Watch this space for current updates on the restoration of The Eternal Indian 2021.
The third restoration on the Black Hawk Statue began in 2008 which, incidentally, was a bad year for Illinois finances. To help raise the money needed for the work, a local group began the Oregon Trail Days Festival. Five years passed before the money was raised as the statue continued to deteriorate.
Restoration work began, but it stopped suddenly in the middle of the process. The state wrapped the statue to protect it from the winter elements and it remained wrapped from 2015-2018.
That's where our current committee entered the scene. The Black Hawk Restoration Committee invited the IDNR to visit Oregon and talk to the community. They declined. We offered then to buy the statue and to have its ownership transferred to our excellent Oregon Park District.
IDNR said the statue couldn't be sold because it is on the National Register of Historic Sites. So we offered to bring a delegation to Springfield. We made these offers through our local representative's office, Rep. Tom Demmer.
IDNR notified Rep. Demmer and informed him that they would meet with us in Oregon. We had a wonderful meeting, and they agreed to unwrap the statue. It was an exciting day for the community when it was unwrapped on June 1, 2018!
Our Committee agreed to begin serious fundraising. Our initial goal was completed by the end of September 2018 with restoration continuing through 2019. The maintenance phase will be funded by additional promotions in the future by various community groups.
In 2019 The BARD group planned to host a celebration to coincide with Oregon's popular Autumn on Parade festival. The AOP committee chose to honor the Black Hawk statue for its theme. We waited and waited for word of the summer restoration project.
The week of July 8th the conservators brought out samples of mixes and mock ups and left them to weather until around October first. The people waited. In August the fencing went up around the statue. In September the scaffolding arrived. it took more than a week to erect the six--story structure, and to cover it with protective netting. Then the statue was unwrapped within the scaffolding.
In October the work began to the long-awaited delight of the public and the BARD committee. Stay tuned!
In September 2018, Black Hawk Art Restoration & Development group became a recognized non-profit organization according to the laws of the State of Illinois.
Now we are recognized as a tax exempt group by the IRS. This means that all donations are recognized by IRS as charitable contributions. This is good news for us and for donors!
As you read this, The Eternal Indian is undergoing complete restoration by QRI of Woodale Illinois under contract to State of Illinois, IDNR department.
It is anticipated that the work will be completed by December 1, 2019. Next year,
BARD in cooperation with other agencies in the City of Oregon will plan and host a celebration at the feet of the refurbished statue! Watch this space!