Letter: Let's honor Col. Franklin T. Matthias

May 2, 2013 

It would be safe to say that the Tri-Cities as it exists today would not have been possible without the contributions of Hanford.

It would also be safe to say that Hanford would not exist without the contributions of one man. Yet there is not one street, building, park or plaque that bears his name and the significance of his accomplishments. The man I write about, of course, is Col. Franklin T. Matthias.

It was on a mid-December morning in 1942 that Matthias and DuPont engineers' Gilbert Church and A.E.S. Hall flew over Horse Heaven Hills and along the Columbia River to scout a location for a secret construction site as part of the Manhattan Project.

Karen Miles, founder of Richland's Historic Streets Project, the citizen group that placed 207 historic markers throughout the neighborhoods of Richland, is raising funds to dedicate a statue of Matthias to be placed at the Richland Public Library.

As with the Historic Streets Project, the Matthias memorial is a citizen lead, nonprofit effort.

Contributions may be made out to AMVETS Post 397 and mailed to Historic Streets Project, 2009 Tinkle St., Richland, WA 99354, or contact Karen Miles at 946-2422.

MICHAEL CHARBONEAU, Richland

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