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bicentennial monument

Bicentennial Monument

Main Street Bridge

The Bicentennial Monument located on the north side of the Main Street bridge was dedicated on July 5, 1976. The 45’ tall spire represents the logs used in early construction of the village and was designed by Edmund Strang, a local architect. An old axe, used by the Kleeber family when they settled in the area, is embedded in the spire and it represents the simple tools used by the early settlers. The concrete base represents the shallow rocky river bottom that made this location ideal for crossing the river and the entire structure rests on a mound that honors the Native Americans who occupied the area and befriended the early settlers.

A time capsule was placed inside the base of the monument and is due to be opened during the celebration of the Tricentennial in 2076. Instructions for opening the time capsule are embossed in Latin on a plate attached to the top of the base. The instructions say “Open from beneath.” To insure its longevity, six well casings were sunk into the bedrock to support the cement cap.

Fundraising for the monument was spearheaded by Mrs. Billy Stadel, chairperson of the cities’ Bicentennial committee. Her group raised $10,000 to cover the costs related to the monument and its placement. A fund of $1,283 was set up at the Reedsburg Bank (now BMO Harris Bank) to maintain the monument and an additional $100 was deposited in the F&M Bank (now Associated Bank) to be used during the Tricentennial celebration.