About the Hammer Museum

The Hammer Museum invites visitors to explore the rich history of the world’s first tool, the hammer. There are about 2,000 hammers on display at the museum at any given time with over 7,000 items in the collection. We rotate are large collection throughout the year, providing an ever-changing experience.


What started as a private collection has grown into the public organization it is today. The hammer museum opened in 2002, and then it became a non-profit organization in 2004. Since then the board has regularly raised enough funds to support an internship program for the summer months. In 2015, the museum hired their first paid staff member, Ashleigh Reed, as the museum director. See the full history....


The mission of the Hammer Museum is to preserve the history of the hammer.

Meet our Staff

Ashleigh Reed (Executive Director)

On a cross country road trip Ashleigh and her husband, along with their cat and dog, stumbled upon Haines by a happy accident. It's been 7 years since they rolled into the sleepy Alaska town of which they now call home. Ashleigh enjoys the long days of summer, but it's the winters that she cherishes the most. Having time to create, spending time with friends, and learning new snow sports are what keep her around as a full-time resident. Ashleigh holds a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi. She's been learning and sharing the history of hammers since March 2015.


Meet our Board

Cynthia Jones (President)

A museum professional for 30 years, CJ is also an EMT and firefighter. She loves climbing, skiing, kayaking, and everything outdoors. She worked for 21 years as the Collections Manager and then the Museum Director at the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center in Haines. Today, she manages her own business, which includes traveling around Alaska and working with museums on various projects.



Gene Kennedy (Vice President)

Behind the 10 to 4:30 plumber is a talented artist who leans towards steam punk, naturally. From welded full scale yard art to whimsical puppets he breathes life into whatever material is at hand. Hammers? It is a perfect fit. Gene has proudly served on the board for many years and has contributed several hammer to our ever-growing collection.



Joe Ordonez (Secretary) 

Joe fell in love with Haines after visiting the town as an on-board naturalist of a small ship. In 1987 he moved here and later founded Rainbow Glacier Adventures, a group providing tours in Southeast Alaska. The tours range from sea kayaking and rafting to photography spotlights and local culture explorations. As a trained naturalist and photographer, Joe enjoys traveling, skiing, photography, and above all spending time with his family.



Gregory Rasmussen (Treasurer)

Born in Seattle, Washington, the local industries were always an influential force in Greg's life. This includes boatbuilding, fishing vessel machinery, and ship chandlers, which fueled his interest in machinery, maritime history and local history. After moving to Haines in 1981, Greg and his wife raised their three children and built two family homes in the upper Chilkat Valley. 


Michael Marks (Board Member)

Michael fell in love with the Hammer Museum on his first visit where he met the founder, Dave Pahl. He serves on several boards in Haines, which include the Sheldon Museum, Tourism Advisory Board, Alaska Art Confluence, the American Bald Eagle Foundation, and the Elder Rock Lighthouse Preservation Association. Michael retired from the City of Santa Clarita, CA as the Cultural Arts Supervisor and moved to Haines in 1997.


Eric Kocher (Board Member)

In 2007 Eric moved to Haines to experience and explore Alaska's wild and beautiful places. He fell in love with Haines after spending his first night camped out on Fort Seward Parade Grounds with 1,200 other competitors from the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay Race. Along with being an experienced rafting guide and photographer, Eric is a public interest attorney and a volunteer DJ at the local radio station, KHNS.


Tom Spencer (Board Member)

After 33 years of service Tom retired from the United States Air Force. He moved to Alaska with the goal of finding adventure. His Alaskan adventure started in Skagway where he worked as a guide for two years, it ended in Haines when he decided to stay in this quaint town. Tom has always been interested in machine operations and he drives the train at the annual fair, this is where he met fellow board member Gene. Gene mentioned the Hammer Museum and the rest, as they say, is history.