Pike History Kiosk Unveiled

L-R: Rotarians Judith Turpin, Bill Wootten, Brenda Brown, David Northrup, Anne-Marie Crampton, Kevin Foster-Robinson Printing and Rick Akers-City Parks and Recreation


Lamar Rotarians started planning for a historical kiosk for Pike’s Tower in Willow Creek Park during it’s centennial in 2021.  That completed project was celebrated this past Thursday, October 20th with dedication ceremonies at the site.  Members from Lamar Rotary, City of Lamar officials, the Alta Vista Charter School’s fourth graders and historically minded citizens attended the ceremony.

Alta Vista Students Attend the Dedication

The kiosk helps explain the history of the tower, erected as one of two significant WPA projects in the state during the Great Depression.  It’s generally believed that explorer, Zebulon Pike and his expedition passed through Lamar on November 13, 1806 while exploring the course of the Arkansas River.  It was from this area that Pike and his team first viewed what was to become known as Pike’s Peak overlooking Colorado Springs.  That expedition covered almost 4,000 miles.

The Lamar Rotary wanted to highlight the historical significance of Pike’s discoveries beyond the plaques that are situated on the tower itself.  Zebulon Pike, despite living to only 34, died at the Battle of York in Canada in 1813.  He was chosen to lead expeditions into what was known as the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 which almost doubled the U.S. territory.  His first led to the Mississippi River headwaters in 1805-1806 and the second was through the southeast territories from 1806-1807.  The kiosk was made possible through the efforts of Lamar Rotary, working with the Lamar Parks and Recreation Department.

By Russ Baldwin




Filed Under: City of LamarEducationFeaturedHistoryRecreationTourismYouth


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