Monumental effort

Project to re-establish lost monument moves forward


Last updated 5/20/2015 at 10:59am

From left, Susan Dechant, Karen Struve, Mayor Greg Wilder and Swagerty stop for a photo in front of town hall Friday. - submitted photo

The town of Coulee Dam is spearheading an effort to create and establish a monument to honor 81 persons who died during the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam.

Friday, Karen Struve, president of the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society, and Susan Dechant, vice president and researcher for the society, visited the area to discuss the monument project with Coulee Dam Mayor Greg Wilder and myself.

The group viewed two possible sites for the location of the monument: Cole Park, near the credit union; and Riley Point, an overlook just below the top of the dam.

For the past six years Dechant has been compiling a list of those persons who were killed during the construction of the dam. This list can be viewed by visiting the genealogical society's web site at

Dechant has recovered the names of 81 of the people who died, three of those during construction of the Third Powerhouse, and is actively searching for the final name, also from the Third Powerhouse construction, she wrote on the website.

Anyone with pertinent information can contact her at 62 Lupine Hill Road, Kettle Falls, WA 99141, or by email to

She is also compiling a brief biography of each of these persons, to be made available when the monument is completed.

The monument is in the initial stages of development and site selection is the first step.

The town has received permission from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to use some of the large stones from their pile for the monument. After the site is determined, the design planning will begin and funding will be sought for the project.


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