After 80 years, plaque on mound is reported stolen

After 80 years, plaque on mound is reported stolen by M. Jill Karolevitz The plaque commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition's visit to Spirit Mound has been reported stolen.

Larry Monfore, Vermillion, a member of the Spirit Mound Trust, made the report to the Clay County Sheriff's Department on Aug. 2. Monfore said a KMEG-TV news reporter asked him about it during coverage of Sen. Tim Johnson's July 29 visit to Spirit Mound for its dedication after being purchased by the National Parks Service.

"That's when we discovered it was gone," Monfore said. "The plaque has been on Spirit Mound for 80 years and no one has bothered it until now."

The plaque was mounted to a stone atop the mound in 1921 by the Paha Wakan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

"Walter Cleland took it to the top with a team of horses pulling a stone boat," Monfore said.

Deputy Joe Hayes is in charge of the investigation, which continues.

Spirit Mound is now being restored to a natural state as the parks service works to establish the Spirit Mound Historic Prairie for the public to enjoy as one of the few sites that is documented as a place where Lewis and Clark actually stood.

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