Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse moved to ‘temporary’ location near harbor


TRINIDAD – The Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse has been moved, ending an at times contentious debate over how best to honor those who came before us.
“To do things in a good way. To talk and understand each other’s positions is of major importance,” said Yurok Tribal Chairman Thomas O’Rourke. “What’s happening today is a very good example of what can happen when different entities, agencies come together and talk about doing something together.”
Multiple companies led by Wahlund Construction took on the massive feat of moving the historic building that memorializes fishermen lost at sea.
Hundreds watched as the memorial bell was loaded on to a truck followed by the lighthouse itself. Both will be placed on a site near the harbor owned by the Trinidad Rancheria.
This comes after the owners of the lighthouse, the Trinidad Civic Club, sought to move the iconic structure about 20′ across the hill. A geologist found that its current location was unstable and could give way.
Tribal groups and community members fought that plan, arguing that the proposed site would threaten ancestral gravesites as well as a historic village and trail.
Some of those opposed held candlelight vigils and physically stood on the lighthouse for days to prevent the move.
Then stakeholders got together last week to discuss solutions and Trinidad Rancheria offered its land near the harbor.
It will remain there until a committee of the various stakeholders can meet to discuss a permanent location.
Trinidad Civic Club President Dana Hope said, “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Chairman Garth Sundberg of the Trinidad Rancheria and their tribal council for making this solution possible. I think the city of Trinidad, certainly the Civic Club and frankly the entire county of Humboldt owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to them. They were the ones that came in and created an option when we didn’t know that we had one.”
“We’ll figure out what to do next. But we’re thrilled and happy that they offered this space to us because no one else offered it,” said Patricia Fleschner, member of the Trinidad Civic Club Memorial Lighthouse Committee.
Fleschner and Hope said the city of Trinidad will be organizing the committee in the coming weeks.

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