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City wants historical plaques in downtown Mitchell

A plan to adorn sites in downtown Mitchell with bronze plaques showing information about the city's history is progressing.

Mitchell Public Works Director Tim McGannon said the city is getting new cost estimates that will hopefully make the project financially feasible.

While the city has not received the official estimate, McGannon estimated the cost of each plaque -- which will be made of bronze with raised lettering -- to be around $3,000.

"We have all these 'Historic Business District' signs leading downtown," McGannon said. "These historic markers will hopefully get a few people to walk down and get them to read a little bit about Mitchell."

McGannon said the first two plaques will be posted at Fifth and Main -- one to mark the site of the second Corn Palace, which was located there between 1905 and 1920, and another for the Rozum Motor Co., which manufactured supplies for the military during World War II.

Lyle Swenson, of the Mitchell Area Historical Society, assisted in researching information for the plaques.

"We've wanted to do some of that kind of work to note various structures and people around the community, but just haven't had the money," Swenson said. "There's just a whole lot of history there, and I'm glad to see them tell the story."

Funding would come from city government. McGannon said it is possible the first plaques could be put up in a couple of months.

Beyond that, McGannon said the city will handle additional plaques on a case-by-case basis.

"The trick is just to get the first ones up," he said. "We're always trying to judge public opinion here and see what comes of that."