Cambia Health Solutions, the parent company of Regence BlueShield, is making a financial gift to Metro Parks Tacoma to restore a 15-ton throwback to Tacoma’s history.
The company, which has roots in Tacoma, will fund expanding and upgrading Dickman Mill Park to make room for the display of the last known head saw in Washington, harkening back to the glory days of Tacoma’s lumber industry.
“In 1917, we were founded by timber workers who pooled a small percentage of their weekly wages to provide a safety net in case of sickness and injury. As Cambia reflected on our centennial, we want to recognize our hometown of Tacoma and the industry from which we came,” said Mark Ganz, president and CEO of Cambia Health Solutions. “This restored head saw will immortalize the legacy Cambia shares with the logging industry, the Dickman family and with this city. We hope by honoring our roots in this way, we give something back to be shared and enjoyed by this community for the next 100 years.”
Large head saws were rendered obsolete in the latter half of the 20th century thanks to modern logging practices. The Dickman Mill saw is listed on the state and local registers of historic places and artifacts; the head saw itself, which stood 34 feet high during its operations, has been lying in pieces in Point Defiance Park’s maintenance yard for some time.
“Metro Parks developed part of the Dickman Mill site into a beautiful park in the 1990s, and we’ve always wanted to expand it in a way that would use the head saw as an educational tool,” said Andrea Smith, president of the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners. “This partnership with Cambia is the perfect fit.”