About the Hammer Museum

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


What started as a private collection has grown into the public organization it is today. The Hammer Museum first opened as a privately owned museum in 2002, before becoming 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....


To preserve the history of the hammer.


John Hedrick, Executive Director

John is honored to be the director of the Hammer Museum. He grew up in his father's cabinet shop and has been fond of hammers for a long time. As a carpenter and homesteader here in Haines, Alaska, he carried the appreciation for man's first tool into adulthood. He accumulated many years of non-profit experience working across Alaska, while watching the Hammer Museum grow from a fledgling family endevour to the 501(c) 3 non-profit museum, it is today. John is thrilled to invite visitors to the museum and to help it grow and flourish.

                                                       Abigail Thorgesen, Museum Assistant

                                                       Sofia Lago, Museum Specialist and Summer Intern


Board of Directors

Cynthia Jones (President)

CJ, who has worked as a museum professional for 30 years, is also an EMT and firefighter. She loves climbing, skiing, kayaking, and everything outdoors. For 21 years, she worked first 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 are the perfect fit. Gene has proudly served on the board for many years and has contributed several hammer to our ever-growing collection.



Katie Dickerson (Secretary) 

Katelyn moved from her home state of Michigan to Alaska in 2016 to be an intern at the Hammer Museum. She fell in love with Haines and its people, and decided to make Haines her permanent home when she accepted a position as Museum Coordinator at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. Katelyn holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Hope College and a master’s degree in historical administration from Eastern Illinois University. In her free time, Katelyn enjoys exploring with her dog, bonfires on the beach, and attempting to play the ukulele.


Gregory Rasmussen (Treasurer)

Greg was born in Seattle, Washington, where the local industries were always an influential force in his 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 when he met the founder, Dave Pahl. He serves on several boards in Haines: 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.


              (not pictured)                Richard Cook (Board Member)