No review of paving stone posts undertaken after two deletions due to Civil War inscription

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Two weeks after two commemorative paving stones were removed from a plaza on Adrian Island because of the message inscribed therein, no effort was made to examine and potentially remove other paving stones containing messages other than the name of the donor.

The Bicentennial Bridge Committee was tasked with reviewing new paver purchases, but no specific guidelines on what is allowed on pavers have been drafted.

As a fundraising vehicle for the Bicentennial Bridge, people could purchase brick pavers that line the trail on Adrian’s Island.

The 765-foot bridge, which spans the Union Pacific Railroad track, connects the Capitol grounds with the 30-acre strip of land across the railroad known as Adrian’s Island.

The bridge opened on December 20 and provides access to the island. Teams are still working on parts of the park, but a concrete walking path is open with cobblestones along one section.

Two days before Christmas, Mayor Carrie Tergin had two paving stones removed from where teams placed them earlier that week for the bridge opening.

She said both cobblestones were removed because the tongue on them looked too much like the plaque on a Civil War monument that city council removed in 2020. She said the cobblestones did not match intent initial cobblestones to recognize project donors. .

Edith Vogel, a resident of Jefferson City, had purchased the two larger pavers, which together read: “Notes from Union Camp Lillie: Deciding not to attack the Confederate Army under General Sterling Price has turned away from Jefferson City October 7, 1864. “

Sterling Price’s original marker on Moreau Drive read: “Deciding not to attack, General Sterling Price’s Confederate army turned away from Jefferson City on October 7, 1864. This marker was dedicated on April 6, 1933 by Winnie Davis Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy, who purchased the marker, have ties to the Ku Klux Klan, which ultimately played a significant role in the city council’s decision to remove the original marker.

With that first order for pavers, Tergin said, no one looked at them. If anyone bought one, it was ordered.

As of now, all pavers purchased are pending approval by the Bicentennial Bridge Committee, she said. Tergin said the online shopping flyer will be updated to reflect the focus on honoring project donors, which has yet to be done.

However, she said, no one is currently reviewing the others that have already been purchased to make sure they have no issues.

She also said there was no one working to create guidelines or regulations on what is and is not appropriate for finishers, although that may be later.

With the holidays, Tergin said, she couldn’t contact anyone else who purchased pavers that could be involved.

For example, a paving stone in the square is engraved with the Bible verse John 3:16.

Of the 51 cobblestones on the island – excluding the two virgins and John 3:16 – six other cobblestones have messages in addition to the name of an individual or organization (not counting those with statements about someone’s memory). These include references to other Bible verses and to the “Mighty Mo”.

“I haven’t received any calls asking for this withdrawal either,” she said of finisher John 3:16 on Tuesday. Tergin said he had received “several inquiries” about Vogel’s pavers.

Tergin said the bicentennial bridge committee has not met or discussed how to handle the cobblestones in the future.

“The urgency of removing these paving stones in particular was that they referred to the rock that the council had previously voted to remove,” she said. “So in accordance with this decision that was taken by the council, I felt it was appropriate to remove them.”

The removal of the paving stones sparked the interest and attention of City Council members on Monday when Ward 3 Councilor Scott Spencer introduced a resolution recognizing the historic significance of October 7, 1864.

Spencer’s resolution, as he presented it, reads: “We, as the city council representing the citizens of the town of Jefferson, recognize the importance of the historic date of October 7, 1864, as a day when lives were spared as a result of General Sterling Price’s decision. decision not to attack the town of Jefferson during the Civil War. This resolution should in no case be interpreted as being favorable to the cause of Confederation. This date will serve as a day of remembrance and reflection.

“The City of Jefferson must continue to look to the future, but there are times when we need to look back to see where we have been and how far we have come as a community. It is a part of our local history which is forever linked to our country and should be remembered and revered for what it is; a celebration of life and of a community untouched by the ravages of war. “

The resolution was not on the city council’s agenda for the meeting, which meant it could not be voted on because state law requires at least 24 hours’ notice, the prosecutor said. municipal Ryan Moehlman.

However, the board decided by a 5-5 vote not to put it on the January 18 agenda for formal consideration.

Spencer said his goal was to recognize the historic event.

Tergin said on December 23 that she decided to remove the cobblestones on Adrian Island because the message did not match the cobblestones’ original intention to be for names, and the council had already taken the decision to have the language on the properties of the city. .

Spencer said it looks like a moving metric.

“It looks like it changes from messenger to message,” he said after the meeting. “On August 20 (when the resolution to remove the marker was passed by city council) it was the messenger. It seems the target just keeps moving.”

Ward 5 Councilor Jon Hensley said the resolution appeared to stop just before establishing the date as a local holiday.

Since the meeting, Spencer said he was encouraged by other board members to raise the resolution again.

Julie Smith / News Tribune Before the ribbon was cut and the Bicentennial Bridge officially opened, the teams at Parks and Rec and Verslues Construction took care of the last minute details and preparations, picking up the sticks and trash and placing pavers purchased by supporters of the bridge and park. Andrew Bax of Jefferson City Parks and Rec carefully leveled the fine sand before laying the etched pavers, which were sold as a funding mechanism to support the bridge and park project.
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