Clampers eye homage to Olivehurst park's founders
The OPUD board of directors will discuss the monument issue at its Oct. 18 meeting.
A whimsical fraternal group sometimes called a "historical drinking society" is apparently serious about paying homage to Olivehurst's revered names.
Later this month, Olivehurst Public Utility District's board of directors will consider allowing the local chapter of E Clampus Vitus to help maintain Olivehurst Community Park, and also put a monument there honoring the park's founders.
"We go around and mark things to tell about the history of 'em," said Leonard Scott, an Olivehurst resident and member of the Frank C. Reilly chapter of the Clampers, based in La Porte.
"We have a lot of places with monuments around here."
Earlier this week, Scott appeared before an OPUD parks committee to offer the group's help, under an existing district program to allow volunteers to maintain parks.
The district has significantly cut back on its park maintenance in historic Olivehurst in the last year, with a shrinking property tax base forcing the issue.
But the addition of a monument, which the Clampers would create and pay for, was a bit of a curveball.
Director James Carpenter said if the intent is to honor Olivehurst's history, he could get on board.
"It sounds like it could be appropriate," said Carpenter, the board chair. He said there's precedent for such monuments, with one established at Lindhurst Memorial Park to honor the victims of the 1992 mass shooting at nearby Lindhurst High School.
But Carpenter said he also needed more details before the full board considers the matter at its Oct. 18 meeting.
"We certainly want to be very selective because we don't want the park to be overrun with monuments," he said.
OPUD General Manager Tim Shaw said district officials also want to know what the monument would be made of, how it could be protected against vandalism, and how it would be restored if it was vandalized.
In concept, though, honoring Olivehurst's past was a sound reason for a monument, he said. In naming newly established parks in Plumas Lake, the district has researched and shared information with residents about prominent names such as Richard Donahue and Leila Smith.
Scott said the monument will be made of stone, and he's confident once his chapter's humbug — the society's term for chapter leader — gets the necessary details to OPUD, they'll be in favor of it.
"It'll last forever," he said.