PATRICK WEBB/For the Observer
SEAVIEW — It’s up!
The Seaview sign is back in its rightful place, two years after a car accident which damaged it so badly it had to be removed.
And Nansen Malin, who led the campaign to get it replaced, is happy.
But she’s not taking much of the credit — there is a list of people to thank, proving community projects are a team effort.
The old sign had been in place at 38th Place for 16 years. When it was hit by a vehicle two years ago, Pacific County crews had to remove it because the damaged, termite-ridden structure was a hazard. That version was one of many incarnations greeting visitors to the Seaview beach approach in the last 145 years.
As designs were considered for a new sign, the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum showed project supporters photos of earlier versions, some of which were constructed from whale bones or driftwood.
Malin and members of the Seaview Historical Preservation Society (SHiPS), decided replacing it was a priority. Getting that accomplished took two years because of the need to raise funds and create a new design that met changed government requirements.
For her project manager, Malin recruited John Ramage, a civil engineer who had retired to Seaview. He embraced the concept, led the planning and provided the technical expertise to make it happen, Malin said.
Together they brought architect David Jensen on board. Jensen, whose grandparents lived close to the sign decades ago, worked through design concepts, engineering requirements and safety regulations. “He helped us refine the design to fit ‘Historic Seaview.’” Malin said.
The group liaised closely with all relevant agencies. “Pacific County has been very supportive through the conception, permitting and installation process,” said Malin. “The county commissioners were supportive and Mike Collins of Public Works has been especially helpful.”
A $18,000 grant from the Templin Foundation paid for the bulk of the project. Russell and Allys Templin moved to Long Beach in 1951 from Wisconsin. They owned a sawmill, rock quarry and a logging operation; Russ Templin served on the board of Bank of the Pacific and was active with the Long Beach Elks Lodge.
Their philanthropic generosity has assisted many Pacific County community projects. The couple formed a charitable remainder trust which converted into a foundation 1992, the year Allys Templin died; Russ Templin died in 1979. “Their commitment to community is outstanding and helped us beyond measure,” Malin said.
Local fundraising added to this amount. Malin said her group is just $2,000 short of covering the $32,500 total. Though many contractors and others donated their time, Malin said the funds are needed for cover installation, taxes and to establish the maintenance fund, which will be administered through the South Pacific County Community Foundation.
Malin raised $6,000 in the weeks leading up the installation and praised those who have supported it.
“We didn’t want to wait another year for installation, so we took a leap of faith that the community will support the project.”
Pacific County PUD donated two sturdy poles that will hold up the 1,700-pound sign. They were set by Pat Lucero of DPR Building and Construction whose team donated its time. Oman and Son Building Supply’s Troy Ramsey and others helped with the beam.
Donnie Sartwell of Donnie’s Signs, who did the artwork on the prior sign in 1998, painted the new one in Oman’s Ocean Park yard, using light blue as the main color. Steve McPhail put the 36-foot laminated wood beam up and Stu Simonson of Seaview Sewer assisted with the location and installation.
Malin also secured help from Active Enterprises to finish up with flashing on the top to help protect the specially treated laminated wood truss and posts.
Ramage was all smiles as he admired the sign Thursday. “After all we have been through, it is great,” he said. “It has been good to get contractors out here to do this, particularly in this busy construction season.”
The installation was timed to avoid intermittent road closures that would have been inconvenient during the crowded summer, but before winter weather set in.
“Due to regulations, the sign is wider, taller and much sturdier, spanning the double-lane road and tall enough for required clearance,” said Malin.
For more details about the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.seaviewsign.com. Membership in the nonprofit Seaview Historical Preservation Society is $15 for adults and $25 for a couple. Checks may be mailed to SHiPS at P.O. Box 356, Seaview, WA 98644.
‘We took a leap of faith that the community will support the project.’
— Nansen Malin
Seaview sign coordinator