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Vandals Deface Sioux Falls Landmark

February 5, 2014, 5:50 PM by Matt Holsen

Vandals Deface Sioux Falls Landmark

A Sioux Falls landmark has seen better days. Vandals have been busy defacing the Pioneer Memorial in the north part of town.

You can see it from miles away. Since 1949, the memorial dedicated to the no-name pioneers has been perched alongside Cliff Avenue overlooking Sioux Falls. Jim Carlson, President of the Minnehaha County Historical Society, is part of the group that takes care of the landmark.

"One of the reasons that they picked this spot is this is where the Dubuque Land Co., that first saw the falls, they said this would be a good site for a village or city," Carlson said.

Get a little bit closer though and you can see some people care more about history than others.

"This is expensive, quite an expensive piece. Then to have someone come and deface it is unfortunate, that some people think so little of our local history," Sioux Falls resident Bruce Blake said.

The vandalism has gained the attention of not only the historical society but also local law enforcement.

"The city police department is aware of it and they say they're doing a little more patrolling. I think that will help some, but you can't be here all the time," Carlson said.

Despite the graffiti, members of the historical society say people should still take the time to come see the monument. It was originally designed in the late 1920s and it's the only vantage point in the city with a 180-degree view of a mile or more.

"It's kind of lost its interest a little bit when they changed the road so it's a dead end but we're still here and we'd like people to see it," Carlson said.

The historical society plans on using paint remover and a steel brush to restore the monument to its original look.


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