Monday, Oct 19, 2009
After a much needed facelift, the George Rogers Clark Memorial, in the park of the same name, was recently rededicated.
The 76-year-old monument to "the frontiersmen of the American Revolution" had been leaking rainwater for more than 75 years. Frontier Waterproofing of Denton, Texas, completed the repair work at a cost of over $3 million.
The Clark Memorial closed on August 9, 2008, and reopened on September 24th. It took almost 14 months, but was well worth the wait as the basement is finally dry and five ton granite blocks are no longer sloughing away from each other like glaciers on the move.
The original dedication of the Clark Memorial took place in 1936 with President Franklin D. Roosevelt speaking. The October 3rd rededication was on a cold, windy day along the Wabash River. Superintendent Dale Phillips acted as host for the event, and speakers included the mayor of Vincennes, Al Baldwin; representatives from the offices of Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayhs; Steve Adams, Associate Regional Director for the Midwest Region; and a representative from the Francis Vigo Chapter of the DAR. The keynote speaker was Gwynne Potts, who wrote George Rogers Clark: Military Leader in the Pioneer West and Locust Grove. Four graduates from this year’s Summer Junior Ranger Series led the Pledge of Allegiance during the ceremony.
Tours of the memorial basement were conducted throughout the day. There were photo displays to allow visitors to see the damage caused by years of leakage and the work completed during the recent renovations. The stalactites and stalagmites from so much rainwater and cement mixing were highlighted. There were more than thirty tours that allowed more than 400 visitors to see the results of this project.
This was a major event is park history, and the superintendent would like to thank the park staff and volunteers who helped make it happen.