by TaLeiza Calloway
The next step in a search for funding to preserve a historical marker in the city is to make an additional case for its importance.
City staff will make a presentation to state officials next month in an effort to preserve the monument located near Centennial Park and secure funding from the Legacy Amendment. The meeting with the Historic Resources Advisory Committee and members of the Minnesota Historical Society is Sept. 7.
The St. Joseph City Council voted in May to apply for the funding. The estimated cost of the project is about $25,000. Concerns about the stability of ground support, as well as cracking, have been raised previously. New steps, a platform and mortar improvements are on the list of things needed to preserve the structure. Most of the improvements to the monument will be structural. The monument was tuck-pointed at one point.
Built by the Works Progress Administration in 1941, the monument stands at the corner of 2nd Avenue NW and Birch Street. The WPA was started by a presidential executive order under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 1935. Its purpose was to generate public jobs for the unemployed. It was considered the largest New Deal agency, employing millions to carry out projects that included the construction of public buildings and roads. It also made possible many arts, drama, media and literacy projects.
The monument is much more than an aging structure in need of repair. It is a historical marker that commemorates the Sioux Uprising of 1862 in Minnesota. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the war, also known as the “Dakota Conflict.” It was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux (also known as eastern Dakota). It began on Aug. 7, 1862 along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota.