|Written by Vivian McInerny|
|Tuesday, January 10, 2012|
After visiting a nursing exhibition in Philadelphia and the Florence Nightingale museum in London, Chenevert realized the rarity of her personal collection and found the determination to establish the museum.
“Do you squirrel it away in some archival safe for future generations to look at? Or do you vote to take it out and look at it now?” she asks. “I vote for now.”
The Cheneverts live comfortably amid the kooky collection, even when their five young grandchildren visit from Portland and New York. Most of the memorabilia is on the main floor. The master bedroom, TV room, and home office are upstairs. If a tour group comes through, “Gary can escape out the back and go for a walk on the beach,” Chenevert says. The museum’s visitors tend to be school groups, nursing students and established nurses looking to “get their batteries recharged.” Other than special window blinds that filter UV light to protect archival items, the house has all the comforts of home.
People often ask her what will happen if a tsunami comes.“Well, it’s just stuff,” she says. But the stuff of Chenevert’s home just happens to be museum worthy.
The Lost Art of Nursing Museum is located at 3285 S. Hemlock St. in Cannon Beach. The grand opening is May 6-12, and it will be open on Saturdays during the summer and by appointment. There is no admission fee.