OREGON, Ill. -- Efforts to restore a 107-year-old statue in northern Illinois have received financial backing this summer from the state and a local business.
Heavy-duty trailer manufacturing company E.D. Etnyre & Co. donated $100,000 this week for the Eternal Indian statue, colloquially known as Black Hawk, the Rockford Register Star reported. The project in Oregon, Illinois involves recreating the statue's original mix of concrete and red granite to keep it standing for many more years.
"We were wanting to help the community," said Robin Etnyre, the company's corporate communications specialist. "There was a need and we were able to assist."
Company owner Edward D. Etnyre was starting the business in 1910 when he furnished artist Lorado Taft with supplies for the 48-foot-tall (15-meter tall) icon.
"There's been a love affair between the company and statue all these years," said Jan Stilson, local historian and Black Hawk Restoration Team member. "It's very gratifying to see them still working together."
The state Department of Natural Resources received a $350,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in May. The Black Hawk Restoration Team is also raising funds for the restoration.
Efforts to restore the statue have come and gone over the past several decades. The last effort, which began in 2015, came to an abrupt stop in 2016 after the conservator and the engineer couldn't agree over how much of the statue's exterior concrete skin needed to be removed.
Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com