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City of Unalaska greenlights fishermen’s memorial site overlooking Carl E. Moses Boat Harbor

The fishermen’s memorial is modeled after real Unalaskans.
Andy Lusk
The fishermen’s memorial is modeled after real Unalaskans.

Unalaska’s long-awaited fishermen’s memorial is almost finished and will go up soon on a hill overlooking the Carl E. Moses Small Boat Harbor. City officials greenlit the location at a council meeting June 25.

They’ll sign a 10-year land lease for a roughly 10,000 square foot area near Bunker Hill, and they’ll pay the Ounalashka Corp. a dollar a year to rent it.

Karel and Marie Machálek run the Rusting Man Foundation, the local nonprofit behind the memorial. They said three statues based on the likenesses of Unalaska fishermen and most of the informational panels that will surround the memorial are complete.

At the city council meeting, Marie Machálek invited the public to see the work in progress at their Captains Bay art studio.

“As we always say, anybody is welcome to come and see,” Marie Machálek said. “We just need to know when, because we’re not there all the time.”

The memorial has been in the works for a few years. City council has put $350,000 toward its construction since 2022.

The memorial site will have plenty of room for a parking area and space for the city to install a safety barrier.

Staff with Public Works and Utilities are looking into ways to run electricity to the site for lights, a VHF radio and security cameras. They’re also thinking about using solar power instead of a utility extension, since the electricity demands of the site are low.

“We are really optimistic, and we really are grateful to the Corporation for letting us use their space and the land, and of course, to the whole city council for working with us and fighting for us,” Marie Machálek said.

Council reviewed a few different potential sites last year, but the site above the boat harbor was the only one approved by OC for leasing. That’s where the Rusting Man Foundation wanted the memorial to stand from the start.

Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Andy Lusk is a writer, travel enthusiast and seafood aficionado who won the jackpot by landing in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. When he's not hiking or working on his latest story, you can find him curled up with his cats and a good book. Andy is a Report for America corps member and an alumnus of New York University.
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