Community Building Project: Oso Slide Memorial Park

Returning to Oso:
In May 2023, the Timber Framers Guild returned to western Washington for the next phase of the Oso Slide Memorial. In late 2020, Guild members gathered in Monroe, Washington, to fabricate the memorial portals, which were raised at each end of the memorial park in Oso. This spring the work continued, with an entry arbor, gathering shelter, reflection pavilion, and survivors’ shelter. 

Instructors and volunteers came together for a full week, working long days to complete the four structures that will offer spaces of sanctuary in which to reflect, grieve, and connect with the homes and people lost to the March 2014 landslide.



On March 22, 2014, at 10:37 a.m., the Oso Slide engulfed the community around Steelhead Haven, Washington, in the single deadliest landslide in United States history. The mud and debris from the adjacent mountainside destroyed 49 homes and ended the lives of 43 people. Community members immediately responded, bringing excavation equipment and shovels to help with the search and rescue effort. At times they were digging with their hands. Those who came were there to help, to find survivors, and later to recover friends and loved ones. As the response extended, those involved became determined to bring as much comfort to those who lost family and they did not stop searching until July 22, when the last of the 43 victims was recovered.

About the Project:

In 2020, instructors and volunteers built memorial portals at either end of the slide area. In 2023, we fabricated and raised four timber frame pavilions and a large sign for the memorial park. The cutting of the frames was done at Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, Washington, followed by three days of raising on-site at the memorial park along State Route 530, just east of the village of Oso. 

Images courtesy of our volunteers and instructors on this project - and more to come!

Click on a photo to enlarge.

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