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Family members of deceased dam workers like memorial idea


Of the 81 workers who lost their lives while working on Grand Coulee Dam, 79 have been identified by researcher Susan Dechant.

Dechant has been researching the accident incidents for the past several years and only recently reported that she was able to identify two more victims.

The Colville resident spoke before the Coulee Dam Town Council this spring when council members showed an interest in developing a monument to honor the victims.

It would be a replacement monument since one that was placed here in the mid-30s was taken back by the monument maker for lack of payment.

The original monument, which was ordered by the local American Legion Post, is now in front of the Stevens County Courthouse, now honoring those who served from the county during World War II.

Recently the Spokesman Review dedicated a full page to the story of the monument.

“Since then I have been contacted by several family members who are very happy to hear that the members who died might be honored with a memorial,” Dechant said.

That memorial is being pursued by the town of Coulee Dam. Mayor Greg Wilder has stated that the town would look at a memorial proposal as part of its budget planning for 2015, possibly using hotel/motel funds.

In her latest report, Dechant stated she is working on the 80th name, and if that works out she will have only one more to go. She, in her research, has determined that there were 81 fatalities relating to the construction of the dam.

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