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May 27, 2022

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World War II memorial in Camas moving to Crown Park

22 Camas paper mill employees died while serving

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Camas’ Crown Park will soon showcase a memorial honoring 22 Camas paper mill employees who lost their lives serving in the armed forces during World War II.

Installed by the Crown Zellerbach Corp. in 1947, the veterans memorial has lived off the corner of Northeast Sixth Avenue and Northeast Division Street, across from the paper mill, for nearly 75 years.

Now, the memorial is slated to move a few blocks north, up Division Street, to its new permanent home inside Crown Park.

Camas Parks and Recreation Director Trang Lam said the mill’s current owner, Georgia-Pacific, recently offered to donate the memorial to the city.

“The mill has a long history of donations to the city. As GP prepares to dispose of this particular parcel of property, they wanted to ensure the monument continues to have a home,” Lam said.

Moving the memorial to Crown Park made sense considering the park’s history, Lam said, adding: “Crown Park was also donated to the city by the mill, so it was a fitting new home for this memorial, tying the long history between the city and the mill.”

With a Crown Park revamp in the works, Lam recommended to Camas Parks and Recreation Commission members in early December that the city move the memorial sooner rather than later, “before the park gets redeveloped, so folks can visit it now.”

Lam pitched two site options to the parks commission on Dec. 8: Option A, located near the corner of Northeast Division Street and Northeast 15th Avenue, and Option B, near the park’s entrance off Northeast Everett Street and Northeast 17th Avenue.

The first option, near the park’s southwest corner, would place the memorial close to an existing monument that pays tribute to the Crown Willamette Paper Co.’s donation of Crown Park to the people of Camas on Dec. 14, 1934.

Some commission members believed Option B was too close to a large, grassy field where people gather for soccer matches, Easter egg hunts and other annual events.

In the end, the parks commissioners agreed that Option A was the better choice, voting unanimously to place the monument near the corner of Division and 15th. The commissioners also instructed staff to look into raising the monument up onto a piece of concrete to make the plaque honoring World War II veterans and millworkers more visible.

“Now that we have solidified the new location for the monument, the next step is to work through the specific details to determine how and when the monument gets moved,” Lam told The Post-Record in mid-December.

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