The Callaway 200 committee and the Callaway County Commission chiseled out tentative plans for the county's bicentennial monument Wednesday.
After the cancellation of the Bicentennial Bash, the dedication of Callaway County's monument and a tri-county monument (shared with Boone and Cole counties) are the only two remaining bicentennial events planned for 2020. The company constructing both monuments will acquire the necessary materials by Oct. 1, so members of the Callaway 200 committee are working to finalize plans and designs for Callaway's monument.
"This monument is the most important part of our celebration," Western District Commissioner Roger Fischer said.
The Bicentennial Bash, now delayed until 2021, may be forgotten within a generation, no matter how fun it is, he said.
"But this monument, I hope, will be here for no less than 100 years," Fischer added.
The committee and commissioners agreed the Callaway County Courthouse is the obvious location for the monument, which will be dedicated Nov. 25 — the 200th anniversary of Callaway becoming a county. The courthouse's north entrance gets the most foot traffic.
"When you walk up to the front of the courthouse, you've got monuments right there," Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann said.
Committee members and the commission headed out front to survey potential locations. The small flower bed located in front of the building's entrance is an early front-runner. It already contains several monuments, including Boone's Rock and one dedicated to the county's war dead. A third monument mentions Callaway County's namesake, Capt. James Callaway. A third of the flower bed is currently unoccupied, and as it's already surrounded by sidewalk, a monument placed there would be visible to those in wheelchairs.
The monument's size proved to be the biggest issue. Current plans call for a three-sided obelisk 3 feet tall, each side being 12 inches wide at the base, perched atop a four-sided base 10 inches tall and 20 inches wide, all in granite. Including a poured-concrete footing, the monument would only be about 4 feet tall in total. That doesn't leave much space for text.
"And it'll be in competition with the other monuments out there," Fischer said.
Eastern District Commissioner Randy Kleindienst proposed perching the entire monument atop another base, elevating the obelisk by a couple feet. That base could either be all-concrete, or clad in granite panels. It could potentially feature additional text.
Jungermann said he'd ask the company to provide schematics and an estimate of the additional cost such a change would occur. In its current form, the monument will cost the county about $6,000.
"We're going to spend more than that redoing the steps to get into the building," Fischer said.
The Callaway 200 monument committee is still deciding what will be engraved on the monument. An early draft distributed at Wednesday's meeting would place a brief timeline of the county's history on the obelisk itself, along with an outline of Callaway County. Featured events include the county's founding; the establishment of Westminster College, Fulton State Hospital, the Missouri School for the Deaf and William Woods University; the construction of the Callaway Energy Center and the National Churchill Museum; and Sir Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech. The base would give a short history of the county and note the date of the monument's installation.
"There were four of us who spent time on this," Callaway 200 co-chair Susan Krumm said.
The committee plans to continue tweaking the text and will send it to the monument company to double-check it can all fit.
The large tri-county monument will be installed at the Jefferson City trailhead of the Katy Trail and dedicated in mid-November. Callaway County's side will feature the county's outline and the date of its founding, along with a short history of the county.