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Statue, time capsule plans inch forward

A five-foot statue of a tornado may soon be a permanent fixture in Glover Park in New Richmond.

Talk of a special memorial began to swirl during last year's 150th anniversary of the establishment of New Richmond.

Many suggested an eventual statue should somehow commemorate the event that changed New Richmond forever -- the 1899 cyclone that wiped out much of the community.

"People have asked why we would want to celebrate a time when so many lives were lost," said Jerry Brown, economic development director for the City and a driving force behind the statue and time capsule project. "What we're celebrating is the spirit of the people of New Richmond who re-built the town."

Funding for the project fizzled during the Sesquicentennial year of 2007, but the local committee working on the project never let the idea die.

Now two local industries -- Bosch Doboy, Inc. and Liquid Waste Technology -- have stepped up to the plate and donated funds to get a memorial constructed.

"That's kind of neat," Brown said of the local sponsors. "We have a long-time company and one that moved here in 2007."

JEO Consulting Group has also agreed to help the community develop a plan and landscaping proposal for the memorial.

Brown said he's still searching for a local electrical contractor to donate their services. The committee hopes to install solar lights inside the statue to give it a dramatic look at night.

Brown said the goal is to dedicate the new memorial on Aug. 4, the anniversary of New Richmond's original charter.

"We're a year late, but it would be nice to get it done by then," he said.

The plan is to install the statue in Glover Park, near the Friday Memorial Library. It would be close to the intersection of First Street and Knowles Avenue.

"If it goes there, it will attract a lot of attention," committee member Marilyn McCarty said.

A metal time capsule (perhaps as large as four feet by four feet) would be encased in the concrete footing for the monument, according to Brown.

The plan would be to open the time capsule in 50 years, when the community celebrates its 200th anniversary.

Right now the committee is seeking suggestions from area residents on what should be included in the time capsule before it's buried.

People with suggestions can jot down their ideas and drop them in the "Suggestion Box" at The Bean Bag Coffeehouse in downtown New Richmond, or they can e-mail the New Richmond News at

Among the ideas already suggested for the time capsule are information about the new schools being constructed, products from local industries, a current map of the city and copies of local history books.

The committee working on the statue will meet with the City Parks and Recreation Committee in a couple weeks to discuss the placement of the memorial in Glover Park.

They then hope to begin final plans on the construction of the statue, the footings and landscaping plans.