Skip to comments.Owner of I-5's 'Uncle Sam' billboard dies at 84
Posted on 12/06/2004 2:23:56 PM PST by bushisdamanin04
Owner of I-5's 'Uncle Sam' billboard dies at 84
Man's right-wing messages enraged some drivers
November 12, 2004
CURTIS, Wash. Alfred Hamilton, whose billboard emblazoned with conservative messages engaged drivers on Interstate 5 for decades, has died.
Hamilton, 84, suffered from Parkinson's disease and cancer. He died Tuesday at his home in this southwestern Washington town.
His two-sided "Uncle Sam" billboard dates back to 1971. Over the years, it has carried a litany of messages aimed at politicians Hamilton didn't like as well as homosexuals, Russia, abortion, communism, big government, the United Nations and gun control, to name a few.
"He was a fighter," Sherryl Zurek, one of his daughters, told the (Centralia) Chronicle. "He loved a fight. He loved to argue or discuss."
The family has not yet decided what to do with the billboard, she said.
Born March 31, 1920, Hamilton was raised in nearby Chehalis, attended a one-room school and later studied at what is now Washington State University. He left without graduating during World War II.
"If he graduated, he would have been drafted," Zurek said. "He quit early so he could get a deferment, and he farmed instead of going into the service."
Hamilton married Ruth Knoles in 1942, and the couple had five children. He raised sheep for a time and then switched to turkeys, developing a breed with veterinarian George Duby that was a hit with restaurants in the region.
But he was best known for his billboards.
In 1971, then-state Attorney General Slade Gorton sued Hamilton under the Scenic Vista Act. The case was resolved eight years later in Hamilton's favor.
In 1983, Hamilton and his wife set out on a round-the-world sailboat cruise that took nine years. Tom Bradshaw, pastor of Chehalis First Christian Church, met him after his return.
"He stood about 6-3 or 6-4, and weighed 200 pounds or so," Bradshaw said. "He gave you the feeling he was the kind of man you wouldn't want to mess with."
Hamilton's wife died in 2001. He is survived by his sister, Betty; his children; and 12 grandchildren.
How come nobody's ever posted pictures of this here?
I love how they had to put that into the story. I'd love to know if that was the exact quote the daughter gave.
Pray for W and Our Troops
Thanks for the post. It's been 4 yrs. since I last saw the billboard. I always enjoyed seeing what it was going to say when I'd drive by...about once a year when I lived in WA state.
I can't believe I never saw it,where exactly is it?
Great news! I rarely see it anymore -- it's so hard to get out of Seattle on Friday evenings, thanks to traffic, I don't visit family in Oregon anywhere near as much as I used to.
Pray for W and Our Troops
I lived within about 10 miles of the Uncle Sam sign during the late 70's up through the mid-80's. I've driven past it 100's of times. I don't recall any comments aimed at homosexuals, but I wouldn't be surprised if he put some up. I always looked forward to whatever he had to say...it was usually good for a chuckle.
Here's one from the archives about homosexuals:
AIDS TURNS FRUITS INTO VEGETABLES.
Egg & I Road
RIP - that sign was probably the high-point of the Seattle-Portland run. Lordy, could that get to be a dreadful drive when the rain came down...
I figured someone would come along soon enough and slam him for that.
Yep, I've amost crashed many times while driving South and reading the Northbound message and vv. :)
During one of his court battles, the sign read:
"THERE ARE NO BILLBOARDS IN RUSSIA, CUBA, OR COMMUNIST CHINA."
As always, in capital letters.
We seem to think it's what couch potatos sit on.
Sad that we lost this great American.
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