PIONEER MEMORIAL STATUE
Here is a statue with a long history - it took about 70 years to go from the idea stage to the completion, but we will just take a few minutes to tell you the story.
The statue was designed by local sculptor Trygve Rovelstad in the 1930s to honor the 100th anniversary of Elgin being settled. The project was to be funded, in part, by the sale of commemorative half dollar coins. These were legal currency with an image of the statue on one side. How many other cities do you know with their own half dollar? The coins were sold for one dollar with the profits going towards constructing the statue. However, times were tough and not many people were willing to pay a dollar for a fifty cent piece. So the project languished.
It was not until the late 1990s when a combination of state, county and city funds, plus private donations, raised enough money to actually build the statue. Unfortunately, Trygve Rovelstad did not live long enough to see the finished product.
The statue depicts a pioneer family, led by a scout, followed by a husband and wife with their infant child and young son. They are symbolically moving across the Illinois prairie to settle the new frontier, which was once here in Elgin.