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G.A.R. Statue Project

G.A.R. Cemetery, Portland, Oregon

GAR StatuThe Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery was founded in 1882 by Union Civil War veterans living in the Portland area. Around 1900, a 6-foot tall bronze statue of a Union infantryman was erected at the cemetery. In 1946 the statue was mounted on a large pedestal and rededicated by Theodore Penland, the last surviving Civil War veteran in Oregon. In 1967 the statue of the soldier was stolen from the cemetery. Its whereabouts remained a mystery for many years until the families of two former cemetery employees, both now deceased, admitted the men had stolen the statue, cut it up and sold it for scrap.

In 2005 the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 2739, which created the Veterans’ and War Memorials Grant Program. HB 2739 created opportunities for non-profit veterans’ organizations to receive grant funds to construct or restore veterans’ and war memorials on public property. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, in partnership with Metro Pioneer Cemeteries, applied for and received the first grant awarded under this new program. The State of Oregon awarded $19,500 to be used to replace the original statue that was stolen more than 40 years ago. Mike Brown, Metro’s Columbia District Manager, led Metro’s contributions to the project. Randy Fletcher, PCC was the project manager on behalf of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Kelly Scottwax model of statueJason Pope, a Portland memorial designer, was commissioned to create the statue. Former Baker Camp Brother and reenactor Kelly Scott modeled for a computer generated likeness of the model, which was then formed out of styrofoam and finally wax. In March of 2009 the full sized wax model was sent to the Parks Bronze Foundry in Enterprise, Oregon for casting. The statue was completed and installed with a formal public dedication on May 30, 2009.

Remembrance Day 2016
Members of Baker Camp No. 6/Co. B 71st Pennsylvania, SVR, with Major Joe Marti, Commander, 6th Military District, SVR in front of the restored statue at G.A.R. Cemetery on Remembrance Day 2016.