Centura Penny War for Solon Borglum Historical Marker

Centura Student Council  Penny WarsThe Centura Student Council is having a Penny War with grades 7-12 to generate money for the historical marker along Highway 2 honoring Solon Borglum.  Mrs. Gross’s 8th grade class have begun to read the book about him entitled, “Secret Brother:  The Story of Solon Borglum, “Sculptor of the Prairie”. The author of the book, Jean Lukesh, gave a presentation to the students in December at Centura.  It was at that time the students became interested in having a fundraiser for the marker.

With Penny Wars, the students can bring any type of money, however pennies will count as positive points, but silver coins or paper money will count as negative points.  Students will be allowed to put money into any grade’s container.  The grade that wins will be the one with the most amount of positive points and receive a pizza party.  Ken and Deb Harders, from the Cairo Historical Society, are sponsoring the pizza party.  A container will also be available by the gate table the first week of February for Conference Basketball, as well as during Parent-Teacher Conferences at the school on Feb. 10-11.

Solon Borglum Historical Marker Near Cairo

Solon_Borglum_1902The Cairo Roots Museum in cooperation with the Hall County Historical Society and the Nebraska State Historical Society is planning to erect a historical marker five miles west of Cairo on the north side of Highway 2.

The marketer will be posted near the land where Solon Hannibal Borglum once lived and ranched.  It was there on his father’s section of land that he developed a love for the West, horses, and the cowboy way of life; and also a respect and admiration for Native Americans.

While living on the ranch he started taking art classes in Omaha.  It is documented from local newspaper accounts that Borglum carved a large image of a Native American in the Bluffs at St. Michael just west of the Borglum ranch.  That image was still visible as late as 1906.

In 1890 Solon Borglum’s brother Gutzon made a visit at the ranch on his way through Nebraska, and encouraged his brother to be an artist.  Gutzon had been studying art in California at the time and was on his way to Omaha to visit his parents.

Many years later, Gutzon Borglum became famous for sculpting Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Many believe he was first inspired to do such a monumental work after seeing his brother Solon’s carving in the Bluffs  a few miles west of Cairo.

Solon Borglum became world famous as a sculptor himself after studying art in Ohio and Paris.  he became known as the “Sculptor of the Prairie.”  he is known for his sculptures of cowboys, horses, Native Americans, etc.

The Cairo Roots Museum is seeking funding to erect the historical marker.  It will cost around $6,000.  The wording for the marker has been approved by the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Department of Roads has agreed to provide a turnout on the north side of Highway 2.

solon borglum bookDr. Jean Lukesh has written Secret Brother the Story of Solon Borglum “Sculptor of the Prairie.”  Dr. Lukesh will be available to answer questions and autograph her book at the Follow the Rails Art Trail October 16 & 17th at the Cairo Community Center.  A donation box will be on site to collect free will offerings towards the purchase of the historical marker for Borglum site on Highway 2.  Details are available at http://followtherailsarttrail.com