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Group pushing for logging memorial

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Artwork planned for front of city library; money is being sought

By Brenda Sexton

The Courier-Herald

Like other Pacific Northwest cities, Enumclaw and Buckley were built on the sweat and toil of logging.

A group of Enumclaw citizens want to immortalize the industry and memorialize those who were a part of it in a bigger-than-life bronze sculpture in downtown Enumclaw.

"We want to create a first-class, world-class, piece of art, unparalleled in this state," said Enumclaw businessman Tom Poe, who is one of those spearheading the group.

Being proposed is a piece of art, Poe said, that will command the attention of those passing by and draw them to the site where they will learn about the people and industry that helped build this area, and this state.

The statue, designed by nationally-known Enumclaw sculpture Dan Snider, will be a bronze, steel and sandstone structure of a puncher and oxen hauling a log out of the forest.

A stone walkway will encircle the piece.

When complete, as Poe says, it will become a "signature point for the town."

It will also be more than a piece of eye-popping art. It is designed to be a lasting monument to demonstrate the historical significance of the logging industry to the local community, the state and the Northwest region.

"The beauty of art, is art works emotion in people," Poe said.

It will also serve as a memorial to the 8,000 in the logging industry who were killed since the state Department of Labor and Industries began keeping records, and the 6,500 injured.

"We want to memorialize the friends and family who paid the price for working in the woods," Poe said.

After many months of planning, the Logging Legacy Foundation launched its fund-raising campaign last month at the White Rose Inn.

According to Poe, the city of Enumclaw has accepted the concept and design and gave the nod for the space beside Goodwill Park in front of the Enumclaw Public Library.

The foundation has lined up all the in-kind donations like the Wilkeson sandstone and the landscaping and site work. Cash donations have also started to filter into the group's non-profit coffers, but organizers do not want to start the project until they are sure they can finish it. They need to secure at least half of the approximately $500,000 before they will begin and have commitments for most of the rest.

Everyone is welcome to donate. Donations begin at $1 and climb. Those offering $500 or more will be recognized at the memorial and gifts exceeding $10,000 will have a major donation recognition.

Tax-deductible gifts may be made to Logging Legacy, P.O. Box 98, Enumclaw, 98022, or those interested in more information can contact Poe at 360-825-3061.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com.

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