On Monday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. the Sandminers Monument committee will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony to be held on site on West Shore Road.
They will be inaugurating the ground clearing and preparation of the monument and piazza for a projected placement (Spring '09) of renowned sculptor Edward Jonas' tribute monument to the sandminer laborer.
Funding for this project has been largely obtained by a large private donation and individual contributions by the community over the past four years. Another fundraiser is planned for next spring and they are still soliciting contributions for personalized family and memorial plaques and bricks. Anyone interested can call Leo Cimini at 883-3826 or www.sandminers.com.
The maquette (photo) shows a diorama positioned in front of the last vestige of Port's vast sand mining operations; a remnant shaft opening that conveyed washed sand and sorted gravel toward Hempstead Harbor onto barges, then onward to New York City. Workman's hands are symbolically pouring Cow Bay Sand onto the lower tip of Manhattan to portray Port Washington's unique role in the building of the Empire City's skyscrapers, tunnels and sidewalks alike. Staged atop the shaft are bronze statues of three immigrant workmen who now hold a place of prominence and respect in gratitude for their long hours of hard labor under extreme outdoor working conditions year round. This monument may indeed be pre-eminent in all the U. S. A. to honor the common laborer and maverick industrialist. Port has a proud and important mining history that needs to be excavated from descendant memories and news chronicles of the past.
Concurrently, the committee has received enthusiastic support from local schools and teacher retirees who wish to expand upon the Port Washington Public Library's cache of documents, photos and recorded oral interviews, ( www.pwpl.org, Sand and City web link) begun at the eclipse of the working mines in the early '80s, to continue to uncover and develop a local history curricula of this legendary mining and labor legacy.
Please come and witness this celebration of getting under way with this monument tribute to our worker past. The community at large, invited supporters, county and town supervisors and other officials are asked to please park at the Harbor Links Executive Golf Course Parking lot and walk from within the course onto the site.