Jackson's wooden Indian comes down

Thursday, September 27, 2007
Submitted photo Jackson's wooden Indian sculpture was taken down Thursday because of rotting.

The "Jackson Indian" figure carved into the trunk of an old tree at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce building was cut down this morning because of extensive rot.

The carving, by August Birk of Cape Girardeau from a template drawn by then-Jackson High School student Megan Thiele in 2000, was too badly damaged to save, chamber executive assistant Cheryl Merkler said.

"He was cut down at the ankles," Merkler said. "The city of Jackson came in and helped" Birk "and got him on the truck. August took him to his house."

The wooden Indian sculpture at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce will eventually be replaced.

Plans are already in place to carve a replacement, Merkler said. Gene Penzel of Jackson has donated a log for the carving, and Penzel Construction will install a pedestal.

"Hopefully he can last a little longer that way," Merkler said. "We are going to have a save the Indian campaign because we are going to have to pay for the carving."

Merkler did not know what kind of tree formed the original carving.

The Indian carving represented the mascot of the Jackson High School sports teams.

For updates, check back at www.semissourian.com or read Friday's Southeast Missourian.

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