County Lending Support to Historic Marker Upgrade-Properties Planned for Upgrades in 2018


Santa Fe Trail Marker


Julie Sumpter, of the Fort William Bent Chapter of DAR, Connie Jacobson and Big Timbers Museum Curator, Kathleen Scranton, met with the commissioners to discuss relocating the Santa Fe Trail Marker on Highway 287, about a quarter mile south of the Museum. Sumpter cited a number of reasons for the planned move to the Museum which has been approved by CDOT; it’s hard to locate along the highway, it’s not in an attractive spot just yards away from a used truck and equipment sale lot, there’s a safety concern with little space for cars to park and the base of the marker is beginning to erode.  She told the commissioners, visitors will inquire about the marker at the Lamar Welcome Center, but still have trouble locating it, and for those traveling west on Highway 287, it’s just about impossible to view from the highway.

Adjoining Kiosk is in Need of Replacement

Sumpter is writing a grant for $6,000 to relocate the marker. Scranton agreed the Museum would be the logical choice as the parking lot overlooks the highway and a wayfaring kiosk has been approved which can accompany the historical marker.  Sumpter said there is still a way to go before each facet for the move is in place, “We still need official approval from the National D.A.R. and right now I only have bare quotes for the cost of the project.”  She said the new site has been approved by the National Historic Society as was the kiosk highlighting the Madonna of the Trail.  The commissioners said they would be glad to offer letters of support for the project as some historical hurdles still need to be cleared.

The Prowers County Commissioners provided a sketch of building and maintenance upgrades for the county as they met with Kirk Powers, Building Maintenance Supervisor on Tuesday, December 12th. The County Courthouse has had its HVAC and electric system upgrades through the summer and fall and some fine tuning is still needed.  Piping located behind walls in several offices on the third floor may be leaking and the county is seeking a way to repair them without having a major project on their hands.

Powers is in contact with an architect who specializes in historical construction projects and will receive some guidelines on repairing the blocks of granite that lead up to and include the steps to the northern entrance of the courthouse. Users have also noticed the front door, which carries a lot of weight, has not always closed tightly and needs repairs.  Powers pointed out that maintaining historical accuracy may not be 100% possible in all repair cases.  Commissioner Wendy Buxton-Andrade also mentioned the windows facing the south side of the County Annex as well as some in the courthouse are in need of replacing due to years of weathering.

She suggested a five year plan for upgrades be listed on a spreadsheet so the commissioners and department heads can track the progress on various projects including the former SOS building on East Elm Street and needed upgrades on the Journey Building south of Lamar which is being upgraded as a law enforcement training center.

Fred Sherwood, Lamar Community College Rodeo Coach, received the go ahead for use of the fairgrounds for next year’s Antelope Stampede Rodeo, scheduled for October 4th -7th in 2018.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarCountyEducationFeaturedHistoryTourismTransportation


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