Savage Stone Dedication at Big Timbers Museum


Stadium Stone Dedication

Two dedication events were held at the Big Timbers Museum this past Saturday, October 22nd, for the Savage Stadium marker stone.  Up until this spring, the stone, which was placed over the main entryway on the south wall, was transported to its new permanent display at the museum.

Linda Hawkins-President of Prowers County Historical Society

Several generations of the Steward family were on hand Saturday morning, as well as Dr. Chad Krug, Superintendent of the Re-2 School District, Brad Semmons, volunteer Mason who moved the stone, Linda Hawkins and Caro Hedge of the Prowers County Historical Society and Kathleen Scranton, Big Timbers Museum Curator.  A second viewing was open to the public that afternoon.

Kathleen Scranton-Big Timbers Museum Curator

The stone, carved by Paul E. Steward in 1940, was placed in the south facing wall of the sports stadium which was constructed as a Works Progress Administration project.  Savage Stadium was the last, large WPA project constructed in Colorado.  As an added historical note, the Pikes Tower, also a WPA project, was the first to be built in the state.

Steward Artifacts

After the adoption of a state law, forwarded by the Commission on Indian Affairs, the Lamar School District began removing signage and landmarks displaying the name ‘Savage’ which included the marker stone at the stadium.  Around that time, it was determined that the Big Timbers Museum would offer a fitting and permanent display for the stone.

The Steward family played a prominent and lasting role in the history of Lamar, beginning in 1885 when brothers Charles and Edgar moved to Prowers County.  E.M. Steward was a stone mason and later became a county commissioner, serving from 1895 to 1898 and continued to be active in civic life, serving on the Lamar Board of Trustees in 1910.

During the public dedication, Caro Hedge related that E.M. Steward and another county commissioner twice braved flood waters which wiped out the bridge spanning the Arkansas River in 1895 in an effort to provide accurate dimensions for a replacement.

The next generation of Stewards also played a definitive role in Lamar’s history as son Paul, took over the Steward Monument Shop from 1925 for more than 40 years also contributing to the development of numerous buildings in the city.  He also contributed to the museum with donations of various stone tools and other artifacts he discovered in the region, plus a comprehensive collection of arrowheads which have been donated to Big Timbers Museum.  Additional stonework includes a monument at the Holly Cemetery in 1931 to honor the children who died in the Towner disaster and a monument at Sand Creek in 1950.

The Savage monument, which weighs several hundred pounds, will be on public display at the Big Timbers Transportation Museum.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarCountyHistorySchoolTourism


About the Author: