Coon Rapids Lions donate historical markers

More markers denoting the history of Coon Rapids will be placed in the community thanks to the Coon Rapids Lions Club.

The club has donated $1,000 to the Coon Rapids Historical Commission for the purchase of historical markers.

According to City Assessor Ned Storla, city staff liaison to the commission, the historical marker plaques with the narrative will be created by the city’s public works department over the winter and the completed markers will be installed in 2013.

The money from the Lions club will purchase five historical markers, Storla said.

This has been an ongoing project of the Coon Rapids Historical Commission for over 20 years with funds from the Lions club.

There are currently nine historical markers in the city, Storla said.

Two are at L.O. Jacob School, with others at the Coon Rapids Dam; Dunn House, which was located at the current Egret and Coon Rapids boulevard intersection; Joyce Chapel; Clayhole; old brick factory site on East River Road; old Highway 10 bridge over the railroad tracks at Coon Rapids Boulevard Extension; and the Anoka County Poor Farm, where Coon Rapids High School has its tennis courts.

Historical sites in Coon Rapids where the new markers will be placed has been determined by the commission, according to Storla.

But the old school house now located at Mary T, Inc., WCCO Radio tower, the former Minnesota Dragways track site north of Main Street where the Wexford housing development has been built and two locations on Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Railroad train tracks, one at the trestle near the Clayhole and the other at the Northstar Commuter Rail Riverdale station, Storla said.

The new historical markers won’t be made of bronze as the first nine have been, he said.

Instead, a fiber glass material will be used for the markers, Storla said.

“That is much less expensive and there is concern that because the bronze markers are made of copper, they will be stolen,” he said.

In accepting the donation from the Lions club at a Coon Rapids City Council meeting, Mayor Tim Howe expressed the council’s gratitude to the club for its generosity.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]