BROOKINGS – Members of the Medary Monument Committee of the Medary Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution visited the Medary Monument Sept. 9 to officially mark the completion of a five-year project to have the monument restored.
The construction work was done by Niklason Construction Company, owned by Rick Niklason, during the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 4. They removed the crumbling steps around the base and bad grout spots, and they applied new grout, replaced missing stones, and put in new concrete steps.
The Medary Chapter of the DAR began working on this project in 2015. Members held fundraisers and did extensive research on the history of the monument after discovering that the founders of their chapter were instrumental in 1929 in the building of the monument that marks the old Medary townsite as the first townsite in the Dakota Territory in 1857.
The Medary town disappeared after the railroad went through South Dakota and established Brookings, 7 miles to the north, and the Medary settlers moved their buildings to Brookings. There are still descendants of these pioneers living in the area of “Old Medary.”
Funds collected were presented in 2020 to the Brookings County Commission, which voted to pay for the balance of the construction cost as the new owners of the monument.
The DAR chapter will work on landscaping this fall and next spring and plan to have a rededication ceremony that coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the chapter in 2021.