The Forks Loggers Memorial Committee was formed in 1990. Founding committee members were Evelyn Bryson, June Cassell, Martha Paul, and Jon Westerlund. The Memorial is a true community project, built with volunteer labor, donated materials and funds. The logging industry started here in the 1860s and the Forks Loggers Memorial’s mission is to honor deceased timber workers.
In 1992 the Memorial was dedicated. The 12-foot, 700-pound logger statue was carved and donated by Dennis and Margaret Chastain. The couple worked on the statue for one year. Local volunteers built the current A-frame protecting the giant logger. The Honor Roll displays nameplates of deceased timber workers who were nominated by family or friends. There are currently 858 names listed at the Forks Loggers Memorial.
In 1994, a book was compiled with the expertise of Susan Goff, titled “Forks Loggers Memorial, A Tribute” listing all nominees on the Honor Roll. With the help of Joyce Pagac and Vern Hestand, a second book was issued in 2015 that included new nominees and their biographies. Both books were locally written, illustrated, and published at Olympic Graphic Arts. The sale of the books finances the upkeep of the memorial. Books may be purchased at Forks Outfitters, Chinook Pharmacy or at the Forks Timber Museum.
In 2009, JoMarie Miller joined the committee as Evelyn Bryson and June Cassell retired. And now, after 30 years Martha Paul will be retiring at the end of 2019. Martha has been essential in the continuing legacy of the Forks Loggers Memorial. She is very proud to honor the history and culture of the timber workers of the West End on the Olympic Peninsula. Martha’s wisdom and guidance will be missed. Thank you for your 30 years of dedication.
Nominations for the Forks Loggers Memorial continue today. Nominees must have worked in the timber industry on the Olympic Peninsula. A fee of 15.00 is requested for the purchase of the nameplate. We also like a short biography, work history or obituary submitted in remembrance of the individual. Applications are available at the Forks Timber Museum or by contacting JoMarie at 360-640-4326. We would like to thank the Forks community for its continued support and generous donations.