Engraved pavers mark Jamestown history
The engraved paver stones, part of the downtown road diet project in Jamestown, have arrived and will be included in the project.
The components of one of the decorative features of the road diet under construction in downtown Jamestown are ready to be placed, according to Serle Swedlund, executive director of Jamestown Tourism.
Engraved paver stones have arrived and will be installed in the pedestrian bumpouts at each crosswalk along First Avenue in Jamestown.
The bumpouts are extensions of the sidewalk across the width of the parking lane into the street to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street. The road diet now under construction reduces the number of traffic lanes from two to one in each direction and adds a center turning lane. The project is designed to make the downtown area safer and more pedestrian friendly.
The $2.3 million project is funded through an Urban Grant Program administered by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The grant covers 90% of the project costs with the city of Jamestown responsible for about $241,000.
Swedlund refers to the engraved paver project as a "Jamestown Walk of Fame."
"Each individual (paver) represents a story near and dear to this community," Swedlund said.
Lynn Lambrecht, president of the Jamestown Downtown Association, said the pavers will help promote foot traffic in the downtown area.
"It gives people a reason to walk," she said. "They can see one of these every block and see some of the history of the area."
The pavers feature local residents who made their fame far away as well as those who lived their lives and contributed to the community without leaving the Jamestown area. It also includes some tributes to people who lived their life on the national stage and only occasionally visited Jamestown.
For example, one paver pays tribute to Theodore Roosevelt and quotes a speech he made in Jamestown on April 7, 1903. Another stone pays tribute to Mary Faith Young and includes a quotation from her made during her efforts to prevent the demolition of the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse in the 1980s.
Along with those notable people, there are tributes to Peggy Lee, Louis L'Amour and Edna LaMoore Waldo, who grew up in this area and made their mark in the world of music and literature on the national stage.
There is even a paver to honor Limpy Jack Clayton, an early stagecoach driver of the area known for his hard-drinking and cussing lifestyle.
In all, there are 22 pavers as part of the project with three left blank for future use.
"The intention of this project was to recognize individuals whose reach extended beyond the borders of the Jamestown community," Swedlund said. "We have big plans to expand on these pavers to help visitors and members of Jamestown learn more about the rich Jamestown history."
Lambrecht said the pavers are a nice touch to the overall road diet project being done this summer on First Avenue.
"The original architectural study for downtown done back in about 1999 included many of these features," she said. "The pavers are a great touch."
The pavers are larger at 32 inches by 32 inches than Lambrecht had anticipated during the planning stage.
"They should catch attention," she said.
Work on the bumpouts is underway. Some of the pavers should be visible to the public as each bumpout is completed, she said.