KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Sculpting R.F. Pettigrew



Bookmark and Share

A new bronze monument will soon greet you as you take Phillips Avenue to Falls Park. The 15 foot tall R.F. Pettigrew statue will stand at the entrance to Falls Park honoring one of the city's first developers.

As the bronze heats up to 2,100 degrees in a fiery pit, the shell of R. F. Pettigrew is formed piece by piece. The large monument is a step closer to reality for one Sioux Falls sculptor.

"When you're watching that come together, first it's the feet, then the legs and then the coat tails all coming together. It is just so exciting I can't hardly stand it sometimes," sculptor Darwin Wolf explained.

For Darwin Wolf, this project has been ten years in the making. It started in 2003 with a smaller model on the sculpture walk downtown Sioux Falls. Then, in 2009 Wolf started work on a much larger monument.

He says he wants people to have an appreciation of where we came from and who got us here. And that's where Richard Franklin Pettigrew comes in.

"He brought in five railroads. He started the first street car, electric street car and then horse-drawn street car, and developed so many parts of Sioux Falls. He donated the land for Augustana." Wolf said.

Wolf chose the entrance to Falls Park to put his monument because Pettigrew was instrumental in industrializing the falls. He later regretted it and wrote a letter to the city pushing to preserve the area.

"The redemption he deserves is an awareness of what he really did to build this place," Wolf said.

Though sculpting a 10 foot traveling statue may seem like a task in itself.

"The hand actually attached here with the letter in place, so it all came apart," Wolf explained.
 
The next challenge is still ahead. Molds are created from about 40 sections, then cast in bronze and welded together. That process takes months and requires the skills of a foundryman like Rick Haugen.

"It's a good feeling to know that you had some part in something that's permanent. Bronze lasts forever," BronzeAge Art Casting owner Rick Haugen said.

As the permanent Pettigrew is cast, the clay still sits in its creator's garage.

"There's no reason for me to keep it, I just can't let it go," Wolf said.

Wolf's attachment to his masterpiece has left him anxious for its final unveiling.

"Seeing it in place, I don't know if I'll be thrilled or terrified because you don't really know what your work is going to look like until it's in place," Wolf said.

And ten years of work and research will soon be on display.

The Minnehaha County Historical Society is the main sponsor of the project and funding has come in through private donations.

The goal is to have the monument in place on Phillips Avenue by May 17th.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

LifeLight Festival Brings Thousands   story with video

Despite the muddy conditions from recent rain, thousands of people are gathering in ...

Kids Participate In Wildlife Olympics

Children and their families had an active afternoon at Good Earth State Park with ...

Labor Day Weekend Travels Increase  story with video

Every year, millions of Americans take a long weekend to celebrate the men ...

Spearfish Man Arrested For Indecent Exposure  Aug. 30

Rapid City Schools Receive Cultural Grant  Aug. 30

Lead Woman Pleads Guilty In Child Rape  Aug. 30

SF Ranked High For Job Seekers Over 50  Aug. 30

Rapid City Gets Search And Rescue Dog  Aug. 30

SD Publishing House Earns Wilder Book  Aug. 30

SD U.S. Senate Candidates Debate At Fair  Aug. 29

17th Annual LifeLight Begins Despite Rain   story with video  Aug. 29

Medical Marijuana Protest Held In Huron   Aug. 29

South Dakota State Fair In Full Swing  Aug. 29

Social Media Guidelines For Teachers  story with video  Aug. 29

Iowa Packing Company Ordered To Pay For Violations  Aug. 29

South Dakota Settles Lawsuit Against Omnicare  Aug. 29

Rosholt Ethanol Plant Operating After 18 Months  Aug. 29

Child Immunization Rates Up In South Dakota  Aug. 29

Bomber Crews In ND, SD Learn From One Another  Aug. 29

Upgrading Pierre Stadium Would Cost $1.2 Million  Aug. 29

KDLT News Archive
     

Lead Woman Pleads Guilty In Child Rape

A Lead woman has pleaded guilty to having sex with ...

SF Ranked High For Job Seekers Over 50

A social media and marketing company ranked Sioux Falls among the ...

Spearfish Man Arrested For Indecent Exposure

Spearfish Police have arrested 32-year-old Joshua Michael ...

Rapid City Schools Receive Cultural Grant  Aug. 30

Rapid City Gets Search And Rescue Dog  Aug. 30

LifeLight Festival Brings Thousands   story with video  Aug. 30

Labor Day Weekend Travels Increase  story with video  Aug. 30

SD Publishing House Earns Wilder Book  Aug. 30

KDLT News Archive
     

SDSU Loses Sumner, Game To Missouri  story with video

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri used big plays in all three phases of the ...

Harrisburg Stomps Sturgis  story with video

HARRISBURG, S. D.   --  The Harrisburg Tigers shook off a sluggish offensive start to defeat visiting Sturgis ...

Bacone Stuns Northwestern  story with video

ORANGE CITY, IA  --  The Northwestern Red Raiders couldn't hang on to a 27-9 ...

Tyler Starr Makes Atlanta Falcons 53-Man Roster  story with video  Aug. 30

Oregon Coach Respects USD  story with video  Aug. 30

Roosevelt Hangs On For Wild Win Over Brandon Valley  story with video  Aug. 30

Missouri Expects Challenge From SDSU  story with video  Aug. 29

Coyotes & Jacks Aim For Summit Tournament  story with video  Aug. 29

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top