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Taft Cemetary Watchtower Dedication

The Taft Pioneer Cemetery in Lincoln City, holds a significant piece of local history with the original WWII watchtower standing as a testament to the community's dedication to home defense during World War II. To commemorate this historic landmark, a dedication ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at 1:00 pm.

During World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard erected watchtowers along the Oregon

coast to scan the horizons for potential attacks and ensure the safety of coastal

communities. The watchtower at Taft Pioneer Cemetery, constructed of concrete

footings and a wooden frame, served as a crucial vantage point for monitoring the

expansive coastline and protecting against potential threats. William Bradley donated his time to build the tower, which is dedicated to the Coast Guard and Veterans.

"The dedication of this WWII watchtower is a testament to the resilience and

determination of our community during a pivotal moment in history" said Sheryl Smith

McKee, spokesperson of Taft Pioneer Cemetery. "It serves as a reminder of the

sacrifices made and the collective effort to safeguard our shores". Sheryl Smith McKee is the granddaughter of Finnish pioneer and Taft Pioneer Cemetery caretaker, Tom Hill who transported coffins for burial with his wagon and team of horses. The cemetery is known for its expansive view of the coastline and the identity "a view to die for".

The Taft Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1906, has been an integral part of the

coastal community for over 118 years. The cemetery's land of 9.5 acres was generously

donated by Mr. Bones, an original Taft settler, and has since become a cherished

landmark in Lincoln City. The dedication ceremony will honor the legacy of the WWII watchtower and celebrate its role in preserving the safety and security of the coastal region. Members of the community, local officials, and veterans are invited to attend and pay tribute to this important piece of history.

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