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Commemorative bricks on sale Saturday in Somerset

Commemorative bricks adorn the walkway in front of the Historic Somerset Town Hall and Helen Landry Memorial Garden at 311 Main St. in Somerset.

People wanting to leave their mark on Somerset's history while helping a good cause are encouraged to purchase a commemorative brick during Pea Soup Days this weekend.

Somerset resident and organizer Rita Lawson says there are currently around 120 commemorative bricks adorning the walkway in front of the Historic Somerset Town Hall and the Helen Landry Memorial Gardens at 311 Main St. in Somerset--and there is room for hundreds more.

While some bricks are commemorative of someone who has passed away, Lawson says there are a variety of stories behind the bricks.

She said while some people have purchased bricks to lay out their family history, some people still alive have purchased bricks to document their residency, some are honoring their family members or the year they graduated and some business owners and local organizations have purchased rocks simply displaying their name.

The brick project is part of the town hall renovation project that began in 2005.

The walkways of the Helen Landry Memorial Garden are paved with 8-by-4 inch bricks.

Anytime throughout the year people can purchase a commemorative engraved brick for inclusion in the walkway.

In addition to getting up to three lines of text engraved on each brick, Lawson says the purchaser is encouraged to include an 8.5-by-11 inch document detailing the purpose of the brick, a photo and additional detail, which will be kept at the Somerset Public Library for visitors to reference.

On Saturday, June 9, from noon to 6 p.m. the commemorative bricks will be for sale at the carnival for $60, compared to the regular price of $100.

Lawson encourages residents to purchase bricks to support community history while leaving their legacy in stone in Somerset.

She also encourages residents to check out the walkways, garden and old town hall to explore the community and connect with Somerset's rich history.

"Maybe they'll recognize a name here and that will get them in conversation. Even people who are new to the community might see some names that they've heard and then they'll be able to learn more about where they're living and it will give them a sense of place," she said.

For more information about the bricks, contact the Somerset Public Library, Somerset Senior Center or go to

Proceeds from the brick sales help support the maintenance of the Historic Somerset Town Hall and its gardens.

**Lawson said if someone can come up with a photo of the original Town of Somerset water tower (that was by the old town hall) they will receive a free brick.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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