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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Pillars of the Nation

McKennan Park Historic District

 
 
Pillars of the Nation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, October 3, 2017
1. Pillars of the Nation Marker
Inscription.

With World War II threatening the tranquility of the United States in 1940, Oscar Ellefson, caretaker and builder of many early McKennan Park attractions, proposed a new project. Ellefson envisioned designing and building two pillars made of stones native to each of then 48 states that would symbolize the unity and strength of the nation. With help from the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, letters were sent to chamber offices in every state capital requesting specimens of local stone.
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Nationwide patriotic fervor fueled the project. All states readily responded with stones found in their locales. The pillars were completed in August 1941 and were named "The Pillars of the Nation."

Emil M. Christianson of Hills, Minnesota, earlier had donated native South Dakota stone fossils and Indian artifacts to build the two older pillars.

In 1999 the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department refurbished all four pillars and installed lighting fixtures on the "South Dakota " pillars.
 
Erected 2000 by Minnehaha County Historical Society and by Dr. and Mrs. John Wichtman in Honor of their Daughters, Meg and Laura.
 
Location. 43° 
Pillars of the Nation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, October 3, 2017
2. Pillars of the Nation Marker
31.944′ N, 96° 43.421′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on S 2nd Ave north of E 23rd St. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sioux Falls SD 57105, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lady Liberty (within shouting distance of this marker); Helen Gale McKennan (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sioux Falls Municipal Band (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Old Yankton Trail and Stage Road (approx. 0.7 miles away); AAUW Sioux Falls Branch (approx. ¾ mile away); The Government Building (approx. ¾ mile away); The First School House 1873 (approx. 0.8 miles away); Washington High School (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
 
Categories. Parks & Recreational Areas
 
Pillars of the Nation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, October 3, 2017
3. Pillars of the Nation Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 28, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 79 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 28, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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