South Beach Historical Society.”
Marshall is the one who added the CranZberry gift shop. In it visitors will find some handcrafted items, refrigerator magnets, clothing items and more to commemorate a visit.
The Furford Picker was invented by longtime Grayland resident Julius Furford. He was active in the manufacturing of the picker/pruner until his death in 1999, at which time the machine had not been produced for several years. When the Tjernbergs took it over in 2010, they started producing replacement parts and between 2012 and 2016 built 22 new machines.
The museum building was built by the local Finnish community in 1933 as a social hall. Ocean Spray Cranberries bought the property and added a second building in 1946, using both to dehydrate berries before moving the operation to the current plant in Markham.
In 1956, Furford purchased the property and converted one of the buildings to a machine shop where he built his picker/pruners. It was Furford’s dream to open the cranberry museum to celebrate the region’s thriving cranberry industry.
Gwen Tjernberg passed away in May. Shaw said the society is “happy to fulfill her desire that the Cranberry Museum continue and thrive.”
That includes blending stories of the region’s history beyond, but still focused on, the cranberry industry along the South Beach.
”We plan to continue developing the Cranberry Museum that started with the Furfords and our own Bob and Ruth McCausland and later finding the Tjernbergs carrying the torch,” said Shaw. “The society plans to continue its efforts on the cranberry industry and community and blend in some of the stories more specifically of the south end of our beaches.”
That will include the Grayland Coast Guard, the lost Life Saving Station and lighthouse, North Cove, and the changing landscape of Cape Shoalwater.
For the time being, the museum, staffed by all volunteers, will be open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., A donation is the entry fee.
Shaw is hopeful to add more hours later in the summer and get some more volunteers on board. The museum and gift shop are located at 2395 State Route 105 in Grayland.