Astoria, OR: The Astoria Parks and Recreation Department, with support from the Maritime Memorial Committee, will be overseeing the expansion of the Maritime Memorial starting on March 14th. The project is expected to support the installment of two 91 foot, 6 ½’ tall walls, 1,200 square feet of outer sidewalk, and 120 feet of bench seating on the perimeter. Pedestrians on the Astoria Riverwalk can expect minimal disruptions on the trail.
Since 2010, concerns had been raised by the Maritime Memorial Committee on limited space remaining on the granite walls and efforts to raise money for its expansion began in earnest. Funding for the project comes from revenue accrued by past engravings on the memorial and a loan from Astor West Urban Renewal District funds. Local community member, Larry Bondurant, assisted with the design of the project.
The Maritime Memorial was first constructed in 1987 and was completed in 1993 at the behest of Mrs. Bob Chisolm, Sr, following the death of her son, Bob Chisolm in 1982. Mrs. Chisolm approached Astoria City Council to create a memorial for other families needing a place to find solace following the death of a loved one at sea and for those who had committed to spending their lives in maritime industries.
The Astoria Parks & Recreation Department would like to thank the Port of Astoria for extending the lease for the memorial, as well as the following members of the Maritime Memorial Committee for their continued support and guidance on the project: Mike Morgan, Bob Antilla, Kim Supple, Kegan Rascoe, Scott McMullen, Jaime McDermott, Caroline Wuebben, and Russ Warr (ex-officio).
The entire project is anticipated to be completed in advance of Memorial Day celebrations at the site on May 27th, where US Coast Guard lays a wreath on the River, and family members place flowers in the river as each loved one’s name is read.