Downtown Woodland Revitalization

Woodland could get bronze sternwheeler replica by spring

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 8:40 AM PST
By Leila Summers

WOODLAND - A bronze replica of the historic Mascot sternwheeler could be displayed near Woodland’s Horseshoe Lake Park as early as spring, thanks to a $20,000 donation by a local historian.

The gift from Margaret Colf Hepola, 91, is expected to fund final display costs for the project, which will be Woodland’s first public art display.

"It is preserving history. Many, many people will enjoy it. I always wanted to give where it would benefit a lot of people, but it's mainly history,"" Hepola said on Monday.

The Mascot is well known in Woodland as the first paddle-wheeler to make daily round trips from Woodland to Portland in the 1890s.

"I imagine my ancestors rode in that boat," said Hepola, a life-long resident of the Woodland area.

The miniature boat is planned to be put on display at Hoffman Plaza — across from City Hall near Horseshoe Lake Park — in a small "pond" with waterfalls cascading down both its sides. A light from behind the waterfall will illuminate the boat from inside at night.

Until Hepola's donation in December, only the bronze bow of the boat was paid for and completed. Lack of funding had a Woodland citizens group scrambling for money to pay for the pond, waterfall feature and construction.

Originally, the bronze replica was intended to be displayed in connection with Woodland's centennial celebration in 2006, said Tom Golik, President of DWR.

"It's our hope that we can move forward quickly" Golik said. "We would like to think it may be completed by Planters' Days."

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