|Moose on the move
By KYLE ODEGARD
The Horner Collection's most-recognizable symbol is moved to its new home
For the first time in years, the giant stuffed moose saw sunlight â€” but only for a brief instant.
Since 1939, the creature's home has been the Horner Museum at Oregon State University. On Friday, it was carried out of the basement of Gill Coliseum and put in a moving van headed to its new home at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath.
The journey wasn't easy, even with detachable, doweled antlers. Double doorways aren't meant for critters 8 feet tall and 9 feet long.
Six workers carried the moose out of the basement, tipping it so it could escape relatively unscathed.
It brushed against the ceiling, however, and a furry chip broke off its ear.
"I'm sure it can be reattached," said Irene Zenev, the executive director of the Benton County Historical Society & Museum, who watched the moose move.
"This is a big day. This is a very big day," she said.
Although the moose, a gift from a local Moose lodge, is the most recognizable symbol of the Horner collection, the move had been going on since Monday. And the project was set to be complete by the end of Friday, with 60,000 artifacts transported out of the Gill Coliseum basement.
They'll be stored in a $2.5 million collections care facility in Philomath adjacent to the Benton County Historical Museum.
"When you actually see it in one room, it's amazing how much stuff there is," Zenev said.
Items from the Benton County Historical Museum also will be stored there.
OSU mothballed the Horner Museum because of budget cuts in 1995. Since then, the historical society has tried to get the eclectic mix of items, which includes everything from artwork to pioneer firearms to glowing rocks.
The Benton County Historical Society hopes to create a downtown Corvallis museum, where some Horner items could be showcased.
Will White of Crown Moving, a Vancouver, Wash., company that transported the items, said he's used to house moves, or the occasional office.
"This is definitely different. There was a canoe. There was all kinds of fun stuff," he said.
Friday afternoon, White didn't think the moose would be the biggest complication.
"The elk is going to be the problem. He's got 12-foot antlers on him," White said.
And those antlers aren't detachable.
Kyle Odegard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 758-9523.