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October 17, 2011
Vol.6 No.2


Boat Dock Completed

New Dock



Boat Dock Dedicated
in Memory of Beth McKee Alexander

New Dock


Boat Dock Dedication

The culmination of more than 10 years of dreaming and planning came together on Sunday, October 2, when we dedicated the boat dock in memory of Beth McKee Alexander. Beth has been a generous benefactor from the time this dream was formed in the minds of the Friends of Albion. Beth passed to her rest about two years ago; however, her husband Jim, daughter Kathy and son Don were present to receive the honor for her. A monument with a bronze plaque has been placed at the entrance to the gangway of the dock with the inscription, “Albion Boat Dock, in memory of Beth McKee Alexander.”  Dr. Heather Knight, President of Pacific Union College, presided over the dedication ceremony. Several members of the Board of Trustees were also present.


Recognition of Key People in the Remaking of Albion

At the time of the dedication, we recognized the contribution of a number of individuals who were instrumental in making the field station what it is today. Each has their name on a plaque on the lab “donor wall” with a caption below indicating their specific contribution:

Kathy Alexander Janzen – “Kathy’s original donation was the spark that set the Friends of Albion on fire and into action.”

Don Logan – “Don’s purchase of the adjacent 3.5 acre parcel provided the location for the boat dock.”

William “Pat” Linnane – “in memory of his late wife Ruth Linnane”

Ronald Scott – “in memory of Ron’s late wife Louise B. Scott”

Wayne and Jean Wright – “in memory of Jean’s mother Margaret Jackson”

Candace Horsley - "Albion--where nature and joy come together.”

Bryan and Bonnie Fandrich – “Bryan and Bonnie have faithfully and significantly donated every year since the renovation projects began.”

Jim and Sandi Mitchel – “in memory of Sandi’s parents Leslie and Lillian Wade”

Jim and Martha Grossman – “Jim and Martha are masters at organizing people, keeping the volunteers, needed, busy and trained to jobs they never dreamed possible of learning.”

Duayne Witzel – “Duayne is meticulous and pays considerable attention to detail and quality craftsmanship as is seen all over campus.”



Boat Dock Construction Completed

The boat dock construction began July 5 and was completed August 30, 2011 on time and under budget!

The new boat dock is on the 3.5 acre parcel that is upstream and across the creek that runs through the middle of camp. This has been a surprise to many who were expecting it to be in the same spot as the old dock. We think that the setting for the dock is much nicer in this new location.

A second surprise is the placement of the dock “so far out in the river.” (1) The dock needs to be in deep water; (2) the dock needs to be outside the eelgrass line; and (3) it has to allow for traffic to pass 24/7 with our boats tied up at the dock. We had a bit of a juggling act to find the correct place for it in the river.

The third surprise is that the dock is “so big.” It has a 120 foot gangway because there are a lot of mudflats to cover on the way out to the floating dock. The floating portion of the dock is 160 feet long because we can use only one side of the dock for our boats. The permits forbade us covering the eelgrass with boats. We placed the dock just one foot outside the eelgrass in the deep water so there is no room for boats to tie up on the land side of the dock.

The project started with constructing a substantial bridge across the creek. Not only did it need to hold up our pickup and other similar vehicles, the 165,000 lb. crane had to cross it as well.

New Dock

New Dock


With the crane on the up-river side of the bridge the construction began. A vibratory hammer was used to drive all the piles for the dock, the first of which was at the extreme east end of the dock. With this pile in place, the entire 160 feet of floating dock was assembled and attached to that first pile. The second pile to go in was the one at the extreme west end of the dock. With these two piles in place, the floating dock was now anchored firmly. With the floating dock in place, each pile that was subsequently driven could be easily placed in the right position. In addition, the floating dock provided a platform to work from.

New Dock

New Dock


Next, the pilings for the gangway were driven, the cross pieces and braces were bolted into place and all the pilings were cut off at 11 feet above sea level. Each piling is a 12 inch diameter steel pipe with a cone shaped piece of steel welded on the end being driven in the ground. Each piling received a galvanized caisson after it was cut off to the correct height. Then the prefabricated galvanized steel gangway was lifted into place and welded onto the cross pieces. At the river end of the gangway a hinged ramp was attached firmly to the gangway allowing it to go up and down with the tide.

New Dock

New Dock

New Dock

New Dock

Finally, each piling was filled with a 6-sack grout mix of concrete. The caissons provided the steel reinforcing for the concrete inside each piling. With this, the dock was complete except for the galvanized steel railings on the gangway.

New Dock

New Dock



Work Bee September 18-29, 2011

At the recent work bee our numbers were small but our accomplishments were great. Some of the jobs we accomplished were: (1) clean up the slash from several trees that had to be removed; (2) paint the steel pilings white with an epoxy paint; (3) install most of the railings on the gangway to the dock; (4) trench for the water line and electric conduit from the lab out to the beginning of the dock gangway; (5) construct a pathway from the bridge to the dock; (6) construct the pedestal for the dedication; (7) completely strip and wax the entire dining room; (8) touch up all the cabins and especially Lonicera with paint; (9) re-stain the south and west sides of the cabins; (10) plant rhododendrons in the planters around the dining room; and (11) install the false beams and trim to complete the ceiling in the lab classrooms.



Surprise Visit by the Wiebes

During the last week of the work bee, Dave and Ruth Wiebe came by the camp for a surprise visit. Dave and Ruth were the former managers of the field station. What they witnessed with the new boat dock and the refurbished camp were “dreams come true” that they had helped articulate as we all developed the plans for the “new Albion.”


Don't Forget Albion in Your Year-End Giving


How to Donate

If you give by check, mark your check "Albion Boat Dock," and send your contribution to:

Development Office
Pacific Union College
One Angwin Ave.
Angwin, CA 94508


If your donation is by credit card:

You may go online to donate ( or call the Development Office at 707-965-7500 and ask them to credit the "Albion Boat Dock" fund.


Wil Cook , 707-937-5440,
Gibby Muth, 707-965-2607,
Larry Provonsha, 916-638-0842,
Bill Hemmerlin, 707-965-3577,


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Written by Gilbert Muth, 305 Sky Oaks Drive , Angwin , CA 94508 (707) 965-2607


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