The proposed “From Scandinavia to Astoria” monument will honor the immigrant tradition that brought thousands of Scandinavians to Oregon’s North Coast in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It will be erected in a public space to make locals and visitors alike aware of the ethnic heritage that contributed immensely to the fabric of our community. It will honor families that said their last good-bye in Scandinavia and moved to Astoria to become Americans. Like “The Garden of Surging Waves” that was erected during Astoria’s Bicentennial to honor Chinese immigrants, we hope the community will support a similar monument to Scandinavian immigrants to contribute to increased awareness of all cultures in our community. Oregon Community Foundation grant funds will support Phase One of this multi-year project. The initial project leaders from the Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Association will spearhead the project but eventually turn it over to a leadership group with broader community representation to bring it to reality. Initial activities include exploring design options, securing a site for the monument, gaining City approval and support, recruiting a committee of community leaders to further the planning, gathering community input, developing a proposal for a permanent monument, and planning for fundraising. Our goal was to have the design approved and ground-breaking in summer 2017 but that was delayed by the Astoria Parks and Rec Department and the City of Astoria. We are still pursuing the proposal and hope to receive approval in the fall of 2017. Next steps will be to start fundraising and to locate a landscape architect to work with.
The Scandinavian Heritage Park has a new chair, Judi Lampi, and here is her most recent statement that was delivered at the very successful 2017 festival:
"Welcome to the 5oth anniversary of the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. My name is Judi Lampi and I'm the new chair of the "From Scandinavia to Astoria" Immigrant Park Committee. Our dream and hopefully your new dream is a park in Astoria that honors the families who said their last good-byes to Scandinavia and moved to Astoria to become Americans. Maybe, you read the article in the Daily Astorian about this proposed park. Yes, we have some challenges to overcome, but we are optimistic that this park will move forward in the future. I encourage you to stop by the information booth and sign a letter of support for the park and to learn more about our dream. As a footnote: we all know that Scandinavians are persistent and when we put our mind to something - it gets done! Thank you - enjoy the festival."
Photos courtesy of the Clatsop County Historical Society.