Memorial to Nurses Who Served in the Spanish American War

Memorial Honoring Spanish American War Nurses in Portland, Oregon, photo by Jparadisirn 2019

I’ve been running through Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park for years, but this morning I discovered something there I’d never noticed before. It was a war memorial to nurses serving the Spanish American War. The memorial was erected on September 14, 1938.

The small memorial is part of a larger monument to the USS Oregon, a battleship commissioned on March 19, 1898 to serve its country. According to this article in the Oregon Encyclopedia  the USS Oregon (and her crew) made a significant contribution towards the US winning the war. Her captain was a veteran of the Civil War.

At one time, the entire ship docked at Portland’s waterfront, but it was taken back by the US government during WWII and its hull was used for munitions storage in Guam. Eventually, most of the vessel was sold for scrap, and today only its mast remains in Tom McCall’s Waterfront Park.

The above article doesn’t mention the nurses’ memorial, and I’ve not been able to locate more information. Still, it was a pleasant surprise to find nurses serving in a war recognized over eighty years ago.

My Wild Oregon: The Wreckage of The Peter Iredale

The Wreckage of the Peter Iredale watercolor and ink by Julianna Paradisi 2019 (sketchbook)

David and I spent several days in Astoria, Oregon last week. The town is steeped in history, and not only as the final destination of Lewis’ and Clark’s historic cross continental trip, wintering at Fort Clatsop.  Astoria is notorious in Maritime history through the present for the difficulty encountered by freighters and fishing vessels crossing the bar, the point where the mighty Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean converge. In present day, crossing The Bar requires the expertise of pilot ships and their captains to navigate safely. And yet, occasionally there are mishaps

If you’re interested in the history of the Pacific Northwest, I am, and the history of Astoria in particular, I recommend reading Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire, a Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival, by Peter Stark.

David and I drove to the Clatsop Spit to see what remains of  the wreckage of the Peter Iredale, a cargo ship with an empty hull that went aground on October 25, 1906. It was sailing to Portland to load with wheat for export in the UK. Although the ship was a total loss, fortunately, the crew survived.

The weather was beautiful this particular day, and lots of people had the same idea as David and I. There were children joyously climbing the rusted steel and iron wreckage as though it were a jungle gym, laughing and playing while their parents supervised.

The Wreckage of the Peter Iredale watercolor and ink by Julianna Paradisi 2019 (sketchbook)

I found a spot in the sand and began to draw…