Lillian Pitt’s “Salmon Journey” sculpture at Tolovana Wayside Park found a new home not too far from its old one.

The sculpture, which was installed alongside Hemlock Street in 2010, was moved by workers from the city’s public works department to a shady grove of trees about 30 feet away from its original spot.

The 8-foot tall sculpture was purchased for $10,000 in 2012. Friends of Tolovana Wayside raised $5,000 through donations and fundraising. The city, which now owns the piece, matched that amount.

“Salmon Journey” is basalt rock encircled by a ribbon of steel salmon. There are also intricate petroglyphs etched along the back of the piece.

Created by Native American artist Pitt and fellow artist Aaron Loveitt for the “Sculpture Without Walls” event in 2010, it was meant to be at the Tolovana site for only a year. Though Pitt had planned to take the sculpture back after that time, Williams expressed a strong desire to keep it in Tolovana.

“It is such a beautiful piece, and it says so much about our area,” Williams said.

Pitt lowered the original price of the sculpture from $14,000 and agreed to give Friends of Tolovana Park and the city the time to raise the $10,000.

They also secured permission from Oregon State Parks to keep it at the wayside, but they were asked to select a new spot for it.

After Friends of Tolovana Wayside and the city conferred, the treed grove nearby was chosen.

“It seems more fitting surrounded by trees and grass,” Williams said. “There are picnic tables close by, and people can enjoy it up close instead of just driving right by it.”

Williams founded Friends of Tolovana Wayside and adopted the park as an individual in 2011. She and the volunteer group spend time keeping the park neat by mowing, watering, picking up garbage and providing a rotation of work parties.

The addition of the sculpture was a big coup for Williams’ adopted park. As a Tolovana resident, she felt it added a missing element to a place that is a common stop for many travelers headed into and out of Cannon Beach.

“We didn’t have any art or sculpture before,” she said. “This gives it an actual park-like setting.”

Pitt was on hand to observe the move. She was joined by Williams, as well as Barb Knop, chairwoman of the city’s parks and community services committee, and Shelley Parker, ranger at Nehalem Bay State Park.

“It’s so exciting to see this happen,” Pitt said. “It’s a piece I am very proud of.”

Williams was happy to see the sculpture move to a permanent home.

“It means a lot to have outside art in Tolovana,” Williams said. “We are very pleased to have it stay here.”

For the short move, the sculpture was carefully braced by two-by-fours, clamps and cushioning materials. It was lifted from its roadside location by a backhoe, driven by public works employee Tracy Sund. Kirk Anderson and Paul Phillips, also from public works, helped lower the sculpture onto its new pedestal and secure it in place while onlookers — including a family enjoying a picnic nearby  — applauded.

Williams said the initial plan is to surround the sculpture with a ring of gravel, allowing people to approach and study it. There is also discussion about planting flowers.

For now, Williams and Pitt were ecstatic that “Salmon Journey” has landed in a spot easily seen and enjoyed by the public.

Williams called the project a “labor of love” for a lot of people.

“So many people and agencies cooperated and worked well together to get this done,” she said.

Pitt shared a hug with Williams and thanked the work crew.

“What an accomplishment this is,” she said.


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