CAMEO, Colo. (KREX) — The Pioneer Monument was set in stone decades ago. The Elks Club of Grand Junction built the monument in 1931 to honor the pioneers of Western Colorado — who built housing, schools and more dating back to the 1800’s.
Beverly Duzenack represents the Plateau Valley Historical Preservation Society. Preserving this monument started as a personal project for her but, now, multiple organizations are working toward the same goal.
“Our society wants to do some restoration on it,” Beverly Duzenack shares, “We’re trying to get the word out to people who drive by here, maybe, 100 times a day.”
Descendants of the woman who originally dedicated the monument still live in Plateau Valley today. When I-70 came in 1965, the monument moved down the road, to remain intact.
After 90 years of standing tall, the Pioneer Monument needs love and support, but also some recognition and respect.
“This little rock monument and it still stands so I think it needs recognition,” Duzenack expresses, “CDOT has agreed to that they really would like to see us do something.”
Three of the monument’s four original plaques have disappeared. Nobody knows how much longer this monument will last, what Beverly does know is repairs need to be done.
“We’re working with CDOT’s historic department, they would like to designate this as a historic landmark,” Duzenack informs, “If we get that designation then we can apply for different grants.
While the monument is on CDOT property, CDOT can’t contribute financially. The Colorado State Highway and the Colorado Historical Society are partnering on the project, but haven’t contributed funding.
Once funding is available, the group has big plans for the restored Pioneer Monument .
“It would be nice if people could stop and have a picnic set under the trees,” Duzenack describes, “We have the signs were they could look at it and know where it came from and what the purpose of it was.”
So far, $500 has been raised, part of which will cover purchasing concrete for the top. That is the CDOT’s priority. A volunteer is already present who wants to do the work.
Other monies will cover replacing some of plaques and erecting signage around the designated area, recognizing the Pioneer Monument and its partners.
Anyone wishing to help preserve the memorial to pioneers may contact Plateau Valley Historical Preservation Society over the phone: (970) 487-3116, through Facebook, or by mail: P.O. Box 252, Collbran, Co. 81624.
Source: Grand Junction Local News | Pioneer Monument stands 90 years tall, locals seek preserved restoration